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Printer's Bleed

What is Printer's Bleed

"Bleed" is an industry term used to describe printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet so that after the page is trimmed there is no white margin at the edge of the sheet. This is because printing to the edge of a sheet (borderless printing) does not exist in offset printing. The press has to grab the paper somewhere.

To Illustrate the concept:

Printers Bleed Diagram

Bleed Line: We require 1/8 of an inch (.125” or 1p6 Picas) bleed on all sides of the image. This is so we can print the entire image (bleed included) and then and trim it to its final size. This applies to business cards, postcards, flyers, covers, banners, etc.

However, if your piece doesn’t not have any color, image or text that goes to the very edge of the sheet (even a white border) you do not have to add bleed to your file.

For booklets, catalogs, and magazines we may require more bleed for the final face trim depending on the type of paper stock or page count. If you are unsure, give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist you.


Safe Space: Leave at least a 1/16” (.0625 inch) space for text and border lines inside the bleed line for correct cutting of your finished product.



Cutting Tolerance

This may come as a surprise… cutting machines are not perfect. Cutting tolerances are defined from printer to printer based on their equipment. Our cutting tolerance is 1/16 of an inch (.0625”). This means the final trim line can vary by that amount; this very rarely happens but, depending on project specifications, it can occur. It is for this very reason printers recommend a “safe space” for your content when it comes to cutting, die cutting, and embossing.




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