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Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Lesson 6 of 9

Preparing digital files: CreativeLive Poster

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

Poster Design and the Screen Printing Process

Mama's Sauce, Clark Orr

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Lesson Info

6. Preparing digital files: CreativeLive Poster

Lesson Info

Preparing digital files: CreativeLive Poster

Okay, so from here, we're going. Teoh, get the file set up to print. So in silkscreen printing, each color goes down one at a time and it goes lightest from darkest. In this case, right now, we have kind of a lighter orange color and then ah, royal Blue. So that warned would go down first, and then the blue would give down second and last. What you want to do is merge all the the the colors together and then separate them out. So generally you would go into the Pathfinder. Ah, tool And you are palette. And you'd select all of it and then merge everything together. And then that's going to knock out all the other colors. So you can see here that I have this orange color and it's separate from the blue I can select at all and move it out. So now I have my orange and in my blue, and they're on two separate layers. So here's the orange. And then here's the blue. You can see I got a little bit of, uh, 10 tangential lines that we don't really need that we can get rid of. There's one right he...

re and we can kind of kind of clean up. But now you're gonna want to get ready for trapping and color. Trapping is a way to make sure that you don't have hairline gaps in your colors. So when they go down one at a time, the orange would go down. There's another little tangent line, so the orange would go down first, and then the blue good on on top of it. Well, with printing, there's so many different factors. Environmentally, for instance, like if it's really humid outside, the paper will shrink. So will happen is the orange will print, And then while it's drawing, it will shrink just just a hair, and it will create an offset and the colors. So the blue might very well look something like this. If you don't trap first and trapping me as much of a headache as it is, it's one of the more important steps to the process. So I'll give an example of what a what trapping a color would look like. So I'm going to lock the blue layer, and I'm gonna make sure that this orange undercuts the blue. So select this orange and scale it in. So what I have right now is this. Orange gets printed underneath, so the blue compensates for any separation between the inks. That might happen, and you need to do this to all of the colors again. It's kind of a headache, but it's a necessary thing to do if you're trying to get a a perfect print when you're separating in colors, there's gonna be times where it's gonna be a lot easier to do than others. And an example of this is right right here on the highlight of this lamp. So since the oranges underneath the blue, it's easy just to scale this out like that. And there's a couple ways you brought do that, but is the quickest one for me. So as you can see, the over print of the blue covers over the orange where it starts to get a little tricky is when it's when the lighter color isn't surrounded by, uh, let's say, the blue, the darker color. So like right here what I will do as I'll grab these anchor points and drag them in. I'll make sure Teoh, make this a greens. You can see it a little easier So as you can see, the orange is underneath the blue, and that's gonna cover over any areas where there might be, Ah, hairline space between all of the things. So you're gonna need to be really thorough about doing this. But once you're ready to separate the files for print, um, the printer will give you the go ahead Teoh to send the files over. Okay, so now that we have all our colors trapped, we're gonna g o into separating the files or the, uh, separating the colors in the file. Um, so you'll see that I have the orange on one layer and then the blue on the second layer. All, um, hide the blue color. So right here. This is going to be printed out on film toe. Create a stencil on a on actual silkscreen when these get printed there made black, which you can either the printer would probably prefer that you have the color as is, um and you call out the ink file in the layer, so this would be created in its own SEC. Separate documents all select both both layers. Here. Copy these and create a new file. So this is gonna be 18 by then all post paste them into the new file and then group them. So now I can move the blue color if I need Teoh or the orange, and what we're gonna do now is pick the Pantone colors. These may not be the final colors that we end up going with, but for sake of reference, I'll pick a color from from the set. So this is your Pantone uncoated color set, and I try and match pretty close to the color on screen because it's about what I want. So let's say that we're going to G o with Pantone 13 75. What I want to do is create a layer, um, the orange layer. We want to call it Pantone 13 75 you, which means uncoated. So when the file is sent to the printer, they know what in color to go with. And you can also call that out the email that you might send to them. So now we're gonna hide the orange color. Now we're going to select The blue Blue is notoriously ah, weird color to pick from Pantone. For some reason, it's just hard toe to select what we want here. Um, but let's go with Pantone 300. You for this blue, You can see the intern 300 we'll call it out in the file here, hand 10 300. You all right? So now this is ready to save off, and we will call it creativelive poster artwork in Call it whatever you want. Obviously, Um, sometimes I'll call it separations if I send out separate files, The colors separately. But more likely than not, a printer is actually gonna want everything together so they can create the registration marks and that the trim lines from there. So now you're ready to send off your file, and from now, you would probably want to call your printer if you haven't already or email them toe, figure out some of the logistics as far as if you want a specialty color. For instance, if instead of the orange we wanted, like, a metallic gold or we wanted to do some kind of, uh, you know, odd color or something add something in the file. They may be able to dio, um, second secondary to that, um, we want to start thinking about poster paper. Uh, we have this French French paper Swatch booklet here. I've been working on a white background on this, uh, just for sake, a sake of these so I can see things a little easier. See what it might look like without the variable of a poster. But you can actually get a French paper dot com and you can actually pull swatches from their library. You can create a swatch library or add this watch library to your illustrator file often. What what a lot of designers will do is they'll create a poster size so like 18 by 24 color to put um in the background just so they can get an idea of a mock up. So let's say we want to do like a cream color just for reference. This is what it might look like, so we get the variability. So it's not just a stark white, which would be that, so from here, you'd you'd really want to call your printer and kind of key in on the key things, which would be your your paper color, your paperweight and your ink colors.

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