How-To: Using bleeds to properly format your document - Phoenix Media
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How-To: Using bleeds to properly format your document

“What are bleeds?”

This is a common question often posed to us by our customers and it’s a rather difficult concept to explain. The best way we know how to describe bleeds is by showing bleeds. Take a look at the following document:

You should see three lines: safety, cut, and full bleed. All of your crucial text and images that you do not want cut off should not extend beyond the safety line. This line is to safeguard your text and images from the cutter, which can move slightly during the cutting process.

The dashed cut line is where the flyer will be cut. Again, sometimes the cutter can move slightly during the cutting process so it’s best to keep the important stuff within the safety line.

And, finally, the notorious full bleed line. This is where the contents of your document (back ground color, the parts of  images and text you don’t mind getting trimmed off, borders, etc.) should extend to in order to ensure a proper cut. The reason we require bleeds is to make sure that, when trimmed, there are no white slits showing around the edges of your document from the paper stock, since we print on white paper. We want your document to have a nice, clean cut.

Therefore, after your design is completed, your 4×6 file should measure 4.25×6.25 with the full bleed (that’s an additional 1/8 of an inch on all sides). This applies to any file you submit, whether it’s an 8.5×11 brochure, 11×17 poster, business card–ANYTHING. All designs must include the full bleed. We recommend setting the size of your document to the size with the full bleed prior to designing it and using our guide as a reference.

If you’re confused about how to setup your document, please check out the following video: