Bleed — sounds like a mess — what is it in the printing world? This is a question I get from many a customer. Simply put, a bleed is when an image runs off the page.
If you look at the pages of a magazine, newspaper or book, you’ll see white space that forms a border on the top of the page, the bottom and both sides. Usually the print and the photos are inside this white border.
A bleed is when a photo or patterned background goes right off the edges of the page. It could be on all four sides or just one photo going off the top of the page. Sometimes it’s a bar or rectangle of solid color that goes off the bottom of the page. Bleeds are design features. They can be used on any printed material – brochures, post cards, posters, books or magazines.
To prepare the files to bleed, you must allow an extra 1/8 inch to make the bleeding image larger then the page. You can enlarge the image to extend beyond the trim size but be careful that the type is a comfortable amount away from the edge of the page. This is so the project can be trimmed and no white will show on the finished product. Cutting has a variance, paper can shrink or expand with moisture content and many other factors make this step necessary.
Does bleeding cost more? It can add to the cost of the print job because a larger paper size is usually necessary. Also, additional trimming is sometimes involved. The extra cost is usually not more then 10%, but can make the job look nicer and more professional. Most office copier/printers will not allow an image to bleed – there is no way to get rid of the white border on the page. So if your job has a bleed, it’s clear that it has been done by a printing house.
If you have any questions, give us a call. We’ll be glad to show you the ins and outs of bleeds!