September '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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24 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5 The grass outside the window is reflecting mostly green, while not reflecting (or absorbing) some of the red and blue from the Sun's light. In order to control the light reflected from the surface of our design's paper, digital printers use CMYK toner or inks to produce the printed color image. CMYK represents the colors cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. By combining different combinations of CMYK toner or ink and printing them onto the transfer paper, the color scheme simply subtracts some of the red, green, and blue light being reflected from the paper's surface. The combination of the CMY mixes to- gether to make a warm black. The addition of the black ink or toner helps reduce the amount of colors needed. Another term thrown around in color science and is misun- derstood by many decorators is the color gamut. Although it is not rocket science, it is very important for anyone printing heat transfers (or for that matter any color) to understand the range of colors that your printer can produce. Typically, the range of colors displayed on your computer monitor is greater than the range of color that your printer will produce. The range of colors your printer is capable of producing is known as color gamut. No doubt you have seen one of these color gamut diagrams. It helps you visualize what colors the human eye can see as compared to a computer monitor and printer. It is only important to under- stand that your eye can see a much wider range of color than your computer monitor and your printer is only capable of producing an even smaller range of color. It's also important to remember that whether printing heat trans- fers with one of the new machines or from an older printer, your GRAPHICS HOT SPOT The range in which we can see colors depends on the way we are viewing them; either in RGB as seen on a screen, or in CMYK which is how images are converted for printing. (Im- ages courtesy the author)

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