The first cut is the deepest. Bleeds. Exactly what, why and how much

Bleeds. You’ve heard tell of them but you’re not really sure what they are, when they are used and how they are used or why. Sit back, relax and Lisa will explain it all (with Pictures!). Referring to the diagram below, (figure 1) this spiffy pink flower bud “bleeds” off the paper. The over hang is the bleed. It is the printer’s margin for error. If the image went only to the edge and unless the printer trims the piece exactly there is the risk of  having the image not meet the edge of the paper, not good. (Figure 2.) For the next bit, refer back to figure 1, is the safe area. No text should ever run right up the edge of the paper, otherwise you run the risk of information being cut off. How much? Depends on the size of the overall piece, the more safe area the better. My diagram shows 1/8 inch or .125 but that is for small pieces like business cards and postcards. Whenever possible wider is better.

Figure 1

Figure 2


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