Bleed in Printing

Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe a document which has images or elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin. When a document has bleed, it must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimed down.

What is printing Bleed? Bleed is when a document is printed larger than is needed in order for it to be trimmed back to its original size after printing. This helps ensure that any background colours or images are printed edge to edge and avoids any unsightly white edges showing.
As the sheet fed material passes through a printing press it has a tendency to move slightly, and only a fraction of a millimeter can result in an unsightly white slither of non-printed area remains. This small movement can also occur on the guillotine, as the final job is being cut down to size – resulting in the same problem.

bleed in printing

So to get around this a standard 3mm extra of the design is printed this gives us a small amount of leeway to counteract any movement.
Larger bleed, in some cases 8mm can be required on large multiple page documents such as brochures, but for standard leaflets and flyers and brochure printing with documents of 32 pages or less 3mm with suffice.
Any less than 3mm bleed and it becomes a gamble on the white slithers occurring, so it’s always best to ask if you are unsure. But if you can stick to 3mm then it’s should all work out fine.
But allowing for 3mm bleed and not using it correctly is as bad as not having any bleed at all. Any items on the page which require bleed, need to exceed the pages trim edge by 3mm. See the example.
Don’t let any items “Sit on the fence”.
Any items which run up to the edge of the page need to ‘exceed’ the trim edge or be reigned back in so they are 3mm inside the bleed, having them site on the trim edge can be a problem


The example here show an item on the trim edge, its has a background colour which not the same colour, so the photo of the girls does not bleed properly and therefore this can have the same affect as having no bleed at all – this could possibly have a slither of the green background rather than the white non printed page. By making sure that the photo meets the bleed edge then this ensures it will be printed edge to edge and the