Color Separations in Photoshop


Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. Aaron and Terry welcome Thomas Trimingham to the show where he shared his tips and tricks for creating color separations in screen printing. He is going to go in depth on how to create screen printing color separations in Photoshop and on our Live YouTube broadcast, you can actually see the process happen. We’ll also chat with Thomas about his Corel Draw and other items that will make your a complete screen printing artist.

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Color Separations in Photoshop

Introduction: Thomas Trimingham has been working in screen printing for more than 22 years as an industry consultant, freelance artist, and high-end separator. He is an award-winning illustrator, designer, and author of more than 140 articles on screen printing art and separations. Thomas has worked, consulted, and trained all size screen printing shops from small family-owned businesses to some of the largest printers in the nation. He can be reached through his site at:

Terry: Tom, walk us through the process of creating a screen printing separation.

Quick breakdown of Color Separations:

  1. review the art file for resolution – edge quality – color gamut – and outside border (separate from background?)
  2. prep or adjust art file if necessary – including separate from background
  3. create sep file – resize if needed
  4. duplicate and create underbase file
  5. duplicate and create CMYK source channels
  6. Import these files to master sep file
  7. define color channels – place in print order
  8. pull colors using curves, color range, and/or manual selections
  9. test color stacking – extract and/or adjust colors
  10. create black keyline (if applicable) and high white
  11. bump underbase under hot colors
  12. save and/or output sep file

Aaron: Tom, can you share with our listeners a little bit about your CorelDraw training program?

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View Color Separations in Photoshop Video

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