Thursday, November 25, 2010

First generation

I was so excited to work on this print when i got the art work. This was my favorite poster art for the movie (it's not the one usually seen). When i started working on the design i noticed it was high resolution and large but this was an oil painting, so there's not much detail, very splotchy brush strokes.

This is another shirt from my collection, it's already been washed over 20 times when i took this pic.
I don't think i'm going to use the flash when taking pics anymore, it washes out all the light colors but you can see more detail in the darkened areas. You can actually see the black ink on a black ground using the flash when taking a picture.
This print is a 10 color index including an underbase, printed wet on wet (flash curing the underbase) from darkest to lightest color with the black printed last.
i added black ink even tho it was printed on a black shirt. I find that with designs like this, the black adds more depth and helps give more tones and detail to the print.

Here's a close up of the print, one picture taken without a flash and the other with. 
You can see the detail in the darkened areas better in the pic using the flash.

The image resolution for the index sep on this was done at 180ppi. we used all 280 yellow mesh and a 200 for the underbase. Halftone dot pattern for the underbase is 55lpi at 21 degrees.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Board of index

This shirt has been worn and washed 20+ times already, we printed this design many months ago and i just took the pictures today. Still trying to figure out the best settings and lighting with this camera i have. I tried a many different settings, here's 3 decent ones .

This was a 10 color Index print including underbase, printed wet on wet, flash curing after the underbase only. Print color sequence was darkest to lightest with Black last.

closer view of the index printed wet on wet

Here's a close ups of the index print, you can see a slight stippled effect.
here you can even see the grain of the shirt

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More then meets the eye

here's an old print from almost two years ago (all the other pics so far were taken at the same time). It's a 9 color Index/Simulated process separation, printed wet on wet (flash cure after the underbase only).

This is the digital separation, originally meant to be printed on a charcoal shirts .
Licenser had us remove the upside down ghost text. Don't have a digital copy of the original test print that i'm showing
The original art was done with a de-saturated artistic effect and lots of transparencies with over lapping elements. looks a bit odd but it turned out pretty good. could have turned out allot better with some fine tuning on the press. The print shop that did these has come along way since then.

full front print 12.1"x17.5"

closer look

close up showing the halftone pattern, the index pattern is not noticeable. 

In this pic you can see there's a slight off registration, the underbase may have moved and is the most noticeable but it looks like several colors are off registration just slightly, allot of color and detail is lost because of that.
slightly too much ink deposit on the grays and light blue causing a muddy print as well. 

One layer at a time

Found some old pics of a shirt being printed from start to finish. This is a 10 color print and the separation was done as a mix of Index and simulated process. Printed wet on wet, flash curing after the underbase only.
missing a few pics of a couple steps

Underbase then flash cured
Light gray
Light bronze
Royal blue then light blue
Close up
Red, top white and black
Metallic silver ink

Close up of the finished print
This print came out alright, most of the colors (especially the grays) were hit a bit hard, too much deposit and several colors are just slightly off registration, still worked out ok

Monday, October 18, 2010

Anatomy of an automatic screen printing press

I thought it would be a good idea to start off by showing an automatic press and break down the tools involved in screen printing a shirt. This will give you some reference for my future posts and give you an understanding of what actually goes into production printing a shirt.
You can see almost all the tools  involved in the following picture.

Thanks to Serigraphie Hitex Inc  for letting me take pics

A) the automatic press powered by hydraulics.

B) Squeegee attached to a press arm, adjusted for pressure, speed and squeegee angle.

C) Hydraulic powered squeegee press arms. These ones have digital options for print and flood stroke speed, everything else is adjusted manually.

D) Screen attached to the press. Registration and micro adjustments to align each impression to each other is done manually.

E) Tshirt on a platen, attached to an arm that rotates around the press. This shirt still has several colors to be printed before it's done and cured through the dryer.

F) Plastisol ink (the most commonly used ink for garment printing) This bucket has metallic silver ink, the last color being used on this print.

G) A screen coated with a light sensitive emulsion, image already burnt creating the stencil, tapped up and ready for the press. (I believe that screen was just cleaned of ink, it's sitting on the wash bin drip drying. At least you can see the burnt image).

H) Adhesive spray gun (being used). The platen is sprayed with a water soluble light adhesive to keep the shirt in place and affixed to the platen while printing.

I) You can't really see it in this pic but just after the underbase is the flash cure unit. I'll try to get a pic for another post when i have the chance.

J) Aluminum screen frames with images already burned and waiting for the press (these have already been used for a print run and are stored for reprints in the near future).

K) Conveyor oven for curing the ink to the garment. The temperature of the oven is usually set at ~320F

Sunday, October 17, 2010

$kills to pay the bill$

"What do you do?"

One of the most common questions people ask when getting to know one another, and I have a hard time answering that question simply and briefly. 
I often give my current job title as the answer, "I'm a color separation artist for textile printing." this is often meet with a smile and a nod. 
(i actually do allot more then that, including; print consulting, art directing for production and training... the list goes on)

The average person doesn't quite know what a 'color separation artist' means and many think that it's fairly simple and not very involving. 
Truth is, for the most part it can be very simple and easy but not if you're in per suite of reproducing the artists original work as accurately as possible (or even making it better in some cases) and making it print and production friendly.
For those curious i often take the time to explain what it is i do in more detail and can talk about this subject for hours. so i figured why not make a blog.

I will be posting allot of my work and critiquing them (i'm my worst critic by far!), explain the processes and print techniques,  in pursuit of educating and perfecting the art form.

I'll also be posting some of my past works and writing some stories relating to my history with screen printing and my love for t-shirt art and design.

I hope you enjoy my posts as much as i enjoy the art of color separations!

Thanks to NTD apparel and HiTex printing for their support