So many conversations surround this topic and the answers are just as confusing. Who to believe? Learn the facts then believe yourself.
Here it is. Once again Elliptical dots where invented to fight against the dot gain created by using a rosette pattern for CMYK. The close proximity of the spots left little room for proper dot gain causing an unwanted build up and merge of inks. Rather than use the tradition and proper round dot it was discovered that an Elliptical dot does not spread equally in all directions. This was helpful to combat dot gain issues, but it’s a “bandage” fix for using the improper method of four separate angles (a rosette pattern) for colors, rather than the proper “single angle” method called Flemenco.
So many printers struggle and there is no need for that. Bad advice spins them off into a loop of theories and patches. Trying to improve and prevent problems when the plain truth is by using a single angle for ALL colors reduces or eliminates most of the troubles while improving prints dramatically.
Frank Lee Speaking!
Believe what you will, but I can tell you that I have been screen printing for nearly three decades and I have not yet seen a “hole grab mesh”. This is the usual reason I hear people tell others they should use Elliptical dots. You burn your line screens to the emulsion layer and not the mesh, so why even discuss it. Elliptical dots work and you may use them, just know why and tell others so proper knowledge can be passed on. Print Elliptical if you wish, just be sure to use Flemenco (single angle) and produce better prints right away.
Rosette vs. Flemenco
Many still wish to challenge the fact that multiple angles are wrong and that single angle is proper. During discussions many will say it cannot be done and when asked why, they simply have no good answer other than someone they think was smart told them that. Ask to see their prints first and how hard they had to work for them.
The conversation usually turns to the “secret angles” they have discovered and usually its that they simply line up the black and yellow screen which improves clarity and reduces dot gain. I always say “great idea” but why stop there? You have only improved your print by 50%. If you can line up two out of four colors, and the world did not stop spinning, then why can’t you line up all four? Usually followed by silence and a lot of brow ruffling. Now it sinks in and they smile. This method is so correct that the very Italian newspaper that discovered it, Flemenco, patented it. The patent has never been challenged or enforced so feel free to use it.
It is flat out wrong to print using a rosette pattern (multiple angles) when you can use the Flemenco (single angle) style. Yes, all four screens should share “the same” angle and that angle is suggested to be 22.5 degrees. Choose any line screen you wish, but please note that 45 to 55 is now going to print much cleaner than any attempt at 65 line screen using a rosette pattern (multiple angles).
Inks are supposed to touch on press. When producing any style of tonal printing, the inks must touch in order to produce secondary and tertiary colors. it’s controlling the touch that makes us printers by profession. Those that Don’t are simply “spreading ink” and you Don’t want to do that.
Put two cans of finger paint in front of a child, one blue and one yellow and ask them to make green. They simply dip their finger in and mix the colors (secondary color) on the paper, done. No hesitations, its the right and only way to do it. So remind we why we adult printers are over thinking the process and spending all our money at seminars that are not teaching Flemenco?
Let the squeegee pressure miss the colors as they are applied to create new colors. The fear that it will make a mess and smudge comes from low screen tension, poor ink quality and incorrect press setup (squeegee and flood pressure) and nothing else. Single Angle Printing is the best way
This fantastic, clean and easy method of printing with a single angle for all screens is discussed in the Rosette vs. Flemenco Topic.