Color Separation In Illustrator | How To Color Separate In Illustrator For Screen Printing

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How To Color Separate In Illustrator For Screen Printing

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So today I was talking to a client of mine. His name, Shelby, Super Cool guy, started a screen printing and apparel printing company to do screen printing dtg and a bunch of other, really cool stuff and like any new printer. He had questions about artwork. All new printers have questions about art separations. It’s just part of the learning curve, so we’re talking through some stuff, and I said, hey, why don’t you go ahead and send me the artwork? I’ll take a look at it. I’ll film how I separate it and we’ll make a cool video about it, so that’s. What we’re doing, we’re taking a real piece of art. That’s going to be printed later today, and we’re going to do the separations and show you some tricks, so I just opened up this artwork. It’s going to end up being a left chest design, but no matter where this thing’s going or what it is. I always check a couple things first. The first thing I look at is the font. Now as you’re opening a piece of artwork. If you don’t have that font, that is in the art installed. It’s going to tell you to go find that sucker. So this is one of them that I needed to go find, so I found it installed it. We were good to go. Here’s a big tip. If you are going to be sending artwork to anyone always come in and right. Click anything that is font that has that is a font or text and hit create outlines create outlines. Gotta learn to talk today. Sorry, so you hit create outlines and what that’s gonna do is make this now an object, so it doesn’t matter if I’ve got the right font or not, so I’m going to go through and actually select all of the font. I can hold down shift and select anything that is. That is font here, and I’m going to create outlines to all of this zoom in well. Make sure yeah, that all of it is the same, all right, so we should be good to go here now again. This is just something that I. I like to make sure and do personally if you’re outsourcing at all, definitely do that second thing that I look at is artwork. Now if we look at our swatches over here, none of the the pieces of art have what’s called a spot color, so we’re going to create those spot colors. We need that to do our separations, okay. Now I’m going to click one and we’ll see that it’s this blue color here. All right, now, under my swatches tab, I can click this little new Swatch button and I’m still just going to change that to spot color all right, now if I just did it to this one object, I’d have to go through everything else, one by one and do that we’re not going to do that. We’re going to work smarter, not harder. So when I have this one selected, I’m actually going to click select and I want to select same fill color and it’s going to select everything That’s blue just to be safe. I can come in here and make them all green and even like this small stuff, you’ll see that it was changed to green. This is a good little test, too to make sure it’s all the right color of the same color. All right, so control or command Z. My favorite keys on a keyboard. I’m going back to this blue here, and now I’m going to click New Swatch. We’re going to simply just we can rename this if we want to like, cool, awesome blue name it to spot color, and I want to make sure that is RGB. So this is kind of part of what I’m looking for. I want to make sure that all this stuff is in cmyk for screen printing. It’s very important you’ll see in a minute. So Cmyk click. OK, and now we have this blue color up here. That is a spot color. You’ll see how the blue color actually changed a little bit. This is for separations. This is not for customer proof or anything, so we don’t care if it’s the exact tint of blue that we’re going to be printing. All right, we want to make sure that the rip can can observe what we’re actually trying to separate, so it doesn’t matter if it’s the right perfect shade or not, It just needs to be a spot color, and we want to make sure that this is Cmyk while we’re talking about that. I always want to double check that. The document is cmyk. You see how it’s rgb up here so to change that? I want to go file document, color mode and change the cmyk. So that’s going to make sure that everything is in cmyk here, and I’ll show you why that’s important in just a second next thing. Let’s grab the red, so let’s see. It looks like this one. I missed right, so you see how it’s a text, so I can quickly, right, Click and create outlines. Now we’re good to go. I’m going to do the same thing. Select same fill color and selected everything. Minus this guy down here. That’s supposed to be the same red, so I’ll select it as well and we’re going to do new, not new Swatch Group. Come on, Luke. So there we go select same. Fill color, New