The way you set up your print project can make all the difference in the final look and feel of your marketing piece. One of the most effective, yet simplest ways to change things up is by using a bleed in your design.
If you’re unsure what exactly a bleed is, how and when you should use it, and the potential challenges with adding a bleed to your project, keep reading. We’ll dig into the bleed concept and provide some best practices to make your print project look amazing every time.
What is a Bleed in Print?
A bleed is a printing technique where your design is printed bigger than the final product’s finished size and then cut down to size. It eliminates any unwanted white space or borders around the edge of your design.
To put it another way, have you ever seen a printed marketing piece where what’s printed runs all the way to the edges, while other printed pieces may have a white border where the printing stops? That’s a bleed.
The Pros and Cons of Bleeds in Print
Now that you understand what a bleed is, there are times that you may or may not want to go in this direction.
Here are some things to keep in mind when considering a bleed:
Understanding the Bleed Marks on Your Proof
Once you’ve decided to use bleeds in your print job, you’ll want to understand the markings on your proof when you receive it. The trim marks are generally seen as corner line markings just inside the printed content and ensure that when your pages are trimmed, you will see the full image on the page with no white border. Fold marks are generally dashed lines indicating where you fold an 11" x 17" sheet in half, for instance.
Fortunately, using the default values within your graphic design software often provides the best option. It is still helpful to understand how bleeds, trims and folds work to create the most professional print project possible.