Print Quality - Registration Marks

When full colour products are printed each of the four printing colours are added separately.

C M Y K

The yellow is printed onto the paper, then the cyan and so on...

Each colour is added to the paper in a different part of the machine. The paper travels from the yellow printer to the yellow and so on...

It is important that each colour is lined up exactly with the previous colour...

Registration marks are used for this...

They are usually a cross with a circle around it. They are printed 4 times, one in each colour over the top of each other...

If the colours are lined up accurately you should only see a black registration mark. If one of the colours are out of line you will see that colour registration mark printed slightly to the side of the black registration mark...

If the colours are out of line the final image will appear blurred.

When printing a lot of something the registration marks are checked every so often to avoid reproducing a lot of errors.

 

 
 

The registration mark above is often found on the edge of products.

If shows the Printer at a glance whether one of any colour has run out. It may be hard to tell by looking at the image

These registration marks are often cut off of the final product, though are often visible of newspapers or maps.