What are color gradients?

A color gradient is a popular term when dealing with computer graphics, on occasion it is referred to as a color progression, and it specifies a range of position and is usually used to fill up an area. Color gradients make for smooth color transitions since the colors produced by a gradient differ with their location.

With screen printing half-tones are used to produce subtle variations in color value. This process is very difficult if it has not been worked with before, but it turns out for a great t-shirt with progressive color.

Color gradients are often used to get specific design effects, especially when one color blends into another color or when it fades from a darker shade to a lighter shade. However the term "color gradient" can also be used to refer to things such as shadows and other lighting related aspects of the design. Generally any type of photograph or other "real life" looking design is going to have color gradients in it.

Designs such as these are often printed with a printing process called four color process. This is in contrast to screen printing with solid spot colors in which a color will be a single shade of the color everywhere in the design. For example if selecting the color red, then there would be only a single shade of red everywhere in the design. Or if there were a second shade of red, it would be considered a separate spot color and there would only be those exact two shades of red, no other shades blending between the two.

Many printers aren't able to print color gradients and are only able to print in solid spot colors and aren't able to print with color gradients. Other printers do it routinely, and some are willing to do it on a case by case basis depending on the particular design. In general the results with printing in color gradients are a lot less consistent than printing in spot colors.

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