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I'm working on a kiosk project where the fabric will be printed by sublimation. I know the process is totally different from offset but is the outcome similar? Do I have to watch out for things like:

  • Different color gamut
  • Certain colors difficult to render properly (like oranges in CMYK)
  • Kind of halftones being used

I did a white mug recently that used a gradient from grey to white (light drop shadow). There was a bit of a discrepency between the white at the end of the gradient and the white of the mug (the white on the gradient seemed cooler and the white from the mug was warmer). Is that a common issues in sublimation?

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The outcome is similar if you are using the same color CMYK. There are some sublimation and offset printers that use Hexachrome (a little more money) or Octachrome (LY, LM) that will produce the colors better. If you save the files with the correct color model sRGB, for instance, you will get good results from good printers. Sometimes it depends on your substrate. If this is fabric, and you want complete accuracy, I'd print them both and analyze them.

If you don't know the color space used in the Sublimation printer (RGB etc) I would assume some basics like Blues will be off, and Reds similar to CYMK. That's why saving the color space in the file is so important.

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