As a graphic designer, you want to ensure that your designs look as polished and professional as possible when printed. One important aspect to consider when preparing your designs for print is bleed. But what exactly is bleed and how does it affect your designs?
In the world of graphic design for print, bleed refers to the portion of your design that extends beyond the trim edge of your document. When a document is printed, it is usually printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down to the final size. However, due to variations in the printing and trimming process, it is possible for the final trimmed edge to be slightly misaligned. To account for this potential misalignment, designers include an extra margin of design that extends beyond the trim edge. This extra margin is known as bleed.
Why is Bleed Important?
Bleed is important because it helps to ensure that your design extends to the very edge of the final printed document. Without bleed, you run the risk of having a thin white border around the edges of your design when it is printed and trimmed. This can ruin the professional appearance of your design and make it look unfinished.
Including bleed in your design also helps to ensure that important elements of your design, such as images or background colors, extend all the way to the edge of the final document. This creates a seamless and cohesive look for your design.
How to Set Up Bleed in Your Design
Most printers will require a minimum amount of bleed to be included in your design. This minimum amount is usually around 0.125 inches (3mm). When setting up your document in a design program such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, make sure to include this minimum amount of bleed in your document set up.
To set up bleed in your design software, you will need to create a new document that is larger than your final document size by the amount of bleed required. For example, if we require 3mm of bleed – so if you’re ordering trifold leaflets with the final document size of 297x210mm then your artboard needs to be set up at 303x216mm (to account for the 3mm of bleed on all sides).
Once you have set up your document with the correct bleed, make sure to extend any design elements that you want to extend to the edge of the final document beyond the trim line. For example, if you want a background color to extend to the edge of the document, make sure to extend the color beyond the trim line.
Bleed is an important aspect to consider when preparing your designs for print. Including bleed in your design helps to ensure that your design looks polished and professional when printed, with no thin white borders around the edges. Make sure to include the minimum amount of bleed required by your printer in your document set up and extend any design elements that you want to extend to the edge of the final document beyond the trim line.