View Full Version : Color Separation

11 November 2003, 05:55 AM
What is "black and white color separation?"

I have a client asking for their files in that manner. Please help, as this request is for a close deadline, and out of the blue.


Ian Jones
11 November 2003, 06:32 AM
Ok... well I'm also a little confused by that request. What I think they are looking for is a printout of each colour channel. Except instead of printing them out in colour you just print a b&w laser print to show ink coverage of each seperate channel. It's just a guess, to be sure you really need to ask your client.

Oh... and btw. It really is a lot safer in the long run just to tell a client you don't understand what they are asking for. A breakdown in communication is a potential loss of money and leads to unneccesary stress on both parts. Don't make a name for yourself as a bullshitter. Reputation really does count.

11 November 2003, 10:13 AM

Read PS help file as well. There's a lot of info on color separation there. Check under "Producing Consistent Color (Photoshop)".

11 November 2003, 02:51 PM
Ian's right. They're basically asking for printouts of the CMYK separations which are each in black and white.

11 November 2003, 03:57 AM
You better make sure you know what the client wants. Depending on the seps need are they to be in positive or negative format. CMYK is not necessary if you a "spot" colors. Basically, if your colors are basic colors readily available without CMYK, you need a separate image for each color. If the client is going to press, you better be sure of what dpi resolution they expect. Your client may not even know, you might have to talk to whoever is planning on using the seps.

There is a nice plugin for photoshop for creating seps from your work. It was designed for silkscreeners, but it may help you. Go to

The plugin will run for 20 days, after you need to choke up $1000.
The plugin is amazing and gives you several differ separation outputs automatically.

Another problem, will certain colors need chokes or spreads...sounds sort of kinky? Seriously, these are requirements need be certain types of medium.

I was glad to trade the whole print output problems for screen resolution, color bleeding and rendering problems.

11 November 2003, 04:13 AM
One more thing. Are you supposed to give them paper or film output. Most people asking for seps want them "camera ready" Paper from you injet or laser printer will not cut it. You may have to deal with a Service Bureau. They do this sort of stuff. It cost, so you better make sure your client is footing the bill. Unless, of course, you are only giving them digital separations not a hard copy. Philly should have plenty of service bureaus, its a hopping town. Drop me an email if you have problems. I'll try to help you.

What goes around comes around:thumbsup:

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