Regardless of what kind of project you are designing or what program you are using, you should always be mindful of bleed.

Although we offer full design services for all your printing needs, there are sometimes however, when you may supply us your artwork already completed. When doing so, you must remember to add bleeds when necessary.

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When ink extends to or off the edge of the paper, it is referred to as a bleed in the print industry. The artwork or colour needs to extend beyond the desired finished size by an 1/8″. The paper is then trimmed to the desired finished size. We do this to ensure there are no white edges nor text that looks too close to the edge. This should all be done in the original design. We may be able to add it for you depending on file specifics, however additional charges may apply.

Therefore, a 3.5″ x 2″ business card would be designed at 3.75″ x 2.25″ to incorporate an 1/8″ bleed on each side. So if you have an 8.5″ x 11 brochure that bleeds, we actually print your brochure on a larger sheet of paper and then trim it down to a finished size of 8.5″ x 11″.

Below I have some illustrations I created to help demonstrate this.

The dark blue on the outside represents the “bleed” that will eventually be trimmed off. The blue between the solid red line and the dotted red line represents the 1/8″ safety margin where no text or logos should enter. Lastly, the inside light blue is where all your text and artwork can be safely placed.

Here is the same image but with my business card overlaid on top so that you might get a better idea to what I mean. Note how my logo, QR code and text, all remain within the light blue area. The black square in the lower-left corner and the black vertical line both extend all the way through the dark blue area.

Finally, the card is printed and trimmed. Everything looks nice, even and balanced.

Whether it is a business card, brochure or any other print material, if there is ink extending to the edge of the paper, you need bleed. Send us your files to pre-flight today, preferably a press-ready PDF, (although we do accept many other different formats) at our upload site. Leave any questions or comments below and I will make sure to address them for you or you can always drop me a line at rick@printguy.com

Download a handy business card TEMPLATE by clicking here