Bleed area

02/09/2008

The bleed area is the edge of the printed paper that will be trimmed and discarded after the printing process. The standard bleed size can vary from one printing company to the other but generally is 3mm (0.125 inches).

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  • The red border is the Bleed edge. This is the full document size.
  • The blue border is the Cut edge. This is where the paper will be trimmed and is the final size of the product.
  • The green border is the Safe zone. Important text and objects should be within this area to avoid accidental cutting.

Printing techniques

First you need to think about who is likely to use your template. That is important from the printing point of view because small quantities of copies are more likely to be printed digitally while large quantities are printed using other common printing techniques that involve a print press.

A small (50-100) number of copies will probably be printed using a digital printer. This technique does not require trimming the edges of the paper after the printing process and therefore you don’t need to put bleed areas in your templates.

On the other hand, large quantities of copies are more likely to be printed using other common techniques that involve using a printing press. Those printing techniques require trimming the edges of the printing paper and you should add bleed areas to your template.

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Go to Layout/Page Setup in CorelDRAW and set a value in the Bleed field.

Template dimensions

If you want the generated output files to include bleed, be sure to expand the background shape or image in the template file to the edge of the bleed area. Ex. If you’re creating a business card template (91mm x 55mm), the page size will be just that, same as the final dimensions of the card. The background shape (or image) however, will have to extend outside the page size in CorelDRAW by 3mm on each side (97mm x 61mm) and reach the bleed edge.

After uploading the template in your web-to-print catalog, edit its PDF settings to include bleed in the final generated PDF output file.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is the dimensions of the final product. Business cards, flyers, invitations and other small sized templates are trimmed easily using a guillotine. Some printing companies may not be equipped to trim large sized templates such as posters.

See also: