What is bleed and why is it important?

Have you ever created a design for print only to find a narrow white line on the edges? If this has ever happened to you then the likelihood is that you forgot to add bleed to your artwork.

So what is bleed in printing? Bleed is the extra space on the outside of your design that gets cut off during production making sure your design/image runs off the edge. It is essential for almost every type of print product such as flyers, letterheads, business cards, brochures and much more.

Most print ready artworks usually have cut and crop marks which show where to cut your printing. While new guillotines and cutting technology have made finishing more accurate, it is very difficult to cut precisely on an exact line on a sheet. This is why we use bleed.

Bleed allows for a slight shift where the guillotine may cut inside or outside the cut line. So for smooth edge to edge printing, always remember to add bleed.

How to add bleed?

Find the bleed option in your graphic design software and add 3 millimeters to the document edges. For large format items such as signage and pull up banners, you will need to add 5 mm.

Adding bleed is a small, but vital step to make sure your printing is stunning and professional.