Turning your piece of art into a print is not as simple as it seems. Getting 100’s of colors using only 6 colors can be quite complicated.
The first step is getting the art, and breaking it down into what process we’re going to use. When we print on white or light colored shirts, CMYK is our best printing method. When it comes to darker colored shirts, Simulated Process is the better option.
Both CMYK and Simulated Process use the same method to create more colors than you actually are using. They use a pattern called Halftone, essentially it’s many tiny dots that make up the image. These dots are printed at different density levels. The different densities of dots is what creates the different shades and tones of colors. At the artworks most saturated level it will have a heavy dot density in order to lay down the most ink there, but if the color is darker or less saturated it will have less dots in order to lay down less ink.
These processes create beautiful prints, from a far you don’t even realize that the print is made up of thousands of tiny dots. Only on close inspection do you see the halftone patterns.
These processes make printing full color artworks possible and gives the customer a print that is almost identical to their original work. I say almost identical because when printing CMYK or Simulated Process artwork is converted from RGB (Digital Colors) to CMYK (Printing colors). This can cause some colors to become desaturated and not as neon or vibrant as the artwork is in a digital format. Although it can cause colors to desaturate or appear less vibrant, the prints still looks incredibly bright and colorful.