How do I add bleed to my design file?

Bleed is the portion of your design that extends beyond the finished size of your printed product. It is important to include bleed in your design file to ensure that the final printed product is trimmed to the correct size, with no white borders or unprinted areas.

To add bleed to your design file, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine the required bleed: Check with your printer to find out how much bleed is required for your printed product. Bleed is typically added to all sides of the document, and the amount can vary depending on the printer and the type of product being printed. We typically require 1/8" bleed on all sides for North American orders and 5mm for EU orders.

  2. Set up your document: Create a new document in your desktop publishing or graphic design software, and set the dimensions to include the required bleed. For example, if you are creating a business card that requires a 1/8 inch bleed on all sides, you would set the document size to 3.75 inches by 2.25 inches (the finished size of a standard business card plus the bleed).

  3. The easiest way to add bleed to your design file is by making sure you have the right software with you! With Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, adding a bleed is as easy as 1-2-3. First, draw a rectangle that's larger than your final artwork size by at least 0.125 inches on all sides (this will be the “bleed area”). Second, select “File > Document Setup” from the main menu and enter these values into each of the corresponding fields: Bleed Top = 0.125 inches; Bleed Bottom = 0.125 inches; Bleed Inside = 0.125 inches; and Bleed Outside = 0.125 inches. Thirdly, save your document - voila! Now go ahead and design something awesome…with just a pinch of extra bleed!