How to Separate a 5 Spot Color Screen Print in Adobe Illustrator with Printing Results

How to Separate a 5 Spot Color Screen Print in Adobe Illustrator with Printing Results


Hi it’s me I’m going to show you how to
separate a five pillar spot process job and illustrator stay tuned coming up let’s dive right into this tutorial
right Apollo I’m going to go ahead and open up my t-shirt registration template
which by the way you guys can purchase check out our link down in the
description we have that available for ten bucks I’m gonna open this up and we
are going to start separating our art I have it copied into my clipboard I am
going to make this 10 inches wide you just go up here to the top I’m gonna hit
enter and I’m gonna drag this dude up just a little bit I’m going to group it
real quick I just hit command G or ctrl G for you PC users out there and I’m
gonna use my line tool which if you don’t have your line tool you can go to
window a line that will bring it up and there goes Apollo in the background
which is quite appropriate for this piece of art the next thing I am going
to do is I’m going to bring my registration marks and my center line
and then we’re going to dive into the meat and potatoes of what everyone is
tuning in for and that is separating this piece of art out and this is going
to go on a red shirt and I’ll show you how that the actual print comes out once
I’m finished separating it printing out film and exposing screens getting
everything set up on press initially looking at this looking at the kind of
wood is a cardinal red and then this black here generally if the ink color is
darker and then the color of the shirt will not put any kind of white underbase
underneath that but the yellow and and the white we definitely will first thing
I’m going to do is I’m just going to hit command shift and G just to completely
ungroup this piece of art once I have my artwork ungrouped I’m going to go over
to my Pathfinder and I am going to hit divide and now what
that will do is just kind of break everything up into its own separate
colors and what I’m going to do is hit a on the keyboard and I think the first
thing I’ll do let’s just go ahead and start with our black I’m just going to
zoom in I just hit command and the the the spacebar spacebar first and then
command space bar gives you your hands so you can drag things around so I’m
gonna hit a on the keyboard and I’m going to select the black and then I’m
going to go up here to select and then same in fill color so that will select
all of my black within this artwork and to zoom out like that guys just space
bar command and option your option keys will allow you to zoom in or zoom out so
at this point what I’m going to do so I’m going to hit command X and just keep
in mind anytime I say command if you’re on a PC and just hit control what I did
is I basically cut out my black so I’m gonna hit command F just to paste that
right in the same place and command F is the paste in front now I’m going to go
over to my Pathfinder window here in hit unite and what that will do is make that
all one objects that way I can grab this and move it around and I’ll show you why
I’m doing this here in a little bit so the next thing I’m going to do is select
my my cardinal red because this art does already have some spot colors I’m just
going to delete these for the sake of this demonstration I’m going to hit yes
and then we’ll sign our own spot colors forget too far ahead of myself let’s go
ahead and this is already a black that’s fine we’re gonna go over to what I
consider a cardinal red slag same and fill color hit command X to cut that and
then command F to paste it in front and then I’m gonna go down to my Pathfinder
and I’m going to unite that color once again making it into its own shape its
own group shapes that way there’s not separate objects we can drag this around
after that I’m going to go ahead and select my yellow and we’ll do the
same thing same and then fill color and we’re going to hit unite once more and
again that just makes it its own little just fill color here and it looks like
for whatever reason it grabs a white so let’s back that up for a second here
unless I hit the the wrong keyboard command here let’s try that one more
time we’ll select a yellow same fill color there we go we’ll unite it just
want to make sure that it is just our yellow and whatever reason it’s winning
to grab that white no big deal so let’s just go ahead and grab that white well
we’ll get it out of there select same and then fill color and then we’ll cut
it command F and then we’ll unite that now we have our white separate we got
our yellow excuse me that there’s a black that is dragged over but you get
the idea here’s the the yellow so at this point we have everything completely
separated and what I am going to do is I’m gonna just select my black my yellow
I’m gonna hold down shift I’m gonna grab my cardinal red and then my white as
well what I’m going to do is I’m just going to completely cut everything out
is artwork I’m gonna hit command a just to make
sure there’s nothing behind it and even hit command Y there’s nothing there
sometimes what will happen is we did divide and you actually divide all these
colors up there can’t be a little pieces in there that will actually fill your
fill in places that you don’t want filled up so we’re good on that front
hit command F paste it right back where it’s at now we’re gonna sign it some
spot colors let’s go ahead and do the yellow first the yellow is just fine to
start with and now that I’m looking at it once I’m grabbing my yellow you can
see that there is all this extra artwork there so we’re gonna leave that
for lassen we’ll fix that and that’s kind of what I was talking about let’s
go ahead and do a cardinal red and I’m gonna sign it a spot color just like so
I got to do is go up to color type select spot color hit okay now hanging
tells the spot colors it has this little dot here if spot color wasn’t a sign it
was just processed you’ll see that little dots gone but we want to make
sure it is a spot color and I’m just double clicking on this little icon I’m
gonna hit okay our black we’re just letting the black be it’s its own
natural black part of the CMYK black and then our white we are going to make a
what I would call a highlight white or a white top and we’ll make sure it’s just
seeing YK for the heck of it we might add just a touch a cyan to it and I’ll
show you why here in a moment and we’ll select spot color let’s call this white
top sometimes we you make these colors you kind of need to change it up like
say for instance we make this yellow a yellow spot then it’s gonna just kind of
contradict what the program thinks is naturally has its own yellow CMYK in
there so if if you try to make a new color it will tell you that it won’t
