What is Bleed and what bleeds do in the printing process

Posted on 10-28-2014 by

Bleed is the printing industry term  that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming.. What actually happens is that the picture or other graphic extends 1/8" (.125") beyond the edge of the page and that excess image or color is then cut off as a part of the bindery or finishing process. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur

Text or images that are not meant to be trimmed off the edge of your final printed piece must be 1/8"-1/4" (.125"-.25") from the edge of your layout (also known as Safety). Items placed 1/8" (.125") or closer are in danger of being trimmed off or showing inconsistent margins.
 
In the example below, the bleed area (shown here in blue) extends .125" beyond the trim edge of the page (represented here by the red line). The document size is equal to the final trim size in most cases.
bleed_good.jpg
Bleeds are required in all artwork with an image extending to one of the borders. Add a quarter inch (0.125") to each side to allow for cutting. For example, for a 4” x 6” postcard with full bleed, the image size should be submitted at 4.25” x 6.25” (red box).
0.125" (1/8”) on each edge of the card will be trimmed off during the cutting process. This will leave you a 
4” x 6” standard post card (black box).
Your type (text) should be 0.125" (1/8”) inside the cut box on each side. This will guarantee your text to not be cut off from your artwork (blue box).
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