What is printing 'Bleed' ?

Write By: text_none_author Published In: Graphic Design Created Date: 2014-08-08 Hits: 5388 Comment: 4

Creating beautifully printed flyers, brochures, or business cards doesn’t happen by chance, it involves selecting a design, and setting up the document just right. In the printing industry this involves setting the safe area, trim area, and in some cases … the bleed. Yes the bleed, but it’s not what you’re thinking.

All printed pages have to be trimmed down to size once they are off the printing press. This is done to make certain that they are all the same size when they are bound or cut together. To ensure a professional look, trimming must be done accurately, so that there are no variations in the image on the page. There are times when the image or background is bleeded (covers the entire printed area), and if there are slight variations in the trim line, an unwanted white margin will appear. That’s when you need a printing bleed.

What is printing bleed?The printing bleed is the part of the artwork that extends beyond the dimensions of the finish size of the document which sometimes called the flat size, leaving no white margin. Once the artwork touches the edge of the finish document size the document requires bleed. The bleed must be added for each side of the image that touches the edge. So if the artwork only touches one edge, then you need to bleed it on that side only.

When is a bleed necessary? If you are printing a business card or other document, and you want the artwork to run to the edge of the trim area, then a bleed is required. The bleed will be trimmed away, so that the image or colour fits tidily into the edge of the page. If the bleed is not set up, then there will be strips of white paper at the edge of the document.

A bleed is therefore needed when you want to extend to the extreme edge of the page. However, in order for this to be done accurately, the bleed must be configured into the original art work. If no allowance is made for the bleed then if there is any misalignment during trimming, the image will not run to the edge of the paper.

Configuring the bleed involves leaving an amount on each side of the document that touches the edge. However, in instances where the layout requires a solid background color, the bleed will be needed on all sides.

If you want to get your printing document just right, and you don’t’ want a margin, then you need to add a bleed to your design. A professional printing service provider can talk you through just what needs to be done.


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