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Which software for screen printing?

Question

Which software does one use to prepare artwork for screen printing?

Answer

Different designers will have different opinions but it all comes down to the artwork that you are working with and what kind of results you wish to achieve. This is my black and white version of which software one needs to use when preparing artwork for screen printing.

Shaded/ overlapping colours
Clearly defined lines and colour

Clearly defined lines and colour : Use vector software like Illustrator/ Coreldraw / Freehand to trace/draw images. Follow tutorials on how to trace/ draw using these programs. Vector images can be scaled up or down without any distortion. So you can use the same vector image to print a business card as well as a billboard.

Colours of vector images are easily seperated -eg. the different shades of red and the white flame. Each colour becomes a positive. The print result is crisp and the colours are very accurate

Shaded /Overlapping colours : Use software like Photoshop. Scan/import/open your image in photoshop, convert it to CMYK, check the sizing and send to your printer.

Colours of shaded images/ photos/ scans are divided into process or CMYK positives. You have 4 positives (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). The print and colour results may vary with manual printing. The image and colour forms as a result of printing CMYK, one colour on top of the other.

It is possible to use both vector and photo images in your design. You will learn from your bureau how to set up your artwork and some of you will learn the hard way. Advice……… work with a bureau or printer that is willing to guide you and also always ask if you are unsure.

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