Why to use Bleed in our Jobs

Food for Thought - Bleed

This is basic knowledge that every graphic designer should know before submitting their files for print.

If any element on your document layout makes contact with the document border you will have to use bleed. The trick is to place the element so that it goes over border where the document will be cropped after printing.

Why to use BleedThe term bleed is used for all objects overlapping the border of your document. Let's say your working on a brochure with images against the sides of your pages. You'll supply the printer with a document somewhat larger then the final document will be.

After the brochure is printed it will be cropped to it's correct size. The bleed in your document gives the cropping some room for error. The paper itself can expand or contract, the cropping machine could setup wrong or the person working on the brochure could make a mistake. There are a lot of factors that could go wrong with the cropping, if you wouldn't be using bleed the images wouldn't be neatly aligned with the side of your printed document.

A design destined for print requires setting up to certain specifications to ensure that the work is printed correctly by industrial lithographic or digital print firms. This often starts with the initial document upon which the design is to be created by adding the correct bleed area and crop marks.

Bleed is the area of artwork that is extended beyond the actual dimensions of the document. It is used to avoid strips of white paper showing on the edges of your print should the batch be misaligned when cut to size.

Any objects in your artwork that touch the edges of the document require bleed, for instance a background colour or image should spread to cover the entire bleed area as should any objects that creep in from the side of the page.

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