0800 024 8892

Print Bleed Explained

What is bleed? How is it used?


Bleed is an extension of all the elements that touch the edge of the design past the edges of the document. If you have a design or a background colour that travels up to the edge of a document, then it must extend at least 3mm beyond where the document is to be cut.

Why do we need bleed?

Bleed is key in making sure that your carefully crafted artwork, once printed, looks as it did on the screen after all your hours of hard work! Without bleed, you may be left with a white border around your document which would be disappointing, to say the least.

How does bleed work?

Bleed gives the printing process a margin for error throughout the different steps towards your final glorious creation. Several variables can affect print layouts such as paper quality, paper shrinkage and print alignment. All of these things can change the final print position by millimetres, that, without bleed, can create a poor print with messy or white borders.

Once printed, bleed also allows for a margin of error within the trimming process, meaning the guillotine machine or finishing maestro does not need an unobtainable 100% cutting accuracy when trimming the items down. Although we do try our best!

How do they know where to cut?

Let me intrroduce you to "Crop marks". Crop marks show how and where to cut your design into its perfect final version.

The moral of the story.

Add bleed and crop marks to your artwork files! Otherwise, they are not "print ready" and risk not looking their best. We can easily add bleed and crop for you, just supply us your original artwork and relax! We will always advise before putting your literature to print, and send you over a proof to make sure you are perfectly happy with your artwork, so rest assured we have your best interests at heart.

Photo by Water Journal on Unsplash

Share this post