Have you ever had a photograph with a white border around it that you wanted removed? Instead of cutting precisely at the edge of the border, you likely cut into the photo a bit to get rid of the border. This is the same concept used in print projects with bleed.
What is a Bleed?
When your card, flyer or other printed product has artwork that extends to the edge of the paper with no border, this is called a bleed. It can occur on one, some or all sides of your project. Images that extend to all four sides of the product are called a full bleed.
Creating Artwork With Bleed
The amount of bleed required on your artwork depends on the project. Most projects require a minimum of 0.0625”. For example, if you’re getting 3.5 x 2” business cards, your artwork dimensions would be 3.625” x 2.125”. If you’re unsure how much bleed to place on your artwork, we recommend checking the product page.
To create the bleed, your image has to be larger than needed, and some of the image will get cut off during trimming. Instead of placing an image on your artwork and moving it up to the cutline (or page edge if not using a layout template), line the image up with the bleed line (or 0.0625” inch over the edge of the page).
Bleeds vs. Safe Areas
While bleed describes printing that intentionally goes off the page, safe areas (or safety areas) describe the amount of space required to keep elements on the page.
Since some projects can shift up to 0.0625” during the cutting process, we recommend keeping all logos and text at least 0.125” or more inside the cutline (or page edge) to avoid any issues.
If all this technical talk is enough to make your head spin, start with a Primoprint layout template for your next print project. These files include lines showing both bleed and safety areas, taking away the pain of measuring and understanding how to create it all yourself.