Bleed Guidelines - What is Bleed?

Bleed is a printing term used to describe elements that touch the edge of the page. Artwork that is full bleed extends past the trim area of the page, leaving no white margin.

Below is an example of a business card set up with 1/8” bleed. This is how you must set up your artwork if you want to have graphics that extend all the way to the edge of the cut item. These guidelines are the same no matter the final size of your prints. You will always add 1/8” to each side of your artwork.

1. Bleed Zone - art in this area will be trimmed off when your print is cut down to its final size.
2. Final Trim Area - the finished size of your print.
3. Safe Zone for Text - type & graphics extending past this margin are at risk of being cut off when your artwork is being trimmed to its final size. Do not place anything essential outside of this area.
4. Minimum Point Size - type that is smaller than 6pt tall will not be legible when printed.

COMMON PRINT SIZES & THEIR MEASUREMENTS WITH BLEED

3.5” x 2” Business Card → 3.75” x 2.25”
4” x 6” Postcard → 4.25” x 6.25”
5” x 7” Invitation → 5.25” x 7.25”
8.5” x 11” Flyer → 8.75” x 11.25”
11” x 17” Poster → 11.25” x 17.25”

RGB vs CMYK

The color of your artwork on-screen and the color when printed will often differ slightly. This is because screens display color in an RGB (red, green, blue) color mode while printing uses CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Some colors that look great on-screen (such as vibrant oranges or deep blues and purples) will not translate well to this method of printing. True metallic and neon/fluorescent colors are unable to be recreated at all using a CMYK printing method.

We request that all artwork be provided in a CMYK color mode in order to avoid any unexpected shifts in color from what you see on screen versus the final product you receive. We are always happy to provide a physical proof on jobs before proceeding with a full run if you have any concerns about color accuracy!

CONVERTING TO CMYK

Below is a list of how to convert your artwork to a CMYK colorspace in several commonly used programs. If we are provided with RGB artwork, we will automatically convert it to CMYK when going to print. However, this may result in a slight variance in color from screen to print.

Adobe Photoshop
For existing files, select the following menu options:
Image > Mode > CMYK. When starting a new file, select CMYK for the color mode before clicking OK.

Adobe Illustrator
For existing files, select the following menu options:
File > Document Color Mode > CMYK. If you are exporting your file, look for Image > Color Model and select CMYK from the drop-down menu. When starting a new file, select CMYK for the color mode under Advanced Options.

Adobe InDesign
For existing files, select the following menu options:
File > Document Setup > Intent > Print. When starting a new file, use one of the Print presets as the starting point for your setup.

Microsoft Publisher
For existing files, select the following menu options:
File > Info > Commercial Print Settings > Choose Color Model > Process Colors (CMYK).

Quark Xpress
For existing files, select the following menu options:
Edit > Edit Colors > Show Colors in Use/Highlight Color and click Edit. Change model to CMYK and deselect Spot color.

Image Resolutions

The resolution of an image refers to the number of dots, or pixels, per inch (DPI) in an image. The higher the number of dots, the higher the quality of print. Files designed for web use typically have 72 DPI, and will appear blurry or pixelated when printed. This is because commercial printers lay down 300 dots per inch, meaning that low resolution images must be scaled larger to achieve the desired print size and reveal the inherent “blockiness” of the lower resolution image.

Resolution is not size, but it’s often confused with it because higher resolution images are often bigger. It is better to think of size in terms of dimensions -- the area (width x height) of a file. You can find the dimensions in pixels of an image by looking at it’s properties (Right-click > Properties > Details) . To convert this to inches, divide the number of pixels by the DPI of the image. For instance, if you have an image with a resolution of 300 DPI and an area of 1200x1800 pixels, its size in inches is 4”x6”.

We request that customers provide files with a resolution of 300 DPI and dimensions equal to the desired print size.

We are here to help you!