Things About Color Separation for Screen Printing You Need to Know

Color separation for screen printing is a process to separate a design or artwork into different color segments. It is important to separate the colors before you print them. However, you can use software to make the whole process easier.

The color separation procedure is to arrange the file for printing needs. So, here are the things about the color separation process you need to know.

What Is Color Separation for Screen Printing?

Color separation is the process to separate the different colors that appear in an image into individual pictures by using a program. The process will help you to separate images for each color in the design.

You can create a full design by layering the images. However, the process can work for one color at a time and still need to separate images to make multi-color prints.

In a four-color print process, you’ll need to mix the base colors to get the different hues in the design. The color separation for screen printing software will divide images into a few with each base color.

The result will look like the original image when you print it using the four-color process. On the other hand, the spot or index color process usually uses more than four colors of ink.

The color separation will split a design into several images in the spot process. The process uses separate ink for each color in the image.

Color Separation for Screen Printing

Types of Color Separation

Understanding the types of color separation may be a bit tricky and need more practice. However, knowing the procedures will help you to reach better outcomes. Here are types of color separation for screen printing include:

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1. Spot Color Separations

Spot color separations are known as the most popular method used in screen printing. This method can range from raster logos or vector conversion to complex graphics with each shade having its ink to print separately.

It may use the halftones process for shade. Besides, the method provides for detailed color management while printing the design.

Spot color separations might be complex or simple in appearance. Spot color jobs like pressing and printing will work best for some complicated designs. Many colors in the Colorwork can also be divided into simulated process files for pressing.

2. Simulated Process Separations

This method is slightly similar to four-color process separations. Both methods utilize to form images, but the simulated process has a bigger many colors range.

Also, a simulated process works well for both dark and light backgrounds since opaque links are utilized. This method has other terms like a channel or tonal separations.

In addition, simulated processes are done in color separation software like Photoshop. This screen printing is usually used for garments, apparel, and custom t-shirt printing.

3. Index Color Separations

Generally, index color separations use the same size square pixels instead of halftone dots to achieve shading. The process can be more difficult to apply, index, and print than color separations.

On the other hand, a photorealistic print often uses more colors. Index color separations are done in Photoshop, but they can easily transfer from Illustrator or CorelDraw.

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The squares are utilized for color shading with a restriction selection to make it look like the original design. This method requires a lot of colors and a bigger press for custom screen printing.

In addition, this method also uses a color separation as a combination depending on the design and press needs. A color separation process has the advantage to expand the range from the inclusion of a spot color.

A process color or a customized spot may be used in printing simulated separations. However, customized color separation for screen printing is frequently used since it requires varying designs or printers.

4. Four-Color Separations

Color separations for screen printing use four colors such as cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to print an image. You can create the colors in your image design by printing these four tones.

Small dots or halftones are used in this method to give a photorealistic image in the design. Four-color separations can be tricky with darker backgrounds since they use translucent inks.

However, this method is perfect on white or lighter backgrounds. It has been replaced as a selected separation option by the spot color simulated process due to the accuracy system.

That’s all information you need to know about color separation for screen printing. Color separation is an important portion of the production process. You also need high-quality screen printers to execute the color separation.


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