What bleeds are and what bleeds do in the printing processHome — TheInternetPrinter > Preparing files > Bleeds — what bleeds are and what bleeds do
Consider the following situation:
- A customer wants to have a business card printed, and that customer wants a background colour to print right to the very edge of the business card.
- The customer creates a file that is the correct size for a business card (i.e.: 54mm x 89mm), and the background colour finishes at the edge of the file.
- TheInternetPrinter prints the business cards on white stock.
- The business card is placed in the card cutter and is trimmed down to the correct size, but the card cutter is 0.5mm out of balance.
Well, given the file had the background colour finishing at the edge of the file, then the business card would have a white strip down one side.
The below image shows this the white strip:
- You can see the green and gold background colours, and you can see where they start and finish — there is a very faint black line where the colours actually finish.
- You can see where the business card was actually trimmed — this is represented by the red box.
- And you can see the white strip down the right-hand side of the business card.
So, we have a problem, but the real issue is how to solve it.
Look at the next image.
- You can see where the card should be trimmed — this is shown by the very faint black box.
- You can also see that the green and gold background colours continue well the very faint black box.
- So, if the business card cutter is out of balance by 0.5mm when the cards are trimmed, and the busines card is actually trimmed where the red box is, then there will still be lots of green and gold printed on the paper stock and no white strip will occur.
When you create your business cards printing file, whether it be a business card or postcard or whatever, have all the background colours continue well past the trim line by at least 3mm, and even more if you wish (but never less than 3mm).
Some software does not allow you to have bleeds — Photoshop is one of those programs. The way to solve the bleeds issue on those programs is to make your job 6mm larger than the size it will be when it is finished. Some of the regular file sizes, after allowing for bleeds, are:
- A3 — normal size 420mm x 297mm — size after allowing for the bleed 426mm x 303mm
- A4 — normal size 297mm x 210mm — size after allowing for the bleed 303mm x 216mm
- A5 — normal size 210mm x 148mm — size after allowing for the bleed 216mm x 154mm
- A6 — normal size 148mm x 105mm — size after allowing for the bleed 154mm x 111mm
- A7 — normal size 105mm x 74mm — size after allowing for the bleed 111mm x 80mm
- DL (or 1/3rd A4) — normal size 210mm x 99mm — size after allowing for the bleed 216mm x 105mm
- DDL (or 2/3rds A4) — normal size 210mm x 198mm — size after allowing for the bleed 216mm x 203mm
- Bookmarks Regular — normal size 142mm x 40mm — size after allowing for the bleed 148mm x 46mm
- Bookmarks Large — normal size 200mm x 50mm — size after allowing for the bleed 206mm x 56mm