1. In printing and prepress a spread is the general description for a pair of facing pages, typically the left- and right-hand pages in a publication, such as a book, magazine or newspaper. There are two more specific definitions:

  • A reader’s spread is the consecutive placement of pages by page numbers. Page 2 and 3 of a book form a reader’s spread.
  • A printer’s spread is the imposed position of pages based on how many pages are in the publication. This is how an inkjet or laser printer gets to process page pairs. For a 16 page brochure, for instance, page 2 and 15 may form a printer’s spread.

2. Trapping is a technique that minimizes the effects of misregistration in print by slightly overlapping abutting colors. In trapping, a spread is a type of trap that is created by extending the foreground object into the background object.

3. A double-page spread or two-page spread is a set of facing pages on which the text, images or other page elements extend from the left-hand page to the right-hand page. Since such elements need to be perfectly aligned and the colors must be identical on both pages, this requires extra care in the imposition and printing of the pages. It is the easiest on the centerfold of a magazine since those two pages are on the same press sheet and side.

Page spread