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Signwriter needs solid colour seperations

aidan09 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi there

I'm setting up some signage for a client. The signwriters have asked for solid colour seperations, format .pcx on the logo. The full logo version has a drop shadow, internal shadows etc - created in photoshop - also a stripped-down version, simple fill colour only.

Am I able to provide the signwriters with colid colour seps of my photoshop version, or am i going to have to provide the stripped-down, simple fill version?

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If they want solid, you can't have a vignetted shadow. As long as your shadow is a solid tint, you should be abel to convert each solid tint to a separate channel and provide each one to your printer(probably will need to use multi-channel mode.


ever dealt with .pcx before?  only allows one to save as .pcx in RGB format - which seems strange as a preference to me?

WTF? For some reason I thought that read .psd. Sorry about that.

Something is fishy if they are asking like that. Have you spoken directly with the signwriters? Could be your client lost something in the translation?


LOL - i was starting to think it was just me!
Got that request straight from the printers - sent them off an email asking for further info, but as yet haven't gotten anything back.
gets me thinking - how would i set up a .psd for solid colour seps?
thanks very much
I am not sure why they would (if they would) ask for a .psd, it just didn't phase me the way a .pcx did.

Its not easy, depending upon your art, to separate everything to different channels, but in a nutshell, I would convert the document to multichannel, create a selection of an area that needs to be a separate solid separation, make a new channel, and fill the selection with 100% black. You could also use layers to to take advantage of the .psd format, but I would imagine that the only reason they would ask for this is if they need to edit your file and save it out in different formats or something. The point being they have your original layered (if it is layered) file to work from, not a final flattened file.

Keep us in the loop about what the printer responds. The only thing I can think of is that they are going to project your image onto something (is it a large sign?) using a projector and trace it by hand and then paint it???

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thanks very much for that - it's vehicle signage that we're dealing with, not a total vehicle graphic 'wrap' but rather along the more traditional 'boring and bland' line.  wouldn't be surprised at all if they were intending to project the image or something similarly archaic.

will definitely keep you in the loop. thanks again - i feel a little less stoopid  :D

Where I work, much of the software in our older markets is still DOS based. That software can only work with true 8 bit pcx files.
When I first started there, they had thousands of files in Corel Draw which they used to export pcx files.
I argued that PhotoShop could convert and image 8 bit indexed color which could then be saved as a pcx. By boss shook his head and told me that every artist that passed through the doors made the same claim.
Long story short...PhotoShop does NOT save as an 8 bit image. It apparently takes an 8 bit image and fills the other 8 bits with zeros. Not the same thing when working with DOS.
I have to create an image in PhotoShop, save it. Import it into Corel Draw and export it, just to strip off the empty bits. Believe me, I've but my head into the wall trying to find an easier way.
I mention this, because the signmaker MAY have a DOS program, or an equally old program which is only happy with pcx files.

The first thing to find out is how the file will be used. Is the final product going to be painted by hand? Cut in vinyl or some substrate? Or is the image going to be enlarged and printed? Also, what sort of separation? CMYK? RGB? Or individual colors? Does there need to be a separate file for each color? Etc.

David B


Great comments - thanks very much.  I'll run exactly that by the printers, and get their response. Being in Cornwall, UK I wouldn't be surprised if they're still dealing with a relatively old format software.

Will update as soon as I have something direct from them.

Thanks very much


Sorry for the delay getting back. As like most things down here in Cornwall, small jobs take extended periods of time. I still haven't heard back from the printers, despite repeated efforts to get hold of them.

Will update this link regardless when I have some feedback. In the meantime though, here's the points.

Thanks again for the help - very much appreciated!
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