If you have ever worked with printers or designers, you might have heard the term “bleed” being thrown around. But in this article, we will cover everything related to what is bleed in printing, how it works, and why it is important in printing.
Bleed is the extra space beyond the trim size of a design that is added to ensure that the ink extends to the edge of the paper. Bleed is important because it prevents any unwanted white space or borders on the final printed piece. Without bleed, the final product may have uneven edges, which can be unprofessional and unattractive.
How does Bleed work?
Bleed works by extending the design beyond the final trim size. This extra space is then trimmed off after printing, leaving the design with clean, crisp edges. The bleed area can be any size, but it is typically between 1/8 to 1/4 inch.
Types of Bleed
There are three types of bleed:
Standard Bleed: Standard bleed refers to the 1/8 inch ( 0.3175 cm ) bleed that is typically added to a design. It is the minimum amount of bleed required to ensure that the design reaches the edge of the paper.
Full Bleed: Full bleed refers to a design that extends all the way to the edge of the paper. In this case, the bleed area is typically 1/4 inch ( 0.635 cm ) or more.
No Bleed: No bleed means that the design does not extend beyond the final trim size. This can result in unwanted white space or borders on the final printed piece.
Bleed vs Margin
It is important to note that bleed is different from the margin. Margin is the area between the edge of the paper ( Trim ) and the design. It is typically used to ensure that important elements of the design are not cut off during the trimming process.
Bleed in Printing Process
To set up a print file with bleed, you need to extend your design beyond the finished size of the printed piece. The amount of bleed needed depends on the printing process and the printer’s requirements. Typically, a bleed of 1/8 inch or 3mm is added to the design.
Once the bleed is added to the design, the file is ready to be sent to the printer. The printer will print the design onto a large sheet of paper and cut it down to the finished size. The extra bleed ensures that there are no white spaces or borders around the edge of the design, creating a seamless and professional-looking final printed piece.
Importance of Bleed in Printing
Bleed is important in printing because it ensures that the final product looks professional and polished. Without bleed, the final product may have uneven edges or unwanted white space, which can make it look amateurish.
Bleed in Design Software
Adobe InDesign: To set up bleed in Adobe InDesign, you need to create a new document with the desired bleed size. You can do this by going to File > New > Document and entering the dimensions of your document. In the “Bleed and Slug” section, enter the desired amount of bleed, typically 1/8 inch.
Adobe Illustrator: Illustrator is also same as indesign. when you create a new document, you can include any necessary bleeds. The problem is you can not add margins in Illustrator. So you will have to use your own guides, which may be difficult for beginners.
Adobe Photoshop: When you’re using Photoshop, it demands additional effort. To add bleeds, you must modify the ultimate document size. For example, if You want to add ¼ inch (.25) bleed, and your paper dimensions are 8.5 inches by 11 inches you must include an extra 0.25 inches ( 8.75 inches by 11.25 inches ) to both the width and height to consider the bleeds. You must also employ the “Rulers” feature to manually insert guidelines for the trim line and margins.
Common Bleed Issues
Inadequate Bleed: One of the most common issues with bleed is inadequate bleed. If the bleed is not set up correctly, there can be white spaces or unwanted borders around the edge of the design, resulting in an unprofessional-looking final printed piece. To avoid this issue, it is essential to set up the bleed correctly and ensure that the bleed extends beyond the finished size of the printed piece.
Overlapping Bleed: Another common issue with bleed is overlapping bleed. This occurs when the design extends into the bleed area, resulting in overlapping elements when the final printed piece is cut to size. To avoid this issue, it is essential to ensure that the bleed area is clear of any design elements.
Incorrect Bleed Size: Using the incorrect bleed size is another common issue with bleed. If the bleed size is too large or too small, it can result in a final printed piece that looks unprofessional and unpolished. It is essential to check the printer’s requirements for bleed and set up the bleed correctly to avoid this issue.
Crop Marks: Crop marks are the lines on the printed piece that indicate where the final piece should be cut. If crop marks are not set up correctly, they can be visible on the final printed piece, resulting in an unprofessional-looking final product. To avoid this issue, it is essential to set up crop marks correctly and ensure that they are not visible on the final printed piece.
Text and Images Near the Trim Edge: Another common issue with bleed is text and images near the trim edge. If text or images are too close to the edge of the design, they can be cut off when the final printed piece is cut to size. To avoid this issue, it is essential to ensure that all text and images are within the safe zone and do not extend into the bleed area.
FAQs: What is Bleed in Printing?
Can I add bleed to my design after it has been created?
It is possible to add bleed to your design after it has been created, but it may require some adjustments to the design elements and layout. It’s best to set up your document for bleed from the beginning to ensure a smooth printing process.
Can I ignore bleed requirements if I want a smaller final product?
Ignoring bleed requirements can result in unwanted white borders or edges appearing on the final product. It’s important to follow the bleed requirements of your printer to ensure a professional-looking final product. If you want a smaller final product, you can adjust the design elements and layout within the safe zone to fit your desired size.
What is a safe area in printing?
A safe area is an area within the document or image that is guaranteed to be visible and not cut off during the trimming process. It’s typically 1/4 inch (0.25 inches) or 6 mm away from the trim edge.
Can I use bleed for background color or image?
Yes, you can use bleed for background color or image, but extend the design beyond the trim edge to ensure that there are no white edges or borders.
Conclusion: What is Bleed in Printing?
In this article hope we covered all the information related bleed in printing. For smooth printing and a professional final product always remember to include the minimum required bleed, avoid common bleed issues, and adjust your design elements and layout within the safe zone to fit your desired size. With these tips in mind, you can confidently incorporate bleed into your designs and produce high-quality printed materials.