October '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 O C T O B E R P R I N T W E A R 3 5 How can I adjust RGB colors to print in CMYK? Anyone who has received full-color artwork from a client understands this frustration. The image file was likely taken from a digital source and is in RGB color mode. When you send it to a printer, the col- ors become duller. That's because most full-color printing is done in CMYK color mode and CMYK cannot accurately replicate RGB colors. If you are creating your own artwork for full-color printing, it's imperative to start designing in CMYK color mode. But if you have received RGB artwork from someone else, there are some steps you can take to make the color conversion a little better. For ex- ample, this RGB image has bright blues and pinks. Running the normal CMYK conversion in Adobe Photoshop will show that the blues and pinks change dramatically. This cannot be avoided as these colors simply don't exist in CMYK. However, using some simple Adjustment Layers in Photoshop can help the issue. First, make a duplicate of your image file (right click on the top of the image box and select 'Duplicate'). Second, go into the 'View' menu and set the 'Proof Setup' to 'Working CMYK'. This lets you see how the colors change without chang- ing the original color mode of the file. Select 'Selective Color' from the 'Adjust- ments' panel and adjust each color until it matches your RGB file more closely. In this instance, we adjusted the magentas, cyan, and blues. We also used the Hue/Saturation adjustment controls on each of those colors. This is a trial and error process depending on what colors are originally in your RGB file. Once you've made the adjustments that look best, save your PSD file, then flatten your image and change the color mode to the final CMYK (in the 'Image' menu un- der 'Mode'). Save this file as your printing image. While the changes may be subtle, you can see the difference in the color quality using the adjustment tools. The colors are still not exact matches, but the vibrancy and hues are restored, making the dreaded RBG/CMYK color conversion a little easier to handle. HEATHER ROBERTS, TRANSFER EXPRESS Why is it important to keep printed swatches and hard copies for all approved Pantone or custom colors? Keeping the approved swatch attached to the formula as a hard copy is always good practice. This will allow the ink department to check all colors to the approved stan- dard before sending the ink to the staging area for production. This should lead to less down- time due to color if each batch of ink made matches the approved standard. Also, keeping a hard copy of the formula is smart just in case you have an internet or computer problem that prevents the ink department from access- ing the IMS software. MAX PRICE, POLYONE SPECIALTY INKS What are some color com- binations that work well for T-shirt designs? Understanding a little bit about color theory can go a long way in creating shirts with attractive color combinations. Here are three basic concepts to get you started. Monochromatic colors: Monochromatic colors are shades (darker) or tints (lighter) of the same hue. Using monochromatic colors works well when some elements of the design can be subtle. Complementary colors: Complementary colors fall opposite of each other on the color wheel. The high contrast is a bold and attention-grabbing option. Analogous colors: Analogous colors are groups of three colors found next to each other on the color wheel. This combination can give a harmonious and sophisticated look to a design. ANGELA MEDGYESI, TRANSFER EXPRESS ART If you receive RGB artwork from someone, there are some steps you can take to make the color conversion a little better. (Image courtesy Transfer Express) Left: Complementary colors fall opposite of each other on the color wheel. (Image courtesy Transfer Express) Right: High contrast complementary colors make for attention grabbing graphics. (Image courtesy Tranfer Express)

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