What is printed bleed?

What is printed bleed?

WHAT IS PRINTING BLEED?

‘Bleed’ is an essential part of creating artwork for print. Professional designers will always extend (or ‘bleed’) background elements and images beyond the edges of the document by an additional 3mm or so. This prevents unwanted white borders around the edges of a printed document.

To get around this problem, designers use bleed. This simply means that they extend beyond the edge of the document (by between 3mm and 5mm) any elements which should touch the edge of the paper. As a result, any inaccuracies which occur during the printing or finishing process shouldn’t cause any problems.

Designers are also careful to avoid placing important elements such as text within around 5mm of the edge of the paper (on business cards this needs to be 4mm). It not only looks unprofessional and cramped, there is a risk that it could be cut off! This area is sometimes referred to as the ‘quiet’ area of a design.

TRIM/CROP MARKS

So that the guillotine operator knows where to cut the sheet, designers indicate the edge of the document using ‘crop marks’ (also known as tick marks or trim marks). These are short, thin lines in ‘Registration’ colour which are positioned slightly beyond the bleed area (registration colour prints on all plates in the printing process, including spot colour plates).

After printing the bleed is trimmed off.

ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS

File formats

Please supply your artwork as a PDF. When saving your artwork as a PDF, EMBED ALL FONTS or convert to curves/paths/outlines prior to saving PDF. Flatten any transparencies or drop shadow effects before creating your PDF. Save your file as PRESS QUALITY, PRESSREADY or PRESS OPTIMISED.

File Checking

We will open your file and check for quality issues and convert RGB colours to CMYK, we will not check spelling, colours, design or content. We then send you a proof via email for you to check your file. You will need to approve this proof via email before we can commence with your order.

Layout

Supply all artwork 1 up (i.e. ONE leaflet on ONE page).

Bleed

Images, background colours and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page, should be extended 3mm beyond the page to give a bleed with crop/trim marks to indicate the edge of your artwork . Please refer to the ‘Bleed’ information section.

Safe Area

This is the space between the edge of your leaflet and any text or images that go near the edge of your design. Please ensure you leave 5mm ‘safe’ area on your design. Any text/ images that are too close to the ‘trimming edge’ could get ‘chopped’ into. If we feel your file does not have enough ‘safe area’, we will add a 3mm white border to the edges of your leaflet and reduce the size slightly to allow for this.

Page Sizes

Whether you are ordering A6, DL, A5, A4 or A3, please take note of the measurements we need for your artwork, allowing for ‘bleed’ as explained further below. We have page size templates which you can download. Click here to visit our templates page.

Colours

The printing process is made up of four colours; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (known as CYMK) – these colours make up full colour photos etc. Please ensure your files are supplied in CMYK so you can be confident of getting the colours you expect. We will convert any RGB files to CMYK before print, this may alter the colours slightly to what you see on your RGB screen and some colours may not print as vibrantly. It is your responsibility to check that the colours have converted correctly.