In the printing world, understanding what is bleed is crucial. Yes, it’s yet another weird piece of vocabulary to go alongside other printing terms like jogging, vectors, jpeg and CMYK. But as it is something crucial which will affect the outcome of your printing job, we’re making our job to explain it to you.

What is Bleed?

Bleed, print bleed or bleed printing is all about the ink that goes to the edge of the paper during printing. During the printing process, paper movement and design inconsistencies can occur. This means having a bleed is essential to avoid your print job being misshapen or cut off.

Let’s look at what is bleed another way:

You’re having business cards printed. Your graphic designer has created a print file for you and you’ve been asked to check if there is a bleed included. This is important because your business cards are printed as a large sheet and then trimmed down to size.

A bleed is usually around two to five mm from where you want the cut to be made (outside of the design). It’s best to confirm what bleed we’ll require, as different jobs need different bleeds.

Because the file includes a bleed, the margin makes your print job slightly bigger when printing, but after trimming this will be sorted.

If you had an image or colour that you wanted to go to the edge of each card, and you didn’t have a bleed, you could end up with a small white edge. If you had a bleed, you wouldn’t get this, as, during the printing, the colour would have gone outside of the actual design. This means when trimmed, there would be no white line.

Understanding More About What is Bleed & Why It’s Important

The amount of bleed required will depend on the printing method used, the size of the paper and how the image is sent to the printer. Don’t stress about this though, as we can tell you exactly what you will need!

In conclusion, bleed is when the colours and images of your artwork continue beyond the edge of the actual design, or the actual size you want your print job to be. During the trimming process, your document will not have any white lines around the edges because there was still colour where the print job cut lines are.

If you need any further help understanding about bleed, or how to add it to your image, please feel free to contact our team today.


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