allow you just to call it yellow so in this case let’s call it white top all
right so we gave it just a little bit of cyan
we’re gonna hit okay and we got our little spot color here with our little
dot in it okay so we have our yellow to take care of just for a moment here what
I am going to do is I’m gonna take my red my cardinal red my white and my
black as well let’s just go up to our layers we’ll make a new layer
I’m gonna hit command X select layer seven or we can call this will just call
it colors for at command F pastes it in front and
we’re going to turn those off real quick now we’re gonna hit command Y which is
our outline preview and you can see there’s all kinds of things going on
here that we just do not want there sit command why we’re gonna kind of
toggle this on and off and you can see where there’s just stuff that we if we
were to say for instance let’s just go ahead and wait command Y again to get
back to our normal preview we select this this yellow let’s just pull it
aside and we assigned us a color because at
the moment it’s got a little bit of a question mark so let’s just say we made
it that red you can see that we filled all this stuff in that we don’t
necessarily want so I’m gonna hit command Z just to undo and turn my
colors off let’s see if we can just grab this yellow without the rest of that
junk in there so I’m gonna select the yellow again select same fill color and
let’s see if it doesn’t grab everything else that was within this piece of art
that’s not part of the yellow I’m gonna hit command
oh just 2 or 0 just to kind of get the overall view and that accidentally hit
some so that way I do selected it but let’s do the same thing fill color ok so
now we have just our yellow selected finally we’re gonna command X and then
I’m gonna hit command a now we have the rest of that that we don’t need and we
can finally get rid of it I’m gonna hit command F to paste it in front and then
we’re gonna go down to our Pathfinder and we’re just going to unite that so
that way we have one shape now we can finally go ahead and if you see here
there’s no question mark when go ahead and hit our new swatch and we’ll call
this yellow spot and just for demonstration sake I’ll just keep it
yellow and hit OK you see what it says the name cannot be used for a spot color
because it was reserved for process plates so we’re gonna hit OK so we’ll
call it yellow spot or you can call it whatever you want golden yellow it
actually is kind of a golden yellow so let’s just call it golden yellow so
that’s what we’ll end up using on the press anyways
and we will make sure and maybe bad we want to make sure that it’s selected a
spot color we’re gonna hit okay so there we go we have that all we’re not
completely finished but we finally are getting to a point towards where we can
now make our white underbase and with our white underbase I’m just going to
take my my yellow again with our black and our cardinal red because it is
darker than actual color of the shirt we really just will need to make the
under base for the yellow and then the white so I’m gonna select those two and
tell you what let’s do this I’m gonna hit command a that way I select all of
them select my art layer command F just to paste it in place and then let’s drag
down the colors layer and we’ll just make this our white base layer you can
even do this all in the same layer as long as you move the the white base
behind everything this just kind of makes it a little easier if you guys are
new to separating your own artwork so I’m gonna hit command a I’m gonna copy
that and then I’m going to turn off my art layer and then go down to my white
base layer command F so that way we’re pasting it in the same place and I’m
gonna get rid of the colors I don’t need to back up with the white base so I’m
gonna delete this black and then I’m going to delete the cardinal red and so
these are the two colors were left with that we need to do a white base with the
first thing I’m going to do the easiest thing is my white because I can
practically just take this wide and we’ll just
we’re gonna make a new spot color immediately is what we’re gonna do and
we’ll just call this white base or you can call it just base if you want to I’m
gonna give it just a little bit more cyan and I’ll show you why here in a
moment make sure it is color type is spot color and we’re gonna hit OK and
you can see it’s a little bit darker of a blue and as I mentioned I’m going to
show you guys why here in a moment now next thing we’re going to do is we’re
going to take this yellow we’re going to essentially just assign it that same
white base here now here’s where the the real magic is going to start happening
I’m gonna go up to my layers turn on my art layer I’ll just turn off my white
base for a moment at this point I do just want to mention that if you guys do
not have Adobe Photoshop or illustrator use our link down in descriptions that
way you can get a subscription to it it’s no different than if you were to go
over to Adobe Illustrator or Adobe comm and purchase you purchase it yourself
essentially this will kick a little bit of a commission or a ways that way we
can continue to make awesome tutorial videos such as these for you now moving
on I turn my white base off I’m going to want to put a little bit of a spread on
this yellow that way when you’re on press and you have your white and you
have to have perfect registration if you’re gonna try and not put any kind of
spread or choke on your base in this case I I’m going to do a little bit of a
spread on the yellow that way we’re not losing any of these small details here
and we’re just going to put a little bit of a stroke on the yellow just enough to
kind of spread it out and we got a little bit of wiggle room with our
registration because we all know that screen printing machines presses
whatever you want to call them aren’t exactly a perfect thing we’re going to
take this yellow and then we’re going to add an outline to it right
you’re my swatch palette I’m going to just put a stroke on it and I think this
might be just a touch too much of a stroke for me personally you can reduce
it back just a little bit I’m going to go with 0.5 although if your press is a
little loose and you’re having a hard time registering things I would suggest
going with a one-point but I’m gonna go with five-point because I feel pretty
comfortable with my registration and how the press holds registration the next
thing we are going to do is with our white top here and then our yellow we’re
going to go over to our attributes and if that’s not showing up just go to
window and then attributes and pull that up we’re going to click on over print
fill and over print stroke and essentially what over print is with
