February '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 68

2 0 1 9 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R 5 3 set is used, the results are usually dull or muddy colors on press. By adding this custom set in the program, Photoshop is able to create custom separations for the ink you are using in production. Ask the ink manufacturer for the Photoshop custom set or "color values" of the ink that will be used on press. To load the CMYK color settings, go to the Photoshop menu; select "EDIT" > "Color Settings". In the Color Settings pop-up window, choose "LOAD". This will enable the artist to select the .csf file that will load the correct values. The set will load into the previous window showing the custom name, black limit, and dot gain ratios. Once you have loaded this file, it will remain as the process color default until it is changed, or a new CMYK setting is loaded. The set should be saved in a folder which is easily identifiable so that it can be located at any time. This allows the program to separate the inks you will be using, and you should see very little change in the image when converted to CMYK. 5. CONVERT THE FILE TO CMYK Once the data is loaded, it is time to convert to CMYK. The result will be the CMYK channels and any other channel that was created prior to this conversion. 6. ADJUST BLACK LEVELS One important step is to scale back the black plate. Select the Black channel, select Curves (command M), and then drag the left arrow to the right to the 25 percent mark. This knocks the black out of the 25 percent and lower gray areas. The cyan, magenta, and yellow information will cover the gray areas without the black. The design may appear light on the monitor, but trust that it will print darker on press. This is important to keep the gray areas from being invaded by the black plate. 7. OUTPUT Though there are many schools of thought on this, I recommend using staggered angles on the halftone to help thwart odd patterns in the interaction between colors. I suggest starting the angles slightly skewed of 0, then spaced between colors of 15 degrees. For example, yellow at a 7-degree angle, magenta at a 22-degree angle, cyan at a 37-degree angle, and black/white at a 52-degree angle. I also use a 55–65-line count on the resolution. Concentrating on the separation process on the front end will make things much easier on press. Communication between the production department and the separation tech is a key factor in lasting success with process printing. Following these basic steps will help everyone from the art department to production to the cus- tomer stay on the same page during the project and create exciting images. PW Ray Smith has been in the screen-printing industry since 1978. He has been involved as an art director, production manager, plant manager and business owner. He re-joined Wilflex in 2008 as the applications lab manager and is presently technical field rep specializing in product demos, plant evaluations and applications training. Contact him at

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Printwear - February '19