Bleeds: What are they and why do I need them?

Full bleed printing is when your design prints to the edge of the printed piece.

 You can see the blue goes all the way to the edge of the artwork, this mean it bleeds.         

You can see the blue goes all the way to the edge of the artwork, this mean it bleeds.

 

 

 

Printing presses, whether conventional or digital, can’t print right to the edge of a sheet of paper. So, if we need to print up to the edge of a sheet, we must use oversized paper and then trim to size.Neither printing nor cutting is a totally exact process, so the bleed is used to allow for the small errors which may occur. It ensures that there are no slivers of white visible once the sheet has been trimmed. 

That is the reason for the extra background, which we call the bleed, outside of the cut mark.

Here is an example of a business card that bleeds to the edges.

 
 Red line is the margin: all text must be inside the red box to print.  Black line is the cut line: anything outside that will be cut off.

Red line is the margin: all text must be inside the red box to print.

Black line is the cut line: anything outside that will be cut off.

HOW TO SET UP A FILE TO BLEED

When setting up a file for full bleed printing, the file size needs to be 0.25" larger than the cut size. For example, a 4"x6" postcard should be setup with a file size of 4.25"x6.25". You will also need to make sure that all critical text and design elements are moved at least 0.25" from each edge to avoid being cut into or trimmed off during the printing and cutting process.

 

 

 

As well as being a print shop, we have a full time graphic designer. If you need your artwork set up or designed feel free to contact us and inquire about design services.