Swatch here. We go awesome sauce, red. I like I like using awesome because screen printing is pretty awesome. There we go, okay, and then let’s see we got red and then this, this color, this white color. The shirt is actually transparent. There’s nothing there, so the only thing we got left is going to be this this black here, so it’s once again. Select it select same. Fill color seriously. This select same or similar is such a helpful little trick. Okay, groovy, black. And some people will go in and mark these like print. So they know which colors they want to print. Okay, um, and I’m gonna make that a spot color. Okay, so we’re good to go now. This is where everything matters. When we talk about spot colors, I’m going to select separations preview, and now I have over print preview highlighted. I’m going to turn off all cmyk. See how this orange one at the bottom is turning off or is this where quality meets the shirt? It means that I don’t have it in a spot color. Whoops, all right, so lets. Get out of this guy! Go back to my swatches here. Let’s create one. We’re actually just going to select this and make it the red. I must have forgotten or accidentally not selected that guy. Everyone makes mistakes so here. We go over from preview. Turn off, cmyk! Everything is still there now. What is the red going to look like when it prints? So we have this red guy here? All right, um, and then let’s look at the blue. This is what the blue layer is going to look like, all right, and then we also have the groovy black, so you can see what each film is going to look like here. All right, red, blue, black, and I always go through there really quick to make sure that anything that is supposed to print is printing, and if anything looks weird like. When I had Cmyk turned off and the wear quality meets the shirt disappeared. I can fix that so now that we’re good to go on this guy next step. I’m happy with the design. I’m happy with the colors. There were prepped, big tip. Select everything, control or command G. Okay, you could also right. Click and group that’s. What we’re wanting to do? Okay, so you’ll only see. If you click this guy, you can only see Ungroup right now. Because it’s all group now. Why does that matter because we’re going to set up our registration marks next? And if I grab something randomly and I move it if this is not grouped, Let’s ungroup this real quick, and I’ll grab here at this G. Ah, man, that’s not centered crap, All right, so group it group at all, select everything control or command, depending on PC or Mac G or right, click group, all right, so next we’re going to do the registration marks. There’s all kinds of different kinds out there. The simplest one is literally using a plus symbol and, but we’re going to make one. And I’m going to show you how we do that here. Real quick, so I’m going to use the pen tool. This is a registration mark that I use quite often. I’m going to just click, and now I can drag this as long as I want now. I want to make sure that I’m straight. So in illustrator, it will kind of hold you on that line, but you know, my hands get pretty shaky sometimes, and I can be all over the place. So if you hold down shift, it’ll keep it on very specific. Um, degrees, you know. And straight horizontal is definitely one of them and I can see how long this is so. If I want to be right at half an inch, I can use this guy to get me right at half an inch right boom. Okay, now I’m done, but I still have this little hanger on here. Hit enter and now we’re good. Okay, so I want to make this guy. The registration color so on swatches we’re going to click the one that looks like a bullseye. It says registration. If you hover over it and I’ll show you why you want to make sure you do that here? In just a minute and then I’m going to add a little bit of a stroke to this, all right. Um, I usually do like, two point stroke. It’s gonna thicken it up a little bit there for me now. This is the another big trick here. Um, we’re not going to be really making this registration mark. Any bigger or smaller, but if you have outlines or strokes on stuff and you have created them at the size. You want your design to be? If you want your design to be 13 inches, go ahead and I want you to. When you have a design that has a stroke, select it and go to object path outline stroke that will convert this stroke into an actual object and that means that no matter how big or how small it is, It’s going to keep that ratio versus If you just leave it and you let’s say you have to make it smaller. That two-point stroke is going to be two points, no matter how small or big, the overall object is, it can look really funky and weird, but we’re not going to make any changes here, so I’m just going to keep it as is, and I’m going to click and drag it, and if I hit the alt button or option button on a Mac, you’ll see how my cursor turns into, like two cursors, so that’s just