Prepare your Files with Bleed for your Color Printing Project

File preparation and its influence in the printing cost

An example will help

We will take as an example, a printed piece that once trimmed, will have an overall size of 8.5" wide x 11" tall.

On our graphic design software we will need to be set for an image size of 8.75"x11.25". The next paragraph explained how we came up with that number.

file preparation to do color printing with bleed

Width: Based on what was explained earlier, you should
Add 2 times 1/8" to your piece,
so the width should be set to: 8.5"+2x1/8"
which is the same as 8.5"+2x0.125" which equals 8.75"

Height: the same concept applies, so if the height of the document is to be 11", then the image in the file should be 11.25".

PRINTING COST: What does this bleed requirement mean in terms of the cost of printing with bleed:
• The paper size needed is bigger than 8.5"x11". Printing on a larger piece of paper becomes more expensive
• The paper needs to be trimmed. Trimming is a process that requires additional equipment and labor, therefore increasing the production costs.

A BIG ALERT NOTE: Keep in mind that the portion of the image that is printed outside of what is going to be the final size of the piece will be trimmed and removed. So the part of the image that goes into the bleed area should be the extra image that will go once trimmed.
What's the biggest error some designers do? Some people just expand the image that they want on their final piece. This is a mistake because expanding the image will result in trimming. Trimming removes part of the image so it results in a final piece that is different to what was expected.

Rule #1 for Bleed: Create bleed with "additional image", not by expanding your image

3 reasons to have your document bleed

  1. Bleed allows for a more focused view
  2. Image with color copy bleed no bleed

    I believe that the invitation on the left offers less distraction than the piece on the right hand side. The impact is that the viewer of the piece on the left will be exposed to the message in an easier way. The eye focuses on the title right away other than panning the whole piece trying to decide where to start.

    The inviation on the right requires more time to focus on its message.

  3. Bleed allows for more attractive visual impact.
    Please observe the effect of bleed/no-bleed on a simulated book cover.

    book no bleed - it is unusual to have books with images that do not reach the edge
    color copy bleed example

    Left Image: No bleed on the cover.— Right Image: Bleed! Our choice!

  4. Documents that bleed are usually viewed as being "more professional". That means more efficient marketing actions.
    Amateur documents, on the other hand, designed through
    home-desktop-publishing software usually have thick white borders

    This first image corresponds to a non-bleed scenario where your design opportunities become very limited

    brohcure printed no bleed

    The second scenario that uses bleed permits larger pictures,
    and enhancing details through zooming

    same brochure as above but printed using bleed. Looks very different

Our Color Copy Process | Order Color Copies

If you’d like to print out your bleed files, check this product page for Color Copies. We can help you to find the right product for your printing project.

Call us at 1-877-421-0668 with any inquiries that you might have.