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Getting The Most Out of Your Print: Bleed

Do you get confused by the technical terms thrown around when dealing with Print companies? Want to know more about what makes true Press Ready artwork? Then let us guide you through the ins and outs of optimising your artwork for Maximum Impact with our series Getting The Most Out of Your Print.

At Discount Printing, our presses take in large sheets of paper, usually printing multiple copies of your artwork on a single sheet. After printing, stacks of these sheets are cut to your requested size on a large guillotine. It is important for us to achieve a high degree of accuracy at this stage but when cutting up to 200 stacked sheets at once movement of around 1-2mm is unavoidable.

To offset this we ask that you consider adding a bleed around the edges of your artwork. This is an area that extends the background layer of your artwork up to 3mm past where it needs to be cut. Without bleed, thin unprinted edges may be visible on your finished product. For the same reason it is also important to allow an internal margin of 3-5mm to avoid important text or graphic elements being cut into.

A good way to indicate this is through the use of crop marks which indicate where your artwork finishes and the bleed begins. Adding bleed & crop marks in professional design applications such as Indesign or Illustrator is relatively straight forward. Simply look for the settings when you export to PDF. However if you’re using desktop publishing software like Microsoft Word and Publisher these features aren’t clearly supported. Your best bet in this case is to set you initial page size slightly larger and ensure you keep a good 6-8mm buffer between any important artwork elements and the edge of your page.

At Discount Printing we personally assess all artwork that comes in and keep an eye out for issues like bleed. If we think your artwork may not print to your expectations than we will let you know and work towards getting it on the right path.

Quick Tips

Always allow at least 3mm of bleed past the trim edge of your artwork.

If possible use crop marks to indicate where artwork ends and bleed begins.

Ensure you leave at least 3-5mm space for an internal margin.