T-Shirt printers use specialised graphics software to prepare graphics for silkscreen printing. Many full colour files arrive in the shop as Red Green Blue pixel-based images (RGB). They present a challenge to T-shirt printers, who need to create colour separations that will screen print successfully. Several software programs are available to specifically execute this task. Additionally, a variety of vector-based and pixel-based graphics programs offer great tools for solving the problem of preparing designs for T-shirt printing.
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Easy Art Software
Easy Art software is produced by Wilfex ink manufacturers as a colour-separation and graphic-design tool. This software is a plug-in program that works with Adobe Photoshop. The program creates colour separations in the spot colour channels in Photoshop, making it easy for screen printers to output films. Easy art recommends which order to print colours in, along with ink formulas. Underbase white separations are automatically created for printing colour on dark fabric. Colour separation options include index colour, simulated process colour and spot colour. The price for a download is £194, with a CD version available for £259.
Spot Process VueRite
Spot Process VueRite is a colour-separation and adjustment program with features specific to screen printing on T-shirts and garments. The programs creates colour separations from images in a TIF format in the RGB colour mode. It is a stand-alone program that works on its own. Tonal images can be adjusted with ease in the Spot Process program. Colour-separated images are completed in seconds, and tools are featured for adjusting the colour within each channel. The final look of a multiple colour T-shirt print can be accurately previewed on the computer screen. Underbase and overprint white channels are created. There are three options for black ink printing, and colour merging tools. Spot Process VueRite software is available as a download for £451.70
Adobe Illustrator is the leading illustration and logo creation program that produces vector-based graphics that may be scaled to any size without a loss of resolution. T-Shirt art is easy to create and separate using the drawing, type, shape and colour tools inside Illustrator, and each colour can be easily selected to print to film as a spot colour. Continuous tone images such as photos may be imported into illustrator to be combined with other graphics. Illustrator files may also be exported to Adobe Photoshop and output to film from the channels palette. Adobe Illustrator is available for £389.30.
Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard program for pixel-based image editing. Art, logos and graphics may be created and edited in Photoshop. T-Shirt printers can create colour separations for film output in the channels palette in Photoshop, or may create process colour film by selecting the colour in the print dialogue box. Screen angles and dots per inch for process films can be manually set. Photoshop does not automatically create underbase white channels, but they can be created manually. Adobe Photoshop is available for £454.3.
Raven Vector Editor is a free online design tool that can be used to create fully scalable art and design in the vector format. T-Shirt designs and logos are easy to execute in Raven.
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