Bleeds: The Printing World’s Guide to Creating Flawless Work

By June 11, 2014Uncategorized
drawing by paints

Coloring outside of the lines is not just for preschoolers. Here at Printing Solutions, a print company in Scottsdale, AZ, we do it, too. And we’re all grown adults! But unlike the typical preschooler, we color outside of the lines on purpose. In the printing world, ink that goes beyond the edge of a sheet is referred to as bleeds. Don’t worry, there’s no actual blood involved…just ink.

Related: What’s the Difference Between CMYK and Pantone?

The purpose of bleeds is to prevent any white area or background color from showing. Thus, we print past the “cut mark” so that when the actually cutting happens, the artwork will be in tact even if there is a cutting misalignment. We print ⅛ of an inch off of the edge, so that when the material is cut down, the color bleeds off. Thus, creating the effect that the color has been printed straight to the edge of the printed material.

We know exactly where to make cuts because of something called crop marks. These crop marks are basically indications of where the cut is going to be made. Using our creative software, we place crop marks on the digital image of the artwork and then the printing machine knows where the cuts need to be made. It’s a no-fail way to ensure that the artwork is being made to the exact specifications of the client.

Coloring outside of the lines may be frowned upon in preschool, but here at Printing Solutions, we encourage it. It definitely has its advantages…just ask our happy clients.


Andrew Pinch

About Andrew Pinch

Andrew has been working in the print industry since 2003, working in prepress, management, and ultimately owner of print shops, including Printing Solutions of Tempe, Arizona. See Andrew's LinkedIn Profile here.