What Is Bleed and Why is it Important?

Have you ever created an impressive print design only to find a thin white line at the very edge? If you discover a thin white line at the edge of your print upon receiving it, you must have forgotten to include a printing bleed in your artwork.

Bleed

Now, what is bleed for printing? Bleed is the extra space around the outside of your document that will be cut off during production. It is essential in printing almost all types of paper print products including business cards, presentation folders, canvas prints and even banners.

Print documents usually have crop marks which indicate where the cutting machine needs to cut. Although new cutting technology has made it easier to cut print products more accurately, it can’t always cut perfectly.

This results in a slight shift where the machine cuts beyond the intended trim line. If your artwork doesn’t have a bleed, the resulting print would have thin white lines at the very edge.

How do we prevent this from happening? We need to include extra information outside of your design document which we will be cut off. This is the printing bleed.

How to set up a bleed?

The print bleed can be created as you set up your file. Find the bleed option in your document setup and create a 3 mm bleed over the document edges. For some large products such as banners and panels we recommend a bleed of 5 mm. This way, there will be no chance of white edges when your product is cut at the trim line.

Creating a bleed is a small, but important step in making stunning print products. Remember to include one in your print document the next time you order a brochure or flyer!