Adobe Illustrator is it allows you to have a white base color such as this and
then have the colors directly sitting on top of that and it will print out those
pieces of film rather than completely knocking it out so if you didn’t have
over print selected your white base would not print where the yellow and the
white is now the next thing we can do just to kind of verify that everything’s
cool is we’re gonna go over to our separations preview palette here or
window same thing window separations preview you can click over print preview
and now if we zoom in on our yellow you can see that little bit of spread that
we do have going on within our attributes we don’t have over print
selected it’s just going to knock that yellow out rather than the the black
over printing on top of that yellow so those will have to be butted up pretty
nicely and you’re not going to get any kind of blurring with those edges so
that the black is gonna be nice and crisp right up next to that yellow and
how we would end up printing this is we may do the black just
right after a white base but you will see once we we get on press how this
ends up working out or you can see just exactly how we’ve got a little bit of a
spread here we got our over print going on and then with our white we’re pretty
much just kind of printing that white right on on top of the white because we
don’t really need to choke it back any if you’re having a little bit of an
issue with doing two separate whites because that’s how we prefer to do
things even if it’s just a one color thing a lot of times we’ll have a white
underbase ins and a white top and sometimes with your your white top what
you can do it’s just put a little bit of a white stroke on it and then just
really make that a pretty fine white stroke and it’ll give you a little bit
more wiggle room but in this case I’m not too worried about it so we’re just
gonna leave it just as it is here and that is pretty much it aside from we’re
just going to hit command P we’re gonna send it to our Epson 1430 one of the
things you do want to keep an eye out for is we have 1319 selected going to
our accurate accurate to our Epson 1430 and then in our output you definitely
want to make sure that separations are selected and when you go to print your
separations that the only thing that is going to print are the spot colors that
you have assigned in this case we have five colors we have our process black
our cardinal red or golden yellow our white base and our white top and we’ll
end up printing this with our white base more likely our black then our cardinal
red or yellow and then our white top we’ll see once we get everything all set
up so at this point we are ready to go ahead and print our film and just as a
real quick tip if you do have some colors sitting here in the process cyan
magenta or yellow say for instance I’m just going to do an example and let’s
make this color here well we’ll just make
a new color and we’ll make sure there’s no black in there and we have some other
colors going on we’ll make sure that we got some of those CMYK colors going on
now if we go to our over print preview if we turn CMYK off looks like I
probably still have okay so that let me switch that out get rid of this actual
spot color that I had assigned to it okay so now back to the example I turn
on my my CMYK you can see that here’s my colors that I’ve just created and turn
on your over print preview you can turn off all your all your spot colors and it
will kind of show you where your you have something that doesn’t have a spot
color sign as I gradually turn all these things off you see everything starting
to disappear and we still see the cyan and magenta even if I turn to cyan off
my cyan is gone budget magenta is gone and my yellow so this will actually let
allow you to go back and assign this some sort a spot color and you can
sculpt your swatches and let’s say this needed to be black we just hit black you
have to excuse me that that’s on the stroke but let me click my fill we hit
black and now it disappeared because we have our black turned off I turn my
black on there it is right there the film I’m using for this project is a
pretty inexpensive film that’s about fifty cents each
I’ll leave a link down in the description where you guys can find this
we’re going to burn these screens set everything up on press and then show you
how this all comes out the screens that we’re using for this job are 230 mesh
screens for the colors and then that’s even including the white top for the
under base we’re going to use a 195 mesh just like so and the emulsion we’re
using for the 230 mesh is a TZ emulsion and for the white base we’re using
yalena orange and i’ll leave a link down to that and i’ll leave a link down into
the kidney i’ll leave a link down in the description where you can find the
emulsion that we are using right here we are on press it’s hot outside we are on
what is probably the I know it’s well over 200 shirts I’ll show you so here
are the shirts that we are running off there’s a another case down here ready
to go but what I’m going to show you is how well this separation method works
I’m going to show you what it looks like on press alright so here’s how the print
is looking we got our white base flattening screen then we’re doing our
cardinal red here is our yellow we are flashing after the yellow just
nice and sharp then we’re doing our black and our white right after the
black go ahead and hit the foot though so here is a close-up of how the print
is looking a white spot on along with our black registration those two are
being printed wet on wet and the edges are nice and crisp you can kind of see
our spread a little bit on the yellow however what you mainly see is what it’s
being backed up by though the white base nice looking pretty awesome here’s another close-up off of the press
you can see just how smooth that white base is using that flattening screen
I’ll type the the registration is there’s not a whole lot of learning
going on where we’re printing our colors wet on wet with a white with our
cardinal we are over printing the yellow on top of that but you can still see the
Cardinal through it again here you can see just that little
bit of spread right there and it just kind of helps trap everything so that
way you don’t have to you got a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to your
registration and also for any kind of tolerances on your press where it might
shift from pallet the pallet thanks for tuning in i really appreciate it i hope
this was educational helpful for you guys i hope it kind of helps you along
the way in separating your artwork be sure to check out our next video coming
up how to separate a job in adobe photoshop and that way you can get your
screen print on and we’ll see you guys next time

