01923 330 452

Artwork Bleed Guide

When preparing your artwork for our print production, including a bleed is crucial to ensure a professional and polished final product. This guide will explain what bleed is, why it's important, and how to properly set it up in your design.

RGB to CMYK Printing

What is Bleed?

Bleed refers to the area of your artwork that extends beyond the final trim size. This extra space ensures that your design reaches all the way to the edges of the printed piece without any unwanted white borders, even if there are slight variations during the trimming process.

Why is Bleed Important?

  1. Trimming Accuracy: Printing and trimming are not always perfectly aligned. The bleed compensates for these slight misalignments.
  2. Professional Appearance: Ensuring your background colors, images, and design elements extend beyond the trim edge prevents any unsightly white lines from appearing on the edges of your printed piece.
  3. Consistency: A well-applied bleed ensures that all copies of your printed material look consistent and professional.
Avoid Your Print Delays

Setting Up Bleed in Your Artwork

  1. Standard Bleed Size: The industry standard bleed size is typically 3mm on all sides.
  2. Document Setup: When creating a new document in your design software (such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop), you can specify the bleed size. For instance, if your final trim size is an A4 size - 210mm x 297mm, set the document size to 210mm x 297mm and add a 3mm bleed, making the total document size 216mm x 303mm.
  3. Extending Design Elements: Extend all background colors, images, and any elements that touch the edge of your design to the edge of the bleed area. Do not include essential text or important details in the bleed area, as they might get trimmed off.
  4. Safe Zone: Keep critical elements such as text and logos within a "safe zone" at least 3mm-5mm inside the final trim size. This ensures they won't be cut off or too close to the edge.

Example in Your Design Software

Adobe InDesign:

  1. When creating a new document, enter the final dimensions of your piece.
  2. In the Bleed and Slug section, enter 3mm for the bleed on all sides.
  3. Design your artwork, extending backgrounds and images to the red bleed guide.

Adobe Illustrator:

  1. Create a new document and set your artboard size to the final trim size.
  2. In the Bleed section, enter 3mm for all sides.
  3. Ensure your design elements extend to the outer edge of the bleed area.

Adobe Photoshop:

  1. Create a new document with the final trim size.
  2. Increase the canvas size by 6mm in both width and height (3mm on each side).
  3. Use guides to mark the bleed area and keep all critical design elements within the original trim size.

Final Checks

  1. Export Settings: When exporting your final PDF for print, ensure that you include bleed settings in the export dialog. Most design software has an option to include bleed and crop marks.
  2. Proof Review: You will receive a digitial proof when placing custom printing with us. This will give you an indication that your layout, images and fonts are in the correct positions for production. Unfortunately colours from screen to print will change so this should only be used as a guide for colour production. If in any worry regarding printing, please contact us to discuss a physical proof (charges may occur from utilising this service and extend your production delivery.

By following this guide, you can ensure that your printed materials have a professional, polished finish, with no unexpected white borders or cut-off elements. Properly setting up bleed in your artwork is a small step that makes a big difference in the quality of your printed products with RightPak.

We offer you a complete satisfaction guarantee from start to finish.

We complete tasks to a fast and speedy turnaround ensuring your product is quickly dispatched

We look after loyal customers with great offers and schemes to ensure the most competitive services

If you can't find exactly what your looking for, get in touch with our experts who are on hand to assist you.