one problem i see here is that you computer/tech heads are working too hard. you think printing is what you guys do on your "magic box" and your desktop printer, etc. it's not that at all. it's a seperate technology that some geeks decided to design some software to vaguely duplicate. real printing is what we are faking with a computer (with prjected spectrums, no less) so, the result is you guys are constantly hitting a thumbtack with a hammer.
my suggestion: learn how to think bonehad, again. start from scratch with printing and go learn from your printer. they KNOW THEIR STUFF. honest. collaborate with them. when it comes to printing, they are the geniuses, and not you. all you need to do is simply remember that offset printing is just one transparent ink layered down one at a time. that's it. the primary spectrum of reflected light (cmyk) is your palette. all the rest is simple line art (including halftomnes - which are simple line art). overlap the shit out of everything to mix up your colors. that's all you need to know to do offset stuff.
and it's really not very much like silkscreening at all.
zach - most of the promo posters i did with record companies had to be made cheaply and in much larger quantities than is economically feasible to do silkscreen (like 3,000 copies of a CHEAPO poster to send out free to record stores and radio stations). sillkscreen becomes too dang expensive after you hit about 500 copies.
these tourblanks were real quick, very CHEAP promo/tour posters to help promote the band and the releases. we did them for a few years and i never really expected them to have an afterlifew like here on gp. they were all limited to THREE colors, and they had to be cmyk offset printing. so, like on this one it was printed in solid ymk (no c). it was cheaper for the printer to simply run it with only three of the primaries on a one-color press than to run it 4color on a 2-color or 4-color press.
to save even more money, they were printed two-up (two different posters for two different bands) on a single 18x24 (1/2 of a parent sheet) size and cut in two to double the size of the indivisual run. we also had a great printer who at the time gave us a great price becausee he was a friend (lance mercer at thingmaker) so, we exploited that system to get the whole thing done as cheap as possible. we did eveything imaginable to cut corners on expense at estrus. when you're broke, you can't solve problems by throwing money at it. you gotta use yer brains and your hands.
i set the colors up as overlays of line art (halftones are line art, to repeat myself). the one problem you have with working mechanicals and then scanning it in to your computer is that the registration between the scanned layers doesn't hold - it won't line up. again, geeks set this sytem up instead of graphic designers. (i know because my girlfriend was one of those geeks who helped set this system up back when it was being established at aldus. you should heare the stories about the battles over how to establish production technology for printing. in the end it was all built by people who really had no idea what real printing was. they faked it and re-named averything and missed a LOT of basics - like registering scanned mechanicals. i wish you could lock the percentage down from one scanned piece to the next. maybe i should talk to my crazy geek friends and see if they can set that programming up for me.
i still work in mechanical and scan it in as line art. no biggie, really. i can still do this poster on a computer with about 1/4 of a brain. think bonehad...
i remember when they had to do a video back in the 80's. they didn't want to. but the label made them do a video, so they just had a video tape of the speaker cabinet while they played the record. excellent!