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Standardizing Separations

(October 2010) posted on Tue Sep 21, 2010

Steps a screen printer can take to standardize production to increase consistency so that time is saved and press set ups can go quickly

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By Thomas Trimingham

The inbound art checklist
Touching a client’s artwork prior to separation is always a careful process. Many printers don’t want the hassle of trying to edit someone else’s work and will send the job out to another vendor, or they will just print whatever they get from their separation software without worrying about it. Problems can be solved if there is a clear set of checks that can be made for each job as it comes in and then the burden of proof is off of the artist/company and it becomes a company policy issue during discussions with the customer as to why the artwork needs some editing.

A part of this is a delicate political discussion with the client and there needs to be some education included, assuming the customer is receptive. The goal is that the client will get a better final product at a lesser cost if art revisions are done prior to separation. An additional aspect of this is the cost of revisions. While many times this cost can be passed on to the client, there is occasionally a decent reason to edit artwork and not even bill the client due to the reduction in colors, the increase in production time, and the overall improvement in the final product that more than pays the company back for spending half an hour on a design before it gets separated.

The steps to creating a checklist for inbound artwork will vary depending on the specific company and the styles of artwork and printing that is commonly handled. As a general rule, the basics can be covered first and then more exacting requirements can be added afterwards to make designs fit into the right category prior to separation.


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