Sepping a Vintage Tee Shirt

featured vintage tee

This officially licensed Pepsi-Cola vintage tee shirt artwork was given to me to sep. I thought it would be a good time to talk about some tips for sepping vintage tees. First, here’s the tee.

pepsi-cola vintage tee shirt

Officially licenses Pepsi Cola vintage tee shirt

People always ask me how I get my distressed effects in Photoshop and Illustrator. One thing I see too often are those distressed effects being misprinted when applied to a tee shirt.

Most of the time, the ink has been laid down too thick. This really goes against the whole vintage t shirt vibe.

A Vintage Tee is Soft

The ink should be soft, considering this is supposed to actually look like a vintage tee. Remember, it’s supposed to have been around for years and endured tons of wash cycles.

Of course, we can make this happen with water-based inks. But even if we were going to print this with some standard plastisols, we can still make it soft.

Power on Press

People underestimate the power good color separations give you once on press

The specific “power” I’m referring to is the ability to change on the fly by providing options. In this case, we should pull back our seps a little bit. To understand what I’m talking about, take a look at the image below.

“In this case, we should pull back our seps a little bit.”

What you’re seeing is a close up view of the spot shadowed area shown in the top right of the pic. The top red area represents what the file itself looks like on a white background.

The black below it represents the red plate as we see it while separating and how most people would separate this job.

Below that is the pulled back version of the same plate.

pepsi-cola vintage t shirt seps

This provides printing options without giving multiple versions of the same color separations. With this simple option, all we’re doing is pulling everything back a touch via a curves adjustment.

This gives the press operator the ability to put down a light amount of ink. There’s no need to speed up the squeegee, angle it close to 90˚, or reduce pressure. These are, of course, all still options if necessary.

We all know it’s easier to squash ink through the screen and get a real heavy print than it is to get a nice soft hand.

So try this out with your next distressed image that’s supposed to replicate that vintage t shirt look.

See another post on vintage t shirts with a quick note or two about inks and garment selection by clicking here.

Comments 1

  1. Pingback: Pepsi-Cola Women's Vintage T Shirts « Rising Sun Graphics Rising Sun Graphics

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