What Is Printing Bleed?

What Is Printing Bleed?


What is bleed?
Bleed is an extension of all the elements that touch the edge of the design past the edges of the document.  Basically if you have a picture that goes right up to the edge of your document or a background colour, it must extend at least 3mm beyond where the document is to be cut.

Why do I need it?

Bleed is key in making sure that your carefully crafted artwork once printed looks as it did on the screen after all your hours of hard work!  Without bleed you may be left with a white border around your document, which would be disappointing to say the least.

How does it work?

Bleed gives the printing process a margin for error throughout the different steps towards your final glorious creation. There are several variables that can affect print layout such as paper quality, paper shrinkage and print alignment. All of these things can change the final print position by millimetres, that, without bleed, create a poor print with messy or white borders.

Once printed, bleed also allows for a margin of error within the trimming process, meaning the guillotine machine or finishing maestro does not need an unobtainable 100% cutting accuracy when trimming the items down.  Although we do try our best!

How do they know where to cut?

Which is where “Crop marks” come in, showing how and where your magnificent creation needs to be cut into it’s perfect final version.

The moral of the story.

Add bleed and crop marks to your artwork files!  Otherwise they are not “print ready” and risk not looking their best.  We can easily add bleed and crop for you, just supply us your original artwork (Not in a PDf) and relax!  We will always advise before putting your literature to print, and send you over a proof to make sure you are perfectly happy with your artwork, so rest assured we have your best interests at heart.


Feel free to contact The London Printing Company to discuss Bleed or for a no-obligation quote and if you have other questions, we’re happy to help! :)