LT Magnotto: Color Separation Legend and Cleveland Busy Body

LT Magnotto: Color Separation Legend and Cleveland Busy Body

LTMSpotlight (1).pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro DCJakprints wouldn’t be cool if it wasn’t for our amazing employees. This hardworking, creative bunch are what makes Jakprints possible. Apparel Pre-Press Manager (and color separation whiz) LT Magnotto works hard to keep us on top of our screen printing game.

We chatted with LT to find out what color separation is and how he spends his time off the clock.


How long have you been at Jakprints?

12 years this May.


What did you do before you started working at Jakprints? How did you end up here?

In between playing music, I worked at the YMCA in their childcare program to help pay for college. On Fridays I would work with artist Derek Hess and help design what became Strhess Clothing. At the time, I really didn’t know anything about designing for print, so Derek introduced me to Jakprints Co-Founder Jacob Edwards. Jacob was trying help Jakprints grow and do all the color separations for production. It obviously became a task that he was unable to keep up with as the business grew. One thing lead to another and he passed the torch to me.


So you probably know all there is to know about separations then, right? What goes into color separation?

Screen printing involves breaking down whatever image is going to be printed into individual colors. The image, and how the artist created it, really dictates how I go about separating it. A solid color graphic and a watercolor painting both require very different approaches to put them on a t-shirt. Some of the most exciting files to separate are photographs. In a photo you can have thousands of shades of color and it’s my job to boil them down to 10!


What did it take for you to become a master of color separation?

I would say patience and a respect for the art of screen printing. I can’t tell you how many times when I was learning I would look up from my desk to see a frustrated pressman standing there shaking a shirt at me. Being able to work as a team, analyze the print results and adjust on the fly really helped.


Color separation is integral to the screen printing process. How does it influence the final product?

A good color separation will dictate the whole print process start to finish. After separating the colors, we pick the print order of the run, the mesh of the screens, the pantone colors of the ink and where to use on-press flash units. Sometimes we even pick the squeegee density!


LT DJTell us a little about yourself. What are some of your hobbies? What does LT do to relax or have some fun and not think about spot colors?

I have been playing guitar in the band Above This Fire since 2000. We have a new album coming out this summer! Writing, recording and getting everything ready for the release has been taking up lots of my time as of late.

When not making music, I DJ a weekly party on Fridays called Retrospect at Cleveland’s House of Blues. I play lots of hip hop and RnB from my childhood.

I’m a huge Cleveland sports fan, too! Nothing makes me happier than pedaling my bicycle downtown and catching a game after a long day of pushing pixels! I also spend way too much time digging vinyl records. Most rainy Saturday afternoons you will catch me coffee in hand searching through crates at some of the awesome local record stores in Cleveland.



So, you and Account Manager Dan Byler recently bought a boat. What did you guys name your vessel?

LT BoatUnknown Pleasures

We did! We named the boat “The Unknown Pleasures”… Yes, we both love Joy Division, but more so that neither of us have much time out on the lake fishing, but we are pretty sure that we are going to love it! I have been getting out on my kayaks for years, and I must say that some of the most incredible sunsets that I have ever seen have been on Lake Erie.


What is your idea of the perfect pizza?

My favorite pie consists of roasted garlic, red onions, meatballs and ricotta cheese.


What do you love about working at Jakprints?

The people! I work with so many extremely motivated, talented, creative and passionate people on a daily basis. Everyone coming from different backgrounds but all working together to deliver a product that we are all proud of. I love being able to stand behind our efforts to be a green and responsible printing company.

The printing industry can get pretty messy with all of the chemicals and waste. Everything that we do at Jakprints is done with our footprint in mind. We plant a freaking tree every order that comes in. No bullshit! How sweet is that? A real tree! I geek out on that.

LT Above This Fire


If you plan on getting something screen printed, you now know that expert level love and attention have gone into printing your design. Our employees love what they do, and it certainly shows in our printing. 

Make sure you check out the jams by Above This Fire and give LT’s perfect pizza pie a try.

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