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Printing Guidelines: What Are Bleed and Safety? Why It’s Very Important?

Oct 9th, 2019

If you are printing stickers in Toronto, then you should be aware of bleed and safety practices. Bleed and safety and very important elements in the printing industry and should not be taken lightly. Here, we will focus on the importance of bleed and safety, how you can use them to your advantage and generate the highest quality prints for your company or for your clients.

Printing Guidelines: Bleed and Safety. Important.

Why is bleed so important?

Bleed should be a top priority, especially if you are an artwork designer who is focused on the quality of their work. The good news is that bleed can easily be incorporated into your work with little training.

A bleed is a small border that is added around the edges of your design. The bleed is usually about three millimetres. Your work should ideally flow over into the border, in order to ensure that the piece runs to the edge of the page when trimmed for print.

If you are still confused about the bleed process, then imagine simply colouring over all of the lines that you wish to eliminate. Remember that any part of your piece that appears in your bleed zone will not be visible in your final print, as it will be trimmed off. Consequently, you should only have background images and colours in this area.

What happens if I fail to incorporate a bleed?

Imagine that you are designing a beautiful poster for an upcoming art expo. Let us also imagine that the poster has a consistent image in the middle and that it includes details about the upcoming expo. In this hypothetical scenario, the poster will also include an eye-catching title and will also be an A4 type (210 x 297 millimetre). You then send it to your printers, who fail to realize that the files you sent them are missing a bleed.

You receive the posters in the mail only to find that they contain thin white stripes along two of the edges. The reason for the thin white lines is because your printer will not be able to trim your poster to size without leaving thin white edges—where the image ends—without the use of bleed techniques. In other words, bleed provides your printers with room to manoeuvre.

Failure to add a bleed your artwork will make it nearly impossible to remove any thin white edges, so it is a must in order to maximize the aesthetics of your artwork. In fact, even a seemingly small error margin of, say, 0.1 millimetres, will be glaringly evident on the finalized poster or artwork. Now, some experts may argue that a way to avoid the aforementioned issue is to under trim your work. However, under trimming can lead to additional problems and headaches, and is seen by many in the industry as unprofessional or “amateurish.”

The Importance of Safety Margins

Under trimming can lead to problems down the line if you design artwork that does not include margins. You may be required to produce artwork that does not include margins from time to time. in order to adhere to very specific design needs, but generally speaking, it is advisable to use margins whenever possible.

Safety margins serve as an extension on the bleed on the inside of your piece. Here, content that you do not want to exclude should be considered, meaning anything that you want to appear in your finalized artwork should be a part of this area.

However, while anything that appears in your margins should, in theory, end up on the final piece, you may end up being very close to the edge. This may not seem like an issue on your screen but may end up looking rather peculiar when the final product is actually printed and in your hands.

The general rule of thumb is that margins should be roughly three millilitres at a minimum; however, we would recommend that you add large margins for larger products, for the sake of aesthetic clarity. In other words, you want to leave a good amount of space between the edge of your page and where the text starts and ends. Failure to do so may cause you to print a document that appears unprofessional, which may adversely impact the reputation of your business.

What about crop marks?

You should include crop marks with your artwork so that your printer will know where you would like them to trim your document. They are designed to mark where the piece ends and where the bleed starts, and tend to be quite thin, at 0.25pt. However, you do not need to add any crop marks yourself if you don’t want to or don’t have the time, as your printer will usually add their own crop marks.

If you would like to learn more about printing stickers, call Club Ink at 416-694-1996 or contact us here.

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