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How to Sublimate Fluorescent Colors

Turn ordinary colors into extraordinary sublimation with this bright idea.

There are two fluorescent colors available for sublimation ink: fluorescent yellow and fluorescent pink. You can’t just replace the regular yellow and magenta channels in a four-color printer with the fluorescents because they will not be dark enough when you try to print regular colors such as a deep red. Instead, you would end up with a very orange red. To run the fluorescent colors correctly, you need a printer with at least six color channels. You also need to print with a RIP program so you can control the regular colors as well as your fluorescent colors.

Use a printer that can be run in a dual four-color mode or eight-color mode for regular sublimation ink, and can be set up with six regular sublimation colors, along with two fluorescent colors.

Use the RIP program to mix your available printer colors by individually controlling those color channels. For example, to create a straight fluorescent yellow or pink, tell the printer to print those areas of the vector image with either of those ink channels. You would make those colors lighter by limiting the amount of ink of that color you lay on the paper with the RIP program.

You can also mix regular colors of sublimation ink with fluorescent ink to create different fluorescent colors. For example, if you want to print a fluorescent green color, use the RIP program to tell the printer to lay down fluorescent yellow sublimation ink along with some regular cyan.

To make this process easier, use the Named Color Palette tool installed on your RIP program and design software. The palette is available in both CorelDraw and Adobe format. The Named Color Palette is a recipe book for each color of the color palette. You can print and sublimate your Named Color Palette, which has the CMYK values for each color printed underneath the corresponding swatch.

First design the vector image using the Named Color Palette in your graphics software, then import it to the RIP program. It will read the Named Color and use the correct ink color mixture to produce the color you need. This includes an extensive list of different shades of fluorescent colors.

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