Color separation is the process of identifying different colors for printing. It is utilized to print multi-color images. Modern printing machines are well-capable to analyze and separate multi-color layers in an image automatically, but still, color separation services are used widely. For printing real-life images or vector graphics manually instead of using automated printers, the pre-press companies use separate screens for each color and here separation of color occurs. The color separation experts apply different colors carefully to create a perfect blend and thus, try to achieve the desired colorful products.
Color separation is a service for the pre-press and print industry. Before print out of any colorful image, the print companies separate the colors of the image into four basic colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). They create separate screen plates for color mixture. Every single color is printed separately one on top of another color to create an infinite variety of colors. It is often called process color separation. Spot color separation is applied where there is no need for multiple colors, especially basic colors.
However, four types of color separation are commonly used for screen printing-
The process color separation method is used for printing with CMYK colors. The four basic colors are applied to print multi-color product images and real-life images. Process color separation is done by placing halftone dots on any surface.
Spot color is the most commonly used color separation method. It is applied mainly to the apparel products to print out a single color logo, artwork, etc. Vector-based software like Adobe Illustrator is used for spot color separation jobe done.
It is often called fake CMYK and channel separation. Though this method produces the appearance of process color, the separation is completed by applying spot colors. It covers all major hues. Simulated-process color separation is performed in software like Photoshop.
Index color separation is performed for pattern and artwork print. So, halftone dots are used to create a random pattern that is referred to as stochastic. It results in quality image printing.
A lot of online and offline tools are used for color separation. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc. are mostly used. To separate color from raster or real-life images, the graphic designers use Adobe Photoshop and for color separation from vector graphics, the photo editing personnel use Illustrator and Corel Draw.
Now here we are going to show a tutorial for color separation in Photoshop.
Step 1: open a multi-color image in Photoshop for color separation.
Step 2: Assume the number of colors and take the blank layer accordingly.
Step 3: Take the Eye-Dropper tool from the left toolbar; click on a color from your image, go to Select from the top panel, hit on Color Range, and click on OK. Color will be selected.
Step 4: Now click on a blank layer and press Alt + Backspace from your keyboard. You can see the color on that you clicked with eye-dropper has got copied on the blank layer. To check, hide the main image layer.
Step 5: To deselect, press Ctrl + D. In this way, you can separate all the colors from your image.
Color separation is essential for the print industry, especially for textile printing. Graphic designers and photo editors should learn the color separation process. It is neither so difficult nor too easy a job. You should have the ability to keen observation necessary to differentiate multiple colors.