Designing for Print Marketing: What Is Bleed?

Designing for Print Marketing: What Is Bleed?

Posted by The Badger Group on Sep 27, 2016

If you have never designed for print marketing, there is a lot to learn. Beginners can make mistakes that can impact the quality of the final product. But once you understand some basic rules for print marketing design, the process for bringing your design to life will be easier and more successful for you and The Badger Group.

When printing your design, The Badger Group does not print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper. What does this mean if you want a background image to extend to the edge of the page? Here is your lesson on bleeds.

What Is Bleed?

“Bleed” is a printing term referring to the printing area of that goes beyond the edge of the sheet of paper. This extra margin around the sides of your document will be trimmed off. We print to a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim down the paper to the size of your finished piece.

Design elements, such as images and background colors, that you wish to extend to the edge of the page must extend beyond the trim line. This allows us to account for any inconsistencies during the printing process, such as movement of the paper. With the design extended into the bleed area, any white edge will be trimmed off along with the bleed, giving you a clean final document.

If you want a white border on all four sides, bleeds are not required. But because the bleed area will be trimmed off, there should be no text or other important information in this space.

The Badger Group’s Bleed Specs

There is really no such thing as “wrong” design. However, good print design can be accomplished by following a few simple rules.

  • Keep the copy image area between 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch from the trim edge for a cleaner finished piece.  This keeps the copy within the page rather than extending to the edges of the page.
  • If your image is going to bleed, be sure that there is a minimum of 1/8 inch of image extending beyond the trim edge. This allowance is necessary for proper finishing.
  • Mark placement is another concern when saving PDFs for print.  Most page layout programs use a Mark Offset Value which is less than 1/8 inch, and this can lead to problems in the finishing department.

Many factors affect the finishing of your printed piece including folding, cutting, scores, and binding. By providing a well designed piece, you help to maximize the finished look of your product. Good design helps us make your job the quality piece you envisioned when you first began its design!

At The Badger Group, we want to make your job easier. We provide a wide range of resources: Downloadable Resources on variety of marketing topics and Badger Tools for your print marketing projects with The Badger Group.

Download our Badger Resource, Exporting PDFs Using InDesign, to use as a guide when setting up your files for print.


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