February '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Color Control Through Process Control u Advanced How to achieve consistent color on process-color prints by Joe Clarke I n the time it takes you to read this article, between 27 and 35 pre-press mavens will have just sent files and films, perhaps even a proof to production with no guarantee if they will work or not. But the press operator is expected to muster all his wit and wisdom to ensure a quality process-color print even if the films won't work. Dare the operator challenge the files and films, the retorts are most often; "we've always done it this way" or "they worked on that job we did for The NBM Show" or, worse, "this is how we were taught." Ironically, some press operators insist Joe Clarke entered the screen-printing industry more than 25 years ago. After operating his own shop, holding top executive positions with some of the industry's biggest manufacturers and establishing a successful career as an independent consultant, Clarke is now a principle in Clarke Product Renovation offering optimized product designs. He contributes feature articles on textile screen printing exclusively to Printwear. Reach him at there are to be no color bars, or gray or dot gain scales around the perimeter of an image as it "takes too long to tape 'em off." So… four pieces of tape on each screen, should we say an absurd one-minute per strip? We're talking 16 minutes total for a CMYK job versus the one to 16 hours they are willing to waste unaware the images they were given can't be converted to the images they are tasked to print. Sound familiar? Let's see if we can't make a more sensible path to process-color printing. The press must be in spec in order to ensure consistency. (Images courtesy Lon Winters, 58 | Printwear PW_FEB13b.indd 58 February 2013 1/21/13 11:21 AM

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