The Term Bleed is printing terminology used to indicate when the print or ink goes right to the edge of the page (Meaning there are no white edges).
It’s important to note that when you send in an order your prints will all have a white edge around your prints unless you have selected bleeds on your order form and prepared your document to print with bleeds.
To create an image that will print with bleeds essentially the background or image that needs to bleed must extend at least 1/8” beyond where the image is to be cut so it gives the effect that the print extends all the way to the edge of the page.
(See below for guidelines)
- Above is a document that has a final size of 8.5 x 11”
- The Bleeds are set to 8.75 x 11.25” which gives us a 1/8” all the way around the document to cut.
- The Safe/Live Area is an area that you will want to restrict your image content to so that nothing important gets cut off in the process of making your image bleed.
In most graphic design software such as Adobe Indesign, Freehand or Corel Draw you can set up your bleeds correctly most likely in a Tab or Area called “Pre-Press or Marks & Bleeds”, these programs should all allow you to provide artwork like the example above.
Most word processing software like Microsoft Word or Word Perfect won’t have the ability to do this. So even though your image looks like its goes all the way to the edge of the paper on your screen, it will still print with a white edge all the way around.
It is important that you use crop marks to indicate where the cut should take place. Crop marks are indicators that show the final image’s actual size. They also show us where you would like us to cut.
When creating a 2-sided document it’s very helpful to include registration marks on both sides so we can make sure they line up when your document is printed. Remember to extend 1/8” past the bleed/cut line.