Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 13

FIGURE 1

Checking Images For Quality

T

here is an interesting side
effect to the expansion of direct
to garment (DTG) printing into
apparel decoration. With the
shortening of order sizes, the
need for faster delivery, and the
increase in the amount of
required orders, the amount
of artwork that needs to be
developed and prepared for digital
printing is dramatically increasing at
the same time. What does this mean?
It can be hard to predict large shifts
in business needs, but it's safe to bet
this will mean one change: artwork
will have to be prepared faster, in
larger quantities, and even automatically whenever possible.
The tough part of managing a large
increase in artwork preparation is
dealing with an enormous variety of
things like resolutions, color modes,
value ranges, and overall qualities.
All of these art variables make it very
difficult to completely remove some
level of human intervention. Although
it's possible to stay "hands off" with a
system that's an internet portal only,
so that whatever they approve is
what they get, this isn't always a great
recipe for providing a customer with
a high-quality, finished product. The
term "garbage in, garbage out" is often
used when there are no quality checks
prior to printing. For those shops that
have a quality or art approval check
in the process, and some human
intervention, it's important to be able
to quickly and efficiently deal with the
backgrounds of digital artwork so
edits or preparations can be made
without taking too much valuable time.
A useful first step in the process of
editing backgrounds is to group edits
into categories. Although there isn't
a system that will always work for
every file, a set of similar steps can
often be helpful in saving time. New
art staff can also be easily trained
using a system approach. Some basic
categories are: Background removal
for RIP/production preparation,
background swapping to replace one

Low Resolution

Low Res - enlarged

Correct Res - enlarged

Edge Quality

Poor edge quality

Good edge quality

Out-of-gamut

Out of gamut distortion

for another, background masking for
composition, and adjusting hue/
saturation or clarity for impact.
GENERAL STEPS TO PRACTICE
Before you go editing a bitmap file's
background, make sure to take a look
at a few basic elements: the resolution
and size of the file, the edge quality of
the graphics, and if the colors in
the image are out-of-gamut for the
printing device. These are all important considerations prior to editing
the image because if you're starting
with a file that isn't the best it can be,
then you will never have a high-quality
result with the final version. It's far
easier to correct overall image problems in the beginning rather than edit
the file and have to backtrack later.
The following are some general
steps to review and then some actions

Adjusted gamut

that can be taken depending on
what challenges your file presents
(see Figure 1):
1. Resolution/file size. If your file is
a scan at a low resolution, or if it's
a screen capture or internet image,
you may be dealing with a low-resolution file. The ideal file for digital
printing has a final printing size of
at least 300 dpi. Although you can
print a lower resolution, the final
product will have some visual fuzziness or clear pixelation. To adjust
the resolution will depend on how
bad it is. You can try resampling the
file, but if that doesn't work you will
have to clean it up, recreate it, or
ask your client to be OK with poorquality printing. At the very least,
it's always a good move to ask your
customer for the highest quality file
possible to start with.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2020

13



Screen Printing - February/March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - February/March 2020

Contents
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - Cover1
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - Cover2
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 1
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - Contents
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 3
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 4
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 5
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 6
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 7
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 8
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 9
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 10
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 11
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 12
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 13
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 14
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 15
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 16
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 17
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 18
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 19
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 20
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 21
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 22
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 23
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - 24
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - Cover3
Screen Printing - February/March 2020 - Cover4
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