What Is Bleed?

Images /  16 January 19 / by Iain Schofield    
What Is Bleed?

If you’re creating or designing printed media, chances are you’ll come across the term bleed. But what does it mean?

Essentially, bleed is the extra space around your design that will ultimately be cropped. Fractional movements in the printing process can create a degree of inaccuracy, bleed pre-empts this and compensates. By over printing into the bleed area, a 3mm additional space around the border of your design, we are able to trim and align the finished materials uniformly.

So, think of bleed as a printers’ safety net. It allows us to provide exact sizing for the various products we offer, ensuring we get each piece exactly right.

Adding bleed to you marketing materials

Generally, when you supply artwork to a printer, they will ask that you take into account a bleed area of between 3-5mm. An easy way to achieve this is to extend the background of any image at least 3mm beyond the subject area.

Good Artwork

An example of good artwork
Here, the image supplied includes enough background to compensate for the bleed (highlighted in red).

Bad artwork

softball image too closely cropped
Here, the image is too closely cropped. Adding bleed around the image would over-crop the subject

An easier way?

Online direct mail tools, like Hello Market, make adding bleed simple. When you choose a pre-designed template, bleed has already been sorted. So you’re free to focus on your custom copy and design embellishments.

If you are uploading your own artwork to Hello Market, the bleed area is highlighted in blue in the Creative Editor. Just be sure your design extends to the very edge of the bleed area before proceeding. Depending on the layout, bleed will be required in some areas and not others. If you don’t see the blue outline, it isn’t required.

So, bleed plays a crucial role in the printing and finishing process. By factoring bleed into your design, you can ensure an accurate and professional finish for your direct mail.

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