What is trapping when doing a design for screen printing?

One thing you might not realize when looking at a design that has been screen printed on t-shirts is that each color was printed separately. This is how all screen printing orders work because each screen corresponds to a different color in the design and each screen is run separately onto the shirt. As you can imagine since things are put on the shirt separately it is essential that everything be lined up carefully in order to ensure that the design appears correctly on the final printed shirts.

One technique that is used in the industry to make sure that the designs print correctly is called trapping. When the colors in the artwork touch each other it is very important that the screen printer has trapped the design. This is a process accomplished in the design phase of the artwork. It is simply adding a little extra outline to a color to make sure that it touches the colors around it.

Tracking ensures that there is no space in between each color in the design. This is one of the best ways to create a tighter registration during the design portion of the screen printing process. This in turn guarantees a better print in which everything appears correctly in the finished product. Trapping is a very small step that makes a big difference in the ultimate outcome.

For customers and designers who are comfortable with the process it is a very easy thing to do with your artwork. However, we realize that not everyone will understand the process and some customers may not have even created the design themselves. They may instead simply be using artwork that someone else in a company or organization has created, or perhaps they have simply found something online that they want to get printed. Whatever the case, don’t worry if you have no idea how to go about trapping your art. Here at You Design It that is a service that we are happy to offer to our customers. In fact we even do it free of charge just as we do with most of our artwork preparation.

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