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What is "Bleed" in Printing?

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PROPER BLEED

"Bleed" is a printing term used to indicate the area with a background image that will be trimmed off after the job is printed and cut down to the finished size.

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. Add a quarter of an inch (.25") to each dimension to allow for cutting. For example, a 4" X 6" postcard or flyer with a full bleed, the image size should be submitted at 4.25" by 6.25".

Below are three examples of incorrect ways that files are sent. The last example is the correct way to set up a press ready file. Please review these examples to ensure that you submit your files the correct way and you get the best quality possible.

No Bleed Example

NO BLEED WILL CAUSE YOUR TEXT TO GET CUT OFF

Please review the example above. This is an example of a 4" x 6" postcard or flyer with no bleed. The blue guides represent the area that you should use for the edge of any text for your design. The example above has the text going past that line and all the way to the edge. If you submit your file to us this way, you will definitely have text cut off of your job. To see an example of the correct way to send a file with bleed, refer to the last example on this page.

No Borders Example

BORDERS ARE NOT GOOD

Please review the example above. This is an example of a 4" x 6" postcard or flyer with a border. What's wrong with using a border? We strongly advise our clients to never use borders on their designs. Borders may sound like a good idea, but due to the time sensitive nature of your orders, we can't guarantee that the borders will come out even on all sides of each card. Sometimes they may come out correct, but the high gloss UV coating that we use on most of our printing causes the prints to slip from side to side or up and down slightly. Without the use of borders this small amount of slips will not be visible to the naked eye, but add a border to your design and they may end up looking unprofessional. To see an example of the correct way to send a file with bleed, refer to the last example on this page.

Incorrect Bleed Example

SOMETIMES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED SOMETHING

Please review the example above. This is an example of a 4" x 6" postcard or flyer with incorrect bleed. What's wrong with this? Sometimes some of our clients think that they have sent their files correctly, but we all make mistakes. Make sure to be very cautious that there is absolutely no text or important graphics past the bleed guides. If you miss something like this, it will get cut off and look very unprofessional. To see an example of the correct way to send a file with bleed, refer to the last example on this page.

Correct Bleed Examples

THIS IS THE CORRECT BLEED

Please review the example above. This is an example of a 4" x 6" postcard or flyer with correct bleed. By keeping to these standards and being cautious about how you create your design, you will be very pleased with the end results.