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What is Bleed?

As it’s Halloween month, I thought talking about bleed would be kind of funny. Bleed has nothing to do with Halloween of course but it is important year-round in the printing world.

What is bleed you may ask? Well, it’s the extra artwork that flows over the trim line of a print piece. It’s very important in printing to ensure that your artwork and colours go right to the edge when complete. If you do not have bleed or even enough bleed when the trimming is done you have a good chance of experiencing:

➡️ White edges that look weird and uneven
➡️ A smaller than expected job because it had to be trimmed in
➡️ Important stuff cut off or too close to the edge due to the above point

Some printers will ask for only 1/8th of and inch and others as much as 1/4 of an inch with crop marks to indicate where to trim. Other printers just like you to send artwork with 1/4 inch extra artwork with no crop marks and then they just trim to size. Either way the extra artwork that goes past the trim line gives enough of a safely buffer to ensure that your pieces can be trimmed to the correct size and have colour right to the edges.