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First of all, I'm new to the boards so hi! The past few days I've been reading through all the previous posts and have found the forum to be very informative indeed.

I just have a question about sending artwork to the screen printers. I am competent in design software (i'm an adobe man) and am just wondering how to set up the files to minimise the work the screen printer needs to do on his computer. I guess if the printer has to 'fix' and edit your files to make them appropriate for printing, an extra fee will be incurred.

I assume sending vector art as an eps and bitmap as 300 dpi tiff is standard procedure. Is it normal to have the colour separations in a single file? as in the full colour image on the top layer, then the separations in black and white below.

And also, when two different colours meet each other on the artwork, is some sort of bleed required or is their registration so good that no ink overlap occurs?

ANy help would be appreciated.

(by the way, if you're wondering why I'm spelling it colour instead of color.....it's because yes....I am yet another aussie on the board)

MEEBS
 

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meebs said:
I assume sending vector art as an eps and bitmap as 300 dpi tiff is standard procedure. Is it normal to have the colour separations in a single file? as in the full colour image on the top layer, then the separations in black and white below.
Hi Meebs, first off :welcome:

Secondly, I think if you have a vector eps file or a raster 300dpi file to send to the printer, you're all set. For most screen printers, that's all you would need.

Each printer has their own way of handling separations and bleeds, so I think it would be best to let the printer handle that part of it as part of their normal workflow.

Actually, the best thing to do would be to ask the specific printer that you're going to work with what type of files they would prefer. Some will say that a 300dpi raster file is fine while others may require a vector file.

I don't think you'll have to worry about separations though. If you're giving them quality files (vector or 300dpi), I don't think they'll be charging an artwork fee.
 

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Hello. I agree that you should ask the vendor, as every printer has their preferred technique/skillset. But here's some tips that might help.

When I worked as a silkscreen artist, I would prefer people to send me vector files whenever possible. It's almost always much easier to separate the colors, and create traps with a vector file versus a raster file. (Unless, of course, you are doing a continuous tone image that is better suited to photoshop.)

If you're doing something that can be done with spot colors, definitely use vector if you have the know-how. Setting up your colors as spot colors in Illustrator will save time, since that effectively separates the colors. You don't need to use separate layers for this. Illustrator is smart enough to separate overlapping spot colors. Choosing PMS colors for your spots will also help the printer when it comes time to choose/mix the inks. Don't bother trying to trap/bleed the art yourself, since all printers have different requirements for this. Some require traps, while some may not need them at all.

As you probably know, you should generally only use photoshop if you're doing 4 color process or photographic type artwork. Don't bother trying to separate the colors yourself, because this is an incredibly complicated process, and 10 different shops will do it 10 different ways. Leave all your layers in tact though, as that can be helpful. PSD files are generally separated by channel, but it usually helps to have the layers anyways. And just so you know, most 4 color process jobs can easily end up being 5-6 color jobs. It's kind of hard to explain why, but sometimes we would use 2 different screens for black, for example. We'd use one screen for the solid black areas, and another for half tone areas. This is because black is such a strong/heavy color, and you need to use 2 different screen meshes to finesse it into getting nice, subtle halftones in certain areas, while getting really dark areas in other places.

Anyways, I hope this helps. It sounds like you're on the right track.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
cheers guys, sound advice. didn't even think to make 'em spot colours (duh)...all makes perfect sense though

MEEBS
 

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Hey Meebs nice to meet you,

My screenprinter uses a Mac and he likes his stuff in Adobe Illustrator 8 format. So for me, it couldn't be easier. Sure i pay the artwork fee for separations, but to me i don't mind. I create or trace my artwork and export it into Illustrator 8 format and then email it to him!

I know this answer might not suit what you're looking for, but I wanted to give you an alternative method in how things can be done with different screenprinters! :)
 

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Hey guys, Im new on here too. The question I have is, how do I set up a white underbase for a 4 color process job, going on a colored garment. I know how to do the seperations, i use PS CS4, and it seams to work fine if we are gonna print on white shirts, but I would like to know how to set it up, so I can take my art and put it anything. I am a graphic designer, but I just started working for one of my clients print shops (need more $$$) so the art I know, its just little things I need to know to get it from my screen to "real" screen. If you can help please let me know, or if you know any sites with steps on this, that would be great! thanks alot guys! CHEERS!
 
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