This information is provided for files created at home and sent using our document upload form. Bleeds are automatically calculated for files sent using the online print order system or photo template section.

What is Bleed?

Build your files 1/8" larger than the final trim sizeBleeds allow you to run artwork to the edge of a page. On a press, the artwork is printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed down to size. If you do not allow for a 1/8 of an inch bleed, any misalignment while cutting will result with the artwork not running to the edge of the paper. Bleeds ensure you get the results you need (see an example). For example, if you have designed a standard 3.5″ x 2″ business card with a red background covering the whole area, you will need to enlarge that red background to 3.75″ x 2.25″. This will make the red background extend 1/8″ on every side of the page.

Why is adding a Bleed necessary?

Small mechanical variations can end up leaving a hairline white edge where there should be no white edge at all, if the image is not extended beyond the final trim size. Extending images 1/8″ beyond the final trim size guarantees that images truly will go all the way to the edge of the printed paper.

How do I add bleed to my design?

Adobe Photoshop
  1. Here is an example (not to scale) of how you should build your file.Open Photoshop and click File > New…
  2. Enter the FULL BLEED dimensions. That is, 1/4″ extra both vertically and horizontally.
  3. Set the Resolution at 300 pixels/inch
  4. Set the Color Mode to CMYK
  5. When saving the final version of the file to submit to print, use file->’save as’ select Photoshop PDF, and set the preset mode to “Press Quality”
Adobe Illustrator
  1. Open Illustrator and click File > New…
  2. Enter the TRIM dimensions in the Width and Height boxes (for example, the trim dimension on a standard business card would be 3.5″ x 2″)
  3. Enter 0.125 for the top, bottom, left and right bleed
  4. Set the the Color Mode to CMYK
  5. Set the Raster Effects at High (300ppi)
  6. When saving the final version of the file to submit to print, use file->’save as’ select PDF, and set the preset mode to “Press Quality”
Adobe InDesign
  1. Open InDesign and click File > New > Document…
  2. Enter the TRIM dimensions under Page Size (for example, a standard business card would have trim dimensions of 3.5″ x 2″)
  3. If you do not see “Bleed and Slug” at the bottom of the window, click the “More Options” button.
  4. Enter 0.125 for the top, bottom, left and right bleed
  5. When saving the final version of the file to submit to print, use file->’save as’ select PDF, and set the preset mode to “Press Quality”


Text Safe Area

Additionally, it is good practice to keep text or important design elements away from the trim edge, to make sure it doesn’t get trimmed out by minor mechanical variations that can occur during the printing process. The graphics below show how to make sure your important graphics are in the text safe¬†area:
bleeds 1    


mautic is open source marketing automation