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What is a bleed and why would I want one?

"Bleed" is a printing term used to indicate the area with a background image that will be trimmed off after the file is printed and cut down to the finished size. When any image or element on a page touches the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin it is said to bleed.

Since the bleed area will be trimmed off during the cutting process, there should be no text or other important information in the bleed area. Projects that make use of image bleed should extend any bleeding background and/or images 1/8" over the final paper trim edge. We also recommend all other text and graphics stay inside a "Safe Zone" printing area which stays inside the final paper trim edge by about 1/4". This ensures a more professional appearance and eliminates any risk of type or images being accidentally "nicked" during trimming.

Elements that bleed off the page can sometimes add to the cost of printing if the printer must use a larger size of paper to accommodate the bleed allowance. For many of our products bleeds do not add to the costs. In some cases, particularly for short runs, it may be desirable to eliminate the bleed or reduce the page size enough to fit the work on a smaller sheet of paper. 

If your image has a white border on all four sides, bleeds are not required. Prepare your files at the exact dimensions of the desired output.


EXAMPLE: A 4" X 6" postcard with a full bleed, the image size should be submitted at 4.25" by 6.25" (red box above). 125" (1/8") on each edge of the card will be trimmed off during the cutting process. This will leave you a 4" X 6" inch standard post card. Your type (text) should be .25" inside of the cut box.






How to Create Bleeds in Adobe InDesign CS5