marcia blanco

Teaching About Prepress File Prep and Color Separation: Any Suggestions?

I'm deep into my color unit in my Design & Visual Communications class. We are almost through the color theory piece and I'm about to delve into four color separation, process vs spot colors and custom color organization in Illustrator, InDesign and PS. Does anyone have any ideas for activities or helpful sites I can use to supplement what can be a dull lecture? (My school is in the middle of nowhere so a trip to an offset printer is out of the question.)

4 / 5 • 1 Rating

Comments (9)

Write a reply...
or Join for free to view all comments and participate in the discussion.

Lukas Engqvist

Posted on 10/25/13 12:32:20 PM Permalink is one of the best resources with lots of examples related to print and prepress.

We are looking at using imposition Studio (free version) for students to get used to imposing… it's really intuitive.

Roberto De Uslar Alexander

Posted on 6/21/13 11:14:11 PM Permalink

What i do is make them do a logo or a simple over lapping circle composition in illustrator, they have to repeat this 4 times, in CMYK Spot colours and with the over print function, then i teach them to do a color separation in a regular printer, so they can see how some mix up, separate and over print one another. After than all the class exercises have to be planed according to the print specifications. Hope it helps :)

Rosemary Lengsas

Posted on 6/9/13 1:35:28 AM Permalink

When I cover color, I also make sure to cover the difference between rich black & black.

I also have some videos on this playlist that can be useful:

Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 3/22/13 10:47:59 AM Permalink

or in my resources you will find :

Advanced Computer Graphic

Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 3/22/13 10:47:35 AM Permalink

or in my resources you will find :

Advanced Computer Graphic

Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 3/22/13 10:36:11 AM Permalink

This is some point you can work on it

Working with color

1.Defining printing requirements

2.Process Color

Spot Color

Computer in prepress

Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Classification Printing Techniques

Anatomy of a Digital Image

Pixels and Bit Depth


Spatial Resolution

Addressable Resolution

Apparent Resolution

Visual Acuity & Maximum Resolving Power

Halftone Screening

Contone Imaging

Alternative Screening (Dithering)

Color Basics

Measuring Color

Color Management System

Color Mode



Color Gamut


Electronic Montage Programs

Color Separation

Color Separation Techniques (CTF - CTP

Adobe Education

Posted on 3/7/13 4:14:53 AM Permalink

Have you looked into the Adobe Kuler site: and this PDF on color management: Cheers, ~Adobe Education

marcia blanco

Posted on 3/3/13 10:50:01 PM Permalink

Hi Peter ! Can you get specific on how you do this? Do I just print out the separated colors on transparencies?

Peter Stearns

Posted on 2/27/13 12:11:44 AM Permalink

Hi. Are you able to have students output separations to clear transparency? Take a photo and output CMYK. I find having students create a rudimentary "color key" is a lot of fun. They can see how the colors build on each other. Sometimes it's a magical experience.