12 thoughts on “How to Separate a 5 Spot Color Screen Print in Adobe Illustrator with Printing Results

  • August 16, 2019 at 3:17 pm
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    Be sure to subscribe and ding the bell because we will be releasing and episode on how to separate a spot color job in Adobe Photoshop…

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 3:43 pm
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    I watched the video just to see how you did the base. Been doing all my seps manually in PS and 99% of the time choke the base. Recently got accurip so wanted to see how do go about it. This was great. I love the attribute overprint thing. That makes it a lot easier. It’s usually hard as shit to choke or spread and still have butt reg where it meets other colors. If that makes sense.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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    Thank you Mikey design. Very helpful tutorial.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 7:27 pm
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    Can you package the reg template and the mockup for a savings deal? Maybe both for $23 or $25 bucks?

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 8:53 pm
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    Matt, another great video, but to be honest I am going to have to watch it a few time because of all the going back and forth with the white and yellow problems, it got a little confusing for me.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 2:40 am
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    Did I miss the link to the film?

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm
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    Why are you cutting and pasting in front before you unite? I can't see any reason to do that, unless I'm missing something. Also, after I unite I like to ungroup and make compound path. Another tip, I have an illustrator template set up with layers like you and I also made spot color swatches for all my stock colors. This saves a lot of time creating spot color swatches every time. I also make a layer for background color and lock it once I have a backgriund set and make a spot color for garment color. I also have a spot color swatch called base white and another one called highlight white. I make the highlight white slightly cyan so I can distinguish it whilecworking.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 6:55 pm
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    Matt, Thank you so much man! I've done about 40 separations over the last 6 months and was starting to get very comfortable with it. But when I saw your video pop up I just knew I'd find something I didn't know. ATTRIBUTES – OVERPRINT FILL / STROKE dood! I've always wondered how I could do this. I had been putting my underbase on a separate layer and printing it by itself with the art not visible, now I don't have to do that anymore! You da man! keep it up!

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 8:14 pm
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    What printers would you recommend for anyone wanting to print their own films that’s new to screen printing?

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 9:21 pm
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    Mikey Designs & Silk Screen …Do you think a 4 colour 4 station press… thinking Riley Hopkins Junior… is ok for a start up….or would it be better to spend more for the 6 colour 4 station ?
    Do you get more 6 colour jobs than 4 colour … or is that a stupid question.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 11:27 pm
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    Mikey Designs & Silk Screen … would you choose to use Illustrator over Seperation Studio for any particular reason … are there times one is better than the other… which one it's easier to use.
    Thanks…. I loved the video… and the end result was excellent.

    Reply
  • August 20, 2019 at 2:55 pm
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    Will your template support Photoshop, and Corel Draw as well

    Reply

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