We have a poster print we're trying to accomplish that's giving us a few headaches..
I've attached a blending simulation of what we're going for. The blends that are produced digitally match exactly what's happening once printed. There is very little variation in the shade of blues in the three simulations, but as you can see, the difference in the blended color is huge! Quite mind-boggling.Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting
The two colors we are to blend are:
Process Cyan + Warm Red to achieve a dark green. Which, in Illustrator works just fine. But, as many of you already know, 'computer cyan' is much, much different than the Speedball cyan straight out of the can. When we overprint the 'warm red' (that has transparent base added to it @ about 15%-25%) on top of the process cyan, we're getting a purple. Which makes total sense.. Blue + Red = Purple.. We've tried lightening up the cyan, which just made the purple lighter in tone. We tried adding more yellow to the warm red, because yellow + blue = green with no luck either. I'm beginning to think it's just the difference between 'computer cyan' and actual cyan ink.
Right, I understand that.. So is there any reason why cyan + warm red make a dark green in illustrator?
They likely are going to change the color scheme completely now.. If we print a light blue background with a 10% transparent black, will we get a dark blue blend? Or should we expect a dark gray? Sorry if that's a terribly easy question to answer, we're new to blending w/ posters!
When you say 'they,' does that mean this is client work? Oof.
Mistake #1: Never get technically in over your head, on client work. If someone asks you to do something and you don't know how, pass on it. If someone comes to you with something that is technically unworkable, you need to have the understanding and confidence to spot it at the start and point out to your client that it ain't going to work the way they think it is. Otherwise, you eat it.
Mistake #2: Illustrator and Photoshop do not and never were intended to model silkscreen ink overlays. They are extremely poor predictors of how inks will behave. Wondering what you're doing wrong with ink, when your print fails to match what happens on your monitor, is ass-backwards.
Mistake #3: You are expecting process ink behavior from non-process inks. Your inks contain opaque pigments which cover up some of the underlying color, no matter how much trans base you add. So when you overlay, you get mud instead of nice rich color blends. Note that the purple you get when you print your red over blue isn't even a nice rich purple, it's a kind of ambiguous chalky purple-brown. This is why.
There is a ton of cool s**t you can do with overlaying non-process inks; I do it all the time. But that's not what you're after here... you want process effects. So use process inks.
To answer your question- printing 10% black over light blue will give you a dull, muddy gray-blue, not a dark blue. Black does not function as a magical color concentrator/enhancer. But don't ask! Experiment and see what happens. Shut down Illustrator and do some print tests.
@Crosshair. I guess we have different ideas of what a mistake is. I call it learning, and for you to say we accepted a job that was way over our head is a false statement. How you can you possibly say it was a mistake without knowing the client's reactions from all of this? They were actually super understanding, and willing to adapt their design to a printable color scheme. It's been a great learning experience for everyone involved.
I wasn't looking for advice on how to run my business. "Pass it on if you don't know how" What kind of attitude is that? If we passed on every job we didn't know how to do, I wouldn't know how to do CMYK prints, or simulated spot process separations/prints, or even basic halftone blending. From starting as a high-school spot color printer, I've came a long way with the attitude, "I'm going to give it a shot, if the client is willing for me to try out a new process with the possibility of failure"
Also, we're primarily a textile printer, and photoshop does a great representation of CMYK process prints w/ blending overlays. Obviously, we're printing wet on wet w/ t-shirts, so it's a completely different process compared to poster printing. Perhaps they weren't ever intended to perfectly match a screen printed blend, but it's a good starting point at least.
All in all,
Thanks for the help. I'm glad I found this forum, I have a lot to learn with poster printing. Hopefully I can shed some light on those who have questions in the textile printing world.
If you have to ask how to do something on a gigposters forum - you probably shouldn't be doing the job - especially if you are offended by the responses. Dan's response was 100% professional and accurate and I PROMISE you, from my stand-point as a professional printer for 4 years, Dan Macadam knows more than you do about printing and about photoshop. And, Richie is right - no combination of blue and red will ever make dark green - even if a computer is telling you so - it is a scientific fact, it should be a no-brainer. You should never rely on a computer to simulate what is done by a human. And, the colors you see on a computer screen are far different from what they are naturally. It is probably in your interest to experiment with blending and/or over-laying colors by hand before you start taking jobs that require your extended knowledge of a technique that involves a lot of practice. Dan isn't giving you advice on how to run your business he's just stating the obvious - you should learn a process before you take a job. NEVER have I had a client say, "oh, you don't know how to do what I want you to? That's cool, why don't you try it the first time during a business transaction?" And, if you don't want people here giving you advice aka help - then don't post a question asking for help. Just the other day, a woman was inquiring about me doing a photo-realistic reproduction print and I, not being skilled enough to do exactly what I think she wants, sent her to Dan Macadam, who does. It's good business and we should all work as a community. Dan has sent work my way before. One hand washes the other.