The Need for Bleed

Wed Aug 21 2019 /
Kevin Keigley

The Need for Bleed


I have a friend who has been working in the printing industry for decades.
He’s been my go-to guy for many years for many a project.
One of the very first lessons I learned from him as a budding designer, was the need for bleed.


Simply put, if your design contains images or colors that need to extend to the edge of the final printed piece, bleed allows you to do so without having a white border.
Because paper can shift side to side as it moves through the press, creating a design with a bleed will ensure that the final print showcases color from edge to edge.

Let’s use a business card as an example.
Your client wants the background to be a solid color that goes to the very edges of the card.
You’ll want to go FULL BLEED with your design.
See the examples below:


There are many ways to set up your document to be certain your bleed is correct and that you get it right the first time.
I would advise any designer to build a relationship with a good printer in your area.
Get to know them.
Talk to them.
Listen to them.
Take their advice.
Figure out what will make their jobs easier.
Believe me, they’ll thank you for it and it will also lead to quality print work that will make you and your work stand out in an ocean of designers.

And to serve as a reminder to all of you designers and printers and Top Gun reminiscers, I have provided a visual aid lest you forget.

You’re welcome.
(cue “Highway to the Danger Zone”)

Packaging School The Need for Bleed
Packaging School The Need for Bleed

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