Welcome back to the How Would You Sep This? series where I show you exactly how I would go about separating images.
The point of this series is to give you guys an inside look at how someone would separate many different images. That someone happens to have enjoyed a long and prosperous career as a color separator at some of the States largest screen-printing and licensing companies.
However, that does not mean that what I share is the only way that would work. In color separating, as in many facets of life, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Before you look at the images below, know that the screenshots are taken with Photoshop in its default state.
In order to create accurate and stunning color separations, changes to Photoshop’s color settings are absolutely unnecessary.
My channels are also set to Selected Areas. They will be converted to spot only just before I save the file as a DCS2.0 EPS.
The image is fairly straight forward but you are limited to using 4 screens only and you cannot do a CMYK 4-color process separation. It has to be a simulated process job, meaning you’re going to have to mix some colors in order to get the final product.
It also should be set up to print in the most efficient way possible. The order, though not stated in the original Facebook post, could be for 10,000 pieces. This is something we should always consider as separators.
Setting Up The File
The file was built with all of the layers intact. I would normally create some utility channels but in this case, I chose not to. I didn’t think I would use them enough.
Which Colors Should I Sep?
I’m going to use yellow, red, blue, and gray to complete this separation. Here’s a screenshot of my final seps. Let’s look at how I created them.
I started with the yellow, knowing that I would print it first in the sequence. Because of the press limitations, I will also be using the yellow as the foundation to get the orange and green colors. Here’s what the yellow looks by itself.
I’ll sep the red next because it is fairly straight forward. However, there’s no rule about the order in which you should sep colors.
The red figure is a solid 100% and I only used 15% of red on top of 100% of yellow in order to get the orange.
When mixing yellow and red to get an orange, be careful. Red is generally much more opaque than yellow. It can easily overpower the yellow if there’s too much of it. In fact, though it appears subdued above, it will be much more vibrant than that in the final print.
I did the blue next. I chose to do it third because it will interact with both the red and yellow. Again, no rule governing when you pull a color during any separation. It’s totally up to you.
To get the green, I’m putting down 30% blue on top of 70% yellow. You could print 100% yellow here because it’s so translucent. However, I also want to keep an eye on the hand so pulled back the yellow a bit.
The purple will be made with an even 50-50 mix of blue and red. The green, though it looks subdued in the comp above, will show up quite well with this mixture.
For the gray shadowed area, I chose to sep the gray with a maximum coverage of 50%. Because it’s such a light gray printing on white, we can get away with it being halftone and no one will be the wiser.
I chose to do this for the hand. The less ink going down, the nicer the feel. I always try to put this into my seps whenever possible.
Here’s what my seps look like with all the channels on. As a reminder, this is before any of the channels are set to spot channels.
An Interesting Alternative
There was a great suggestion on the original Facebook post. It suggest using dam screens. In essence, this would require putting 2-3 different colors on the same screen, then building little walls between them with tape.
You would then use a short squeegee to pull each individual color. This would be fantastic if you’re not printing a large number of tees. Thanks to Senini Graphics over on FB for that contribution!
How would you guys do it? Leave a comment below and be sure to follow the official Rising Sun Graphics’ Facebook for the initial conversation!