October '22

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3 6 G R A P H I C S P R O • O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G NEW SCHOOL SPLIT FOUNTAIN MIXING AND BLENDING FOR PROFITABLE APPAREL S O F T W A R E T O S U B S T R A T E | L O N W I N T E R S W e have a client who has several clothing lines in the western and country markets. In Colorado, we like to think of this as a way of life. Like music, there are only two kinds, right? Country and western! at still has to fit our rock 'n' roll lifestyle, as far as we are concerned. Today's country isn't your grandfather's country music. Who woulda ever thunk Kid Rock would cover Lynyrd Skynyrd and per- form with Hank Jr.? But I digress … e Tin Haul brand is a bit of a bridge between bull rid- ing and skateboarding, as it were. Sort of that country and rock 'n' roll vibe we're talking about. In fact, the brand is targeted at the extreme sports lifestyle with a bit of a west- ern spin. While motocross, wakeboarding, and downhill are more mainstream, the Tin Haul wearer may also be into barrel racing, calf roping, and the aforementioned bull riding. It doesn't get much more extreme than that. It's like the skydiving of country. SPLIT FOUNTAIN We have probably told this story a time or 12, but not all that long ago, one of our, how shall we say, unseasoned print- ers thought she had come up with something very unusual and quite unique. She was sure she had invented the "blend" or "split fountain," as it may be referred to. On the same screen, she had loaded blue, yellow, and red next to each other. Using the squeegee, she manually mixed the colors, and when printed, a beautiful blend of blue to green to yel- low to orange to red emerged on the shirt. "Brilliant!" Or so she thought. ose of us with a bit more experience know that the split fountain blend may have been done a time or two over the last century or so. ere are times when we have to break out some of those "Old School" techniques to get the job done. We recently had a project for Tin Haul that contained a color blend. Tin Haul was rolling out a whole new logo and catchphrase. "Wear your metal out!" Don't know what that means exactly, but OK. A new icon with direction from the client using colored magic markers blend- ing from coral to gold to turquoise. OK scribbles from a designer who was con- vinced it was a masterpiece. Aren't they all? We would work with that. We cer- tainly have been given worse direction. We would mechanically build the blend for our separations. We opened the new logo in Photoshop and sized it accordingly on our art board. In the Layers palette, we renamed layer one to "original." We selected this layer and changed the opacity to 30% in transpar- ency so we could see through the image. We would use the original as our refer- ence guide to add in our colors for the mechanical blend. With this layer now locked, we added a new layer below we would do the work on. We dropped in base colors to start our color theory. The blend tools in Photoshop allowed us to mix the pixels of two colors to obtain additional colors We recently had a project for Tin Haul that contained a color blend. Tin Haul was rolling out a whole new logo. (All images courtesy Lon Winters)

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