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Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Lesson 8 of 9

Halftone Hacks in Illustrator

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

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Lesson Info

8. Halftone Hacks in Illustrator

Lesson Info

Halftone Hacks in Illustrator

Okay, so now we're gonna cover Ah, half tones. Half tones are a way to show gradation in silkscreen printing because you can't do a smooth Grady in, Let's say, like a white to a black like you can and digital printing. So it's a way to either step down your color a certain percentage or go from one color to another. Some might call it like a color fade, so I have to do this an illustrator kind of my way. There's no really easy way to kind of get around, um, half tones other than either bringing in a photo shop in bit mapping ingredient eso Here's here's my way of doing it. Hopefully, it's helpful to you. If not, um, there might be another way that works better for you. So all Joe, kind of a straight half tone with new scale gradation and really what it is, is a checkerboard of circles. So, um, what I do is I keep a file with all different kinds of half tones, different sizes. You can see this one's thinner. This one's thicker. Um, but a quick way to do this is just create a circle and ...

illustrator and will create a series of them using the duplication shortcut, and then all group these and then we'll, uh we'll make a Siris of boxes of them. So here we have a square and about their, um And then what I'm gonna do is I'm going Teoh duplicate this about center and this I'm doing this quick, so you'll want to kind of go along with a grid are kind of a line everything perfectly. But this is just so you get the idea. So that's a quick way to make a like 1/2 tone grid from here. You want to open up your, uh, your swatch palette and drag it into here? Ideally, you'd want to make this pretty big like thes thes are pretty big. And depending on the area that you're gonna cover, um, you'll want to make the halftime pattern that big. So now I can draw a box and select my half tones. Um, and a quick, wayto kind of move around a pattern any any pattern that you bring in. It's a swatch, an illustrator. What you'll want to do is, is like the till day button right there. Click and drag. So I could move my half tones around. Um, this right here is 1/2 tune Grady in, so your scale starts off bigger and go smaller. And when this is scaled back, it looks like a black to a white gradation, so a shortcut toe. To make one of these, it would be to make a large circle and then a smaller circle. Let's bring this further down. What we'll do is we'll select that and then come over to our blend tool in the toolbar will double click it, and you said a specified amount of dots between the two and what it's gonna do its size down 15 dots between the two. Let's up this to and will hit OK and the specified steps. And then you will select the very bottom point of the larger circle to the very top point of the smaller circle, and you'll see it creates a variability from from small toe large. We could even drag this and create the distance between the steps, and you can also add further steps, or you can even scale this down in the um it slightly effects the scale of all of them, so What I'll do now is all expand this, which creates it into all outlines. And then I'll do the same thing we did before with the other half. 10 and results. I'll do it. Step up just like that and you'll want to get this exact again. I'm doing this just for ease of of the presentation, and then we'll just duplicate these. So you get a stair step. Stair step is key for 1/2 tone because it creates a new um, I basically like a little more, uh, variability and not uniformity. Um, in the half tone. When you zoom out, it looks perfect. So again you'll grab this and bring it into your swatches palette if you like, and then you can create any kind of shape was due a square. You can see that we have our half tone shape. This can be transferred into any shape, will just draw like a quick organic shape like that, the same thing we can add the half tone in and move it around just like that. Okay, so all go over to the poster that we've been working on for Creative Live, and I'll show you real examples of how I used it. So let's go over to the poster, will open up the layers, and I'll go into one of the working layers right here. So here's an example of a live half tone pattern that I created. This was in the swatches palette, and I could change this color to ah, blew that. Sorry, that's a larger one. Um, that's also a larger one. But either way, we can change the scale of this with the till day button as well. We'll change the scale by hitting s and then clicking the till day button. And then we'll click and hit shift and it changes the scale of the half tone pattern. We wanted to make it a little smaller or even a little larger. We'll go down here, Teoh Grady in half town, and what I did in this was I just created a mask so you can actually just go to your half tones. You know, it's a copy of this. Bring it over to the actual file and we can create either a mask out of it or we can drag it over to our swatches palette if it isn't already loaded and make, let's say, a circle with the half tone and will select it and can drag it around and again. We can change the scale by hitting s till day. Click and shift. Or you can actually rotate it by hitting the R button as a short cut the till day and changing it like that. So that's a useful tip as far as changing a pattern scale or or rotating its orientation. Um, right here what I did for this pattern you can actually see when I click it, it's in a alive mask so I can actually change the scale. Live if I want and leave it as is. So hopefully those were helpful for you. Um, it's just a little difficult to work with. Half done dinner illustrator, Um, at this point, and hopefully some of the options will get a little better. Maybe they're already in the works are on the newest version of Creative Cloud. Um, but that's what I do. And hopefully that will be helpful to you.

Class Description

Join us as we go behind the scenes at Mama’s Sauce, an award-winning letterpress and screen printing studio. You’ll hear from both sides - Designer (Clark Orr) and Printer (Hogan Birney) -as they work together to create and screen print a poster.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • What screen printing is and how to design for it
  • Choosing the best paper and ink for the job
  • Best practices for preparing and delivering files to the printer
Hogan Birney has played many roles at Mama's Sauce, from Letterpress printer to Production Consultant, and he'll be your guide through the production process. Clark Orr is a master of screen printing, known for his amazing poster design. He’ll share his process as he creates a poster from concept to final print in Adobe Illustrator. 

You’ll also receive a version of this poster, a how-to infographic, you can print on your own. Interested in designing and screen printing posters but not sure how to get started? This class is for you.


AJ Estrada

Man, I've been waiting for a class/tutorial like this for years. You've both cleared up a lot of confusion that I've had about the this process. Love the final design and colors you went with. More classes please!

Mjose Mab

Hi, I'm Spanish. I would like to know some company that works with silkscreen paper in Europe.Me You can say some european brand. Thank you.

Nataly Belyakova