What is Bleed?

In printing, bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of where the sheet will be trimmed. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, design inconsistencies and for the tolerances required for trimming etc. Artwork and background colours often extend into the bleed area. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.

It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper/card, so to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the paper/card down to the required finished size. Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended beyond the trim line to give a bleed. As there is a degree of movement when printing on any press, you should always create a minimum of 3mm bleed on all edges where bleed is needed. Supplying your job without bleed will result in white lines when we trim it.

What is Bleed

How do I apply Bleed?

The concept of applying bleed is the same for all desktop publishing programmes. You need to extend the object box, whether picture or colour, out past the edge of your page. Then, when creating the PDF, you need to set your bleed margins to a minimum of 3mm.

With programmes such as Microsoft Word, Power Point or Adobe Photoshop you do not have the ability to add bleed when creating a PDF. You need to make your page/image size 6mm bigger at the start. You will then treat the extra 6mm (3mm all round) as bleed, which will be removed when we trim your job. For example, A4 is 210mm x 297mm. Your page with bleed will be 216mm x 303mm.