Separations Type:      

The act of decomposing a color graphic or photo into single-color layers. For example, to print full-color photos with an offset printing press, one must first separate the photo into the four basic ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). Each single-color layer is then printed separately, one on top of the other, to give the impression of infinite colors.

This type of color separation, mixing three or four colors to produce an infinite variety of colors, is called process color separation. Another type of color separation, called spot color separation, is used to separate colors that are not to be mixed. In this case, each spot color is represented by its own ink, which is specially mixed. Spot colors are effective for highlighting text but they cannot be used to reproduce full-color images.  Typically, separations are put on film, and the printing plates or screens are made from the film.

Check out some interactive examples below.

  Spot Color Separations:      

In offset printing, a spot color is any color generated by an ink (pure or mixed) that is printed using a single run.  When making a multi-color print with a spot color process, every spot color needs its own lithographic film. All the areas of the same color are printed using one film, and then the next film will have a different image to correctly print the next color.


To see an example of a Spot Color Separation Click on Start Seps.


This is a process of choosing a few colors to represent millions of colors that built up an image or design. It breaks down millions of colors into a few colors that BEST represent an image when they are printed back together on a t-shirt.

  Index Color Separations:          

Choosing the best set of colors is extremely crucial in order to produce an excellent print. The more colors allowed the better an image looks. 12 index colors image looks twice as smoother than a 6 index color image. Index color separation converts a design/image into a Diffusion Dither random pixel pattern that almost totally keep you away from the moiré pattern
To see an example of a Index Color Separation Click on Start Seps.

  CMYK Color

Cyan, magenta, and yellow are the three main pigments used for color reproduction. When these three colors are combined in printing, the result should be a reasonable reproduction of the original, but it is not. Due to limitations in the ink pigments, the darker colors are dirty and muddied. To resolve this, a black separation is also created, which improves the shadow and contrast of the image.


To see an example of a CMKY Color Separation Click on Start Seps.

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