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Chapter 10. Color > Trapping

Trapping

A “trap” is a method of overlapping abutting colored objects to compensate for the imperfect registration of printing presses. Because registration, even on good presses with good operators, can be off by a quarter point or more, abutting elements in your publication may not end up abutting perfectly when the publication is printed by your commercial printer. What happens then? The paper shows through where you don’t want it to (see Color Figures 2 and 3).

Do we need to tell you what happens when you take your work to a press that’s badly out of register or run by turkeys? Disaster. Before this happens to you, talk with your commercial printer regarding the tolerances of their presses and/or operators. Don’t ask them if they’re turkeys—it’s considered rude.


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