Adding bleed to artwork

WHat is bleed?

Bleed is where the printed image on a page extends beyond the edge of the printed area.

During the printing and trimming process, it is common for each sheet of paper to vary or move ever so slightly.

The addition of bleed to your artwork, ensures that even where this variance occurs it will not be noticeable, as your printing will always be trimmed somewhere on the coloured printed image.

Trim marks indicate where the artwork should finish and act as guidelines in the finishing process.

If bleed is absent, it’s possible to find unsightly white lines bordering your printed item where there should be colour extending to the edge.

A lack of an allowance for bleed on supplied artwork is one of the most common problems faced in printing yet it’s one of the most important pieces of information.

How much bleed shouLd Be added to final artwork for printing?

You should always add 3mm bleed to your print-ready artwork (see diagram below). For wide format jobs allow 1mm bleed all around. 

For additional information on how to correctly set up your artwork ready for print, see our Blog/Resources - How to create artwork ready for print. 

Adding bleed to artwork