Logo with two PMS, gold and black: trapping issue

Kenny Venekamp's picture


I’ve got a problem with trapping:
Diagonal lines (0.25pt) with a black PMS color that are on top of a gold surface.

- The lines are PMS black and have a 0.25 pt line-weight.
- The area where the lines cover the gold are extracted from the gold.
- The golden object is given an outline stroke (centered) of 0.14 pt and set to overprint.

What happens is that the gold overprints the black, but the black lines are so thin that the remaining line-weight ends up at 0.11pt! (0.25-0.14pt).

What’s the best way to fix this?
- Let the black lines overprint the gold?
- Let the gold overprint the black lines but change the line weight

Hope theres someone who can help me out,

whruberg's picture

Goud is door zijn metaaldeeltjes dekkend, dus zwart als laatste drukken is een betere optie.
Dus black een overdrukfunctie geven.

hrant's picture

Where's the type?


oldnick's picture

Wim's response is the sensible option: overprinting the black will improve the results; however, it won't completely solve the problem.

Black ink appears black on paper because it absorbs—to a greater or lesser degree—all reflected light from the substrate beneath it. Metallic inks, on the other hand, are so-called because they reflect more light than ordinary inks do; therefore, even overprinted black isn't going to look entirely black. But it will look better than what you're getting now.

JamesM's picture

> even overprinted black isn't going to look entirely black

Perhaps the solution is printing the black plate twice for better coverage. Or printing the logo in a black foil (although I suspect the thin lines would be a problem, but I don't have enough experience with foils to know).

In any event, this is an issue you should discuss with your printer.

Luma Vine's picture

The problem is that you have a logo designed by someone without a lot of insight into good logo design practices and foresight into branding. Honestly, why would someone make a logo like this? Perhaps I would have to see it to understand why someone would do this besides lack of experience. Images??

fontdesigner2's picture

"The area where the lines cover the gold are extracted from the gold."
WTF? Why? I would like to help but I don't understand what you are talking about.

"Let the black lines overprint the gold?"
I don't fully understand what you're doing there, but that sounds like that's you're best bet. Especially when lines are that thin. Anytime you have thin lines you are forced to over print them onto what ever is beneath them. What else can you do? And I would not double print lines that thin. If the second printing's registration is off one little bit it will screw it up.

oldnick's picture


The "extraction" is called trap; read about it here...


And, no, thin lines don't always demand overprinting. If my design had thin true red lines within a true yellow square, the lines would print in solid magenta over or under—and preferably under—the solid yellow square.

JamesM's picture

A good printing shop has prepress people who do trapping all day long, and they know what works best on their shop's equipment.

On a tricky job it's better to let them handle the trapping, or at the very least you should consult with them.

fontdesigner2's picture

@oldnick, the more inks you have mixing together to make a hairline, the more danger you have of mis-registraion and fuzzy multicolored lines. If you want a 100 percent guarantee of a sharp line, you use only 1 ink for that line, and you overprint it onto what's underneath, without trying to do some kind of tricky knockout. That's not called trapping. That's called VERY VERY VERY VERY risky business.

oldnick's picture


How is anything you said different from what I said?

fontdesigner2's picture

@oldnick - Oh so we agree then. You mentioned extraction and trapping, and my point was that he should not use trapping. Just overprinting in this case.

fontdesigner2's picture

@Kenny - change your design. Change your plan. Better yet create a version of the logo that doesn't use those lines and bill the client for it. Most large and smart companies have several versions of their logos. They are all for different uses.

JamesM's picture

> create a [revised] version ... bill the client for it.

He posted the question weeks ago so the job is probably done.

Our advice was shooting in the dark to some extent since Kenny didn't show us the logo, nor did he explained the circumstances that led to this predicament (is this the normal size for the logo, or was it a one-time situation?). We don't even know for sure if he's the logo's designer.

Nor did he posted any response to our comments and suggestions.

fontdesigner2's picture

@James - Yeah I guess that project is long over now. I wonder what happened. Doesn't sound to me like it ended well for anyone involved.

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