Signs & Large Format Printing
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All About Bleeds

What is a Bleed?


A “Bleed” occurs when photos, graphics or colours print to the edge of the paper. Part of that image (1/8″) must be trimmed off to create the bleeds. Please allow for 1/8″ bleed on all sides. For example, a 4″ x 6″ postcard  would have an image area of 4 1/4″ x 6 1/4″.  Printed pieces that have a white border or white around the edges, DO NOT bleed. If you have images or backgrounds that you want to print (bleed) off the edge of the paper, then you must design your job larger than the final CUT SIZE. We create bleeds by actually cutting through the enlarged image/background.

How to Create Bleeds

To create bleeds, make your document larger than the final CUT SIZE. We require that you make your document 0.125″ larger on all four sides, therefore, the size with bleeds will be 0.25″ larger than the final cut size in both dimensions. For example, if you are printing a postcard with a final cut size of 4″ x 6″, then the size with bleeds (BLEED SIZE) will be 4.25″ x 6.25″. The best way to design keeping bleeds in mind is to make use
of visual guides found in most graphics programs. Start by making your document size equal to the BLEED SIZE (for a 4″ x 6″ postcard, make it 4.25″ x 6.25″). Now place guides 0.125″ in from these edges, all the way around. These guides are where the document/card will be cut (CUT EDGE). Anything you want to bleed off the edge of the card must extend past your guides out tCuttingo the BLEED EDGE. If photos and backgrounds do
not extend past these guides, (if they do not bleed), white may show around the edges when we cut the cards, due to slight movement during the cutting process.

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5037 NE 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50313 US
Phone: (515) 288-2146