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I'm designing a window poster for shop, I'm working on this in illustrator and I'm trying to achieve this clean red to black gradient or feathered effect shown here,


A few things are confusing me, why does this banding effect or lined appearance show up on the image, also I can't seem to get the red and black to fade together very well like they have on the bargain booze picture, I think there's a few tricks to this I could do with knowing, they don't have the red to greyish gradient I have before the black part, although I do notice they have a little arrow covering that part of the transition between the black and red.

While I'm at this, I wanted to explain another problem I'm having, The file resolution is roughly 170cm Width x 180cm Height the client wants the photos quite big - but even with high quality stock photos these are sitting at 96 and 86 PPI, will this be good enough? Surely the only way to get 150-300 on a poster this size would to have stock photos that are at least 10,000 pixels high and a fair bit wide, can anyone advise me on what they would do in this scenario.

Please see my attached file



Its a CYMK project

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RGB or CMYK? ---- –  Scott Aug 15 at 23:41

3 Answers 3

Try layering the black gradient over a red background (or vice versa) instead of trying to do a red-to-black gradient on a single layer:

On your top layer, create a gradient where black (or red) is at 100% opacity on one end of the color slider and white is at 0% opacity on the other end of the slider.

On the layer below color with solid red (or black).

This should allow you more control over the size of the gradient and help with the "banding effect or lined appearance" you're referring to.

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To fix this you need to match the CMYK channels in your black swatch with your red swatch.

In my example I'm using a red with CMYK values 0,100,100,0. Now for my black instead of using the values 0,0,0,100 change it to 0,100,100,100.

Difference: http://imgur.com/QmRiI3f

This black will print as a warm black. I would talk with your printer about their maximum ink coverage as this might be pushing it.

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0,100,100,100 skirts the ink limits of most CMYK printing. –  Scott Aug 16 at 0:45
@Scott offset sheet-fed or heatset web printing on a coated paper should be able to handle 300% or even a bit more, no? –  oscarpas Aug 16 at 3:55
Like I posted. "skirting" :) An ink limit of 300 or 310-320 is absolutely possible. It varies based on print provider. In my experience 290 is more common and 300 is pushing the maximum. But again, that's just the print providers I work with. –  Scott Aug 16 at 4:03
Got it :) Been a while since I did any prepress work. –  oscarpas Aug 16 at 4:38
Thanks for the answer, I'm just wondering what is the reason behind matching the channels, I'm used to working in the RGB Mindset and I've never come across this before, I just thought of it as selecting two colours. –  Chris Aug 16 at 13:23

if you want to have a smooth gradient u should do this. Make a color black rectangle and use it as the background. Make the same size rectangle and place it on top of the black you just made. Create a gradient for the top rectangle following the colors below.

1st color 100 magenta - 100 yellow: 100% opacity

2nd color 100 magenta - 100 yellow - 70 black: 100% opacity

3rd color black: 0% opacity

Then adjust the positions of the colors as you desire.

The pic below shows the result you should have.

enter image description here

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I see a lot of banding in that sample image. –  DA01 Sep 17 at 22:38

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