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How to Improve Color on a Direct-to-Film Printer

When using a DTF printer, take some time to familiarize yourself with your equipment and then get to know your limitations on artwork.

One of the first things to consider when printing direct-to-film is color. Here are three tips to help improve color in your DTF prints:

  1. Understand the Technology and Your DTF Printer
  • Not all colors are treated equally. Make a test swatch print to prepare yourself and your customers for color outcomes. 
  • Gray is a color that can come off as too warm or too cool. No other colors (CMY) should exist in a true neutral gray. It should just be a variation of black (K).

2. Examine the Artwork Before you Print

  • Open in Adobe Photoshop (or similar program) and add a background to simulate what color it will be printed on. 
  • Review print size and make sure it is the size it will be printed
  • Resolution should be set at 300 dpi
  • Review colors, especially black and make sure it is set to 100 percent K to ensure full vibrancy
  • Check saturation levels and increase where necessary

3. Be Aware of Color Modes

  • RGB vs CMYK
    • RGB is what is usually displayed on screen
    • CMYK is for printing and how your files should be set
  • If your files were originally set for RGB, colors will be slightly different when changing to CMYK
  • Some RIP software will convert artwork automatically

Use these tips to help improve your next prints.

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