Printing dictionary – Bleed & Borders & Quiet Zone
We want your files to print without fuss and look like you meant them to, there are a small number of orders where the artwork isn’t quite right for printing so we contact the customer to try and explain the problem. There are a couple of printing terms we use when sending e-mails and we thought it would be helpful each Friday to explain what they mean and how it can affect your print.
Bleed and borders often get confused so we’ll start with those.
In designing, bleed means an extension of the background larger than the print size, we recommend 3mm larger than the finished size, the bleed is part of the page we’ll be cutting off when we trim your print to size, to avoid any white showing if the cutter is half a millimetre out of alignment a couple of millimetre bleed will prevent it being noticeable.
At first glance everything looks ok, however this example doesn’t actually have any bleed, the images stop at the (pink) trim lines, if there is the slightest bit of movement when trimming the print to size there is a risk of a white edge showing. The photograph should go to the edge of the bleed.
Borders can look great, however even half a millimetre movement in the guillotine can cause them to look uneven, if they’re right at the edge of the artwork then they could be cut into, if they’re slightly away from the edge of the artwork then they may not look central on the print, the issue is more apparent with slim boarders.
As we’re trimming your print to size and don’t want your text or logos to look as though they are falling off the page, or worse, be cut into we recommend a ‘quiet zone’ of 5mm
Leaving a space of 5mm from the edge of the artwork (including the bleed) allows text and logos to sit on the page comfortably without any risk of looking like an afterthought. Any photographs, patterns or background colours can go to the edge of the print, we’d recommend making them go to the edge of the bleed.
In this example the text and logos are within the quiet zone (highlighted by the blue frame), there is a risk that they could be cut into or be right at the edge once the print is trimmed to size.
So, how should it look?
The text and logos are placed with at least 5mm between the important information and the edge of the print but the images go right to the edge of the print area, everything is fine for printing. The pink trim lines and blue frame have been added only to highlight the issues – we don’t need them on your artwork.
We check every order to ensure technical issues such as bleed and quiet zone don’t affect your print, if there are any issues we’ll let you know.
If you’re using one of our online designs all the above has been taken care of for you,