When it comes to designing for print it can be extremely difficult to print exactly to the edge of your page. In order to do so you need to set your print area to a slightly larger area, allowing you to trim around the page to the right size. This larger area around your page is often known as the bleed area. It is important to ensure you leave an area for the bleed when you are designing for print.
Why is bleed so important when printing?
The main reason for ensuring you include a bleed section when designing for print is to avoid white strips appearing along the edge of your print work. This can occur from time to time as there can often be movement when you are printing your final document. These white lines can often impact on how your print will look so whether it is a brochure, leaflets, flyers or business cards that you are printing, the last thing you will want is a white line running around the edge of it. This can often cheapen the look of your printed item.
To ensure your print job will not have any white lines it is important that you include a bleed when designing. This means that any image or text or background colour that you intent to touch the edge of your page should have a bleed to ensure it goes to the edge of your page when being printed. If you don’t include a bleed you will run a risk of your background colour or image not being shown as intended as this small white strip will run around the sides of it.
What size should your bleed area be?
When it comes to setting your bleed area for print, it is important to ensure you set it to 3mm each side or else add 6mm onto the length and width or your page. This additional 6mm will allow for a 3mm bleed to be added around your whole page. If you are designing a leaflet or business card or any printed material, it is important to ensure you remember this 3mm bleed area on each side of your print. To help you get your bleed dimensions right, we have created a table of page dimensions including and excluding bleed below:
How to apply Bleed:
When designing for print you can apply the bleed area at the start when you are creating your document. This is really easy to do using design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign by simply adding your dimensions at the start menu. Then use a grid to set out where the bleed area is to ensure you don’t have any important text too close to the edge.
Remember to leave a margin:
Placing text close to the bleed area may result in it being printed close to the edge and not looking as effective as you would like. It may be worth adding margins to your page to ensure you have a gap between any artwork or text and the edge of your page (unless of course you have one large image as a background). The amount of margin you leave is a personal choice and may be dictated by what it is you are designing. As a general rule, most graphic designers leave a margin of 3mm, 5mm or 10mm depending on the size of the final design.
Now that you know how important bleed is when designing for print, browse through our product pages to see how we can help meet your printing needs. To find out more information on using bleed and margins and getting your final print right, be sure to check out our section on creating production ready artwork. This can save you time and money in your printing process.