Trapping isn’t very sexy, but it is critical for optimal print quality on a traditional printing press.  On our traditional flexographic printing presses – still 85% of our business – we will always have minor variations during a press run.  Always.  These presses run very fast and they are driven by motors, belts and gears.  We maintain them very well, but there is ALWAYS minor variation during the run.  This variation shows itself as mis-registration.  Colors don’t perfectly align with each other as all colors are laid down.

Without proper prepress trapping, a very small sliver of white can show between colors that are supposed to meet.  Since perfect 100% registration isn’t possible, and we don’t want white outlines, trapping is the solution.

Trapping is basically a way to compensate for movement on press by making the adjacent colors overlap each other.  Look at the image above on the right.  The yellow is ‘spread’ or enlarged by 0.5 points (very small amount!).  This trap allows just enough overlap between the colors to hide any possible press variation.  The good news is that you (the customer) don’t have to worry about this – we take care of it in our system.  Our state of the art Esko software automatically traps files to our specifications – we calibrate the amount of trap to match our press tolerance.  This is one of the many value added services that we do in the background to make sure your labels look perfect – but we thought you may want to know a bit more about it.

Want to talk about trapping for your particular project?  Call us today.


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This blog post was written by Scott

President of Rose City Label - I am the primary blogger and marketing driver for our company. I can help with just about any label challenge - let my 24 years experience work for you!