copy and pasting and again holding down shift. I can rotate this to 50 degrees, and I can bring these two guys pretty close together. I’ll select them and I can go ahead here. In the align tool and center them both vertically and horizontally. Now let’s make a quick little circle, Take my ellipse tool. Hold down shift, and it’ll make a perfect circle. All right, super awesome! I want to make the inside of the circle. Transparent, the outside has a two point stroke on it already. And then because I want to make sure that this is half an inch. I can just go in here 0.5 Oops, excuse me. Make sure that the constrain is selected 0.5 Sorry, I’m clicking all over the place here now. I want to make sure that these are all in the same spot lined up. We’re good to go, right, so I actually like to make this a little bit smaller, so like point point three, that’s kind of what I like. Some people will make these only one point or one and a half point. Um, this seems to work very well for simple stuff. Works out great again. If you want to, you can come in here and click pat under path outline stroke. It’s going to create everything into just an actual object and another little cool tool is under Pathfinder Unite. So now it’s literally one object Super cool, super awesome. All right, now you see here. I want to make sure that these are all lined up. So what I can do is if I want to make sure that this is the the registration mark is like an inch above or two inches above. Uh, make sure you have your rulers on. You can hit Ctrl R or command R to turn those on or off, and you can just drag a line here. I’m gonna put this line like, right. At nine inches, I’m gonna put another one at eight and then registration mark goes up there. This guy will go right about here again. We don’t need it to be perfect per. Se, I’m going to now drag this hit that alt or option key. It’s that cool little copy paste, all right, and then let’s go ahead and move this line down to like, 13 ish, Go down 14. And then we can just drag both of these right to about there. This guy can go right about here, and then now we’re going to center these pretty cool right now. I can group these. All three together highly recommend it Another tip that I like to do. Is I’m going to look at how wide this thing is? So its 2.79 inches wide now left chest usually is around three to four inches so well. Leave it at 2.7 I’m also going to make one that’ll be three inches wide, so he can print it both out and just double check what he likes. Um, so if we have this at 2.793 I like to label. It left chest or its width, right so we could just say 2.9 or 2.8 If we wanted to or 2.7 whatever we’ll do 2.7 inches. Oops wide. Okay, and again, make sure that we’re using the registration collar. Now, what about labeling most rips will have an option to where it’ll print the label for you, but if you want to manually make your own labels, then let’s just come in here and we’re going to do. We’ll be specific, royal blue, and then we can do another one, Uh, Scarlet, Scarlet red and we’ll do another one black, and then what I like to do and again, this is just if I’m manually doing all this. I’ll go into each of my spot colors here and select them so now and I like to keep everything pretty close here. Some people ask too like. Why do you keep an inch or two inches away from the printable area? I’m going to be putting a piece of tape on this, so I don’t want that to affect the printing. So now if I go through, let’s zoom in. So you guys can see this, really. We’ll go through my separations preview. I can see that those registration marks are on everything and also 2.7 just wide. It’s not everything Black is showing because we’re on the black screen. You’ll see black went away, and now all I’m seeing is the royal blue, and now all I’m seeing is the red. So this guy is good to go. All right, so there we go. We are ready to print now. If we’re using Acura, we’re just going to simply go up here, file print and then we’re going to come down here to the canon pro in this case. I always double check my media size. Do not scale now we’re using 13 by 19 media here. So if I’ve got multiple images, I could, I could always gain them and print multiple out change composites to separations, big, big, important thing, and then now you see, my spot. Colors are all right there, so I select all three of them and it’s going to print three separate pieces of film out a red, a blue and a black. Now, of course, each one of those is going to be printed with only black ink in this case, but they’re going to represent each one of those, and you’ll be done all right there. You go simple enough if you have any questions, feedback or ideas. The things that help in your shop, Please let us know. Feel free to post a comment about this as well, too always excited to hear feedback and other ideas. You guys have been great. Keep printing rock on well. See on the next one, you.