If you’re printing a pouch or bag with multiple colors, incorrect registration by the printer can result in gaps between the colors on the final product. Which is why it’s important to use a trap to compensate for potential gaps. Simply put, a trap is a small area of overlap between colors and is used by designers to avoid unsightly gaps between colors. You've seen art with traps on many products you've purchased, but you've probably never really understood what they were.
There are two types of traps, Spread traps and Choke traps. Some complex rules relating to the order of the color cylinders can come into play here, but here is a general rule of thumb for when to apply a spread trap vs a choke trap.
A spread trap is where a foreground object extends over the background color. Apply spread traps when a lighter color overlaps a darker color background, and after trapping the lighter color will expand into the darker area.
A choke trap is where the background color overprints the foreground object. Apply a choke trap when a darker object falls within a lighter background, and so reduces or squeezes the object.
Easy Trapping Steps in Adobe Illustrator
Below is a quick and easy method to trap art, using path offsets, and transparency darkening to integrate traps into your art design.
Step 1: Make sure your artwork is in CMYK color mode for printing.
Step 2: Select the topmost object you tend to trap.
Step 3: Click Object >Path > Offset Path
Step 4: For a choke trap apply a negative 0.2mm offset. For a spread trap apply a positive 0.2mm offset.
Step 5: Click OK
Step 6: Make sure you’ve selected your offset path.
Step 7: Then click Transparency > Darken
There you’re done!
CarePac can help
As you can see, creating a trap in Adobe Illustrator can be quite complex. Fortunately, our design specialists can take care of the heavy lifting for you. By engaging with CarePac for the design and manufacturing of your bags, we’ll take care of all the steps in between. Contact us today to learn how we can help you design the bag you’ve always dreamed of.