In printing terminology, a bleed refers to the area of the document that extends beyond the final trim size. It ensures that the printed content reaches the edge of the page without leaving any unwanted white borders. When designing a document, such as a brochure or a flyer, it is important to include a bleed to avoid any issues with cutting or trimming during the production process.
Typically, a bleed is created by extending the background or other design elements 0.125 to 0.25 inches (around 3 to 6 millimeters) beyond the final trim size. The purpose of a bleed is to account for slight variations and inconsistencies during the printing and trimming process.
Printers usually print the document on a larger paper size and then trim it down to the required size. By including a bleed, any shifts or misalignment in the cutting process will not result in unsightly white edges or incomplete designs.
Graphic designers and print professionals should always send their final files incorporating a bleed when preparing print-ready files. This ensures that the final printed piece looks professional and polished, with no unwanted gaps or borders, providing a seamless and finished appearance.