Printing Bleed Guide

What is bleed and why is it required?

Due to a commercial press not being able to print to the edge of a sheet of paper; when your graphics continues to the edge bleed room is required. We therefore print mutiple products on much larger sheets of paper and then cut them down to size for you. As it is difficult to cut exactly to your designs’ edge a little over print (bleed) on each side is necessary. Any document that you are enquiring about being professionally printed will require a bleed area and a safe zone; if your print runs up to the edge of that document.

Please find that the diagram below, shows you in detail, a correctly lined up business card with 3mm of bleed and crop marks. The crop marks are there to guide the guillotines and the area of bleed is outside of these marks.

Please note: You are not required to insert crop marks into your own design.

printing crop marks
printing bleed removed

How much bleed do I need?

At HD Pixel Print we recommend you leave a bleed of 3mm and a 3mm ‘safe zone’ inside giving a total of 6mm on each side. For instance an A4 sheet, lined up correctly with bleed, would be 216mm x 303mm. It then gets cut down to its finished size of 210mm x 297mm. The table provided here contains the correct dimensions of documents lined up with a bleed area.

What Is the safe zone?

The 3mm safe zone is required to make sure there is no text, important information or graphics clipped/lost during the cutting process. For examples of documents with suitable and unsuitable bleed and safe zones please click here.

Diagram Showing Bleed and Safe zone

Please find, looking at the diagram below, a photograph that extends to the edge of the bleed area and with no text in the safe zone. The banner on the right hand side is correctly lined up for printing purposes.

Examples of Common Mistakes

At HD Pixel Print we often come across common mistakes and this section shows some mistakes that have been made; with setting up bleed and also provides you with methods on how to prevent/correct these mistakes.

No bleed area or white bleed area:

  • If your document has no bleed area and printed “as is” the document will have random white lines on all the edges as printing and cutting tolerances cannot be compensated for.
  • Please extend your picture into the bleed area to correct the issue or you could move the text in by 3mm to allow for a bleed area.

Text is in the bleed area and safe zone:

  • If your document has a bleed area and safe zone but you have text inside the bleed area and safe zone. If cut the way it is the text outside the safe zone is likely to be chopped off.
  • To Rectify this problem please move your text inward by 6mm. (3mm for bleed area allowance + 3mm for the safezone)

Text is in the safe zone

  • If your document has a bleed area and safe zone but there is text inside the safe zone. If printed the way it is the text in the safe zone would have a chance of being cut off or clipped so please bare this in mind.
  • To resolve this issue please move your text inward by 3mm.

Not enough bleed

  • If your design does not have enough bleed area. If cut the way it is you may find some random white lines around all the edges of your completed product.
  • Please either extend the background image so it fills the bleed area or try moving the text and objects on the document in by 3mm.

I am unable to correct my document?

If you are unable to correct your document here are two options:

  1. You can print with a border – HD Pixel Print offers a choice of colours and we would be able to print your document with a 6mm plain or coloured border. We use 6mm to ensure that all the borders on each edge are even.
  2. Have the design professionally rebuilt – A professional Graphic Designer at HD Pixel Print can provide you with a new design that includes allowance for the bleed and safe zones.  We have an ‘in-house’ graphics team who are here and would be more than happy to help and provide you with a free quote.