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Another Perspective on Print-Color Sequence

(September 2007) posted on Thu Sep 27, 2007

An article we featured in July about an experiment to determine the best color order for process-color screen printing drew an insightful response from master printer Michel Caza. Learn what he sees as the key factors for getting the most accurate and intense colors out of a four-color inkset.

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By Michel Caza

My compliments to Tricia Church and the other individuals involved in the color-order experiment she reported in “The Print Sequence Project,” (Screen Printing, July ’07, p. 40). I found it to be an excellent article and thank her for recognizing my contributions to the research. However, I believe three points need to be stressed concerning halftone printing in general: 1. Print sequence is only one of 120 parameters—90 of which are variables—that must be mastered to achieve accurate and repeatable results in halftone screen printing. 2. Dot gain and loss are inevitable in halftone screen printing. The key is to know exactly what those losses and gains will be and to compensate by adjusting films or making tonal-density changes through the RIP of a CTS system. 3. The future of high-quality screen printing does not rest in halftones of 85 lines/in., but in halftones of 150-200 lines in. The awards that I, and many of my students, have received in screenprinting competitions have been for 150-, 200-, and even 300-line/in. work with stochastic dots as a small as 14 microns in diameter.

We repeated the experiment conducted by the team at Swansea during a workshop I conducted at the Durubhai Mistry Institute, a screen-print-training center in Mumbai, India (“Magic Moments at the DMI,” FESPA World, Summer ’07, p. 54). We focused on all the parameters for effective halftone printing with a process-color image that incorporated 150-line/in. halftones. We decided that, in addition to my usual sequence, we would print some of the other sequences suggested by researchers at Swansea to explore their effectiveness with very high-resolution halftones.


Print sequence

Church correctly pointed out in her article that the two sequences I commonly use are CMKY (Caza a) and KCMY (Caza b). However, there are notable exceptions. For example, with high-resolution (200-line/in.) images of cosmetics, luxury items, and fashion goods, I will print MCKY. I generally use CMKY for P-O-P images (produce, fast food, etc.) and KCMY for landscapes and images from nature.


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