If you need to print something with colors and images that go to the edge of the paper, you’ll need to be sure to include bleeds in your file. Including a “bleed” means the size of your artwork file needs to be slightly bigger than the paper you are printing it on. This is important because paper can shift during printing, and if your work is the same size as the paper it can leave millimeters of white space that make prints look unprofessional. However, if you create a “bleed”, that extra room will allow for the shift in the printing process and when the piece is cut down to the finish size, it eliminates the chance for unsightly slivers of white space.
Programs like Adobe InDesign and Photoshop or Microsoft Publisher have bleed options within their print settings. To find those settings you can easily search the internet for tutorials to correctly add the bleeds. Or you can manually create a bleed in any program by changing the document size of your file. It is recommended to add at least 0.125 inch bleed on each side of the document (i.e. 8.5 x 11 with bleed would be 8.75 x 11.25 because you are adding 0.125 to each edge). It is best to check with your print provider on their standard bleed room space.
Keep in mind that just because you are adding more room to the file doesn’t mean you have more space to fill with copy. Only the elements that touch the edge should be extended out to the extra space. Keep your text and important images at least .187 to .25 inches from the finish size of the project. Most print providers have standard margins for important text and images. While you are checking for the amount of bleed room, ask them about copy margins as well. You would hate for text to get trimmed off, that’ll really get your blood a boiling! Just remember it’s important to add a bleed so your blood, sweat and tears don’t go to waste!
If you still have any questions about adding bleeds to your file, just let us know! We’d be glad to help prepare your file for the best outcome possible. (308) 284-2194