How to Set up Bleeds in Artwork for Print


Bleed definition: when any image or element on a page goes off the sheet, extending beyond the edge of the sheet, leaving no margin, it is said to bleed. Printers cannot print right to the edge of a page, so a slightly larger impression must be printed and then trimmed back with a cutter. It may bleed or extend off one or more sides. Photos, images, clip art, and decorative text elements can all bleed off the page. Particular steps need to be taken in order for your final artwork to be “bleed ready.” The following illustration shows the basic idea of how bleeds should look in your final document.

Bleeds Right and Wrong

Here are guides to help you set up bleeds properly in common software:

Set up Bleeds in Adobe InDesign
Set up Bleeds in Adobe Illustrator
Set up Bleeds in Microsoft Publisher

If you need additional assistance, please contact us regarding specific instructions for the design software that you are using.

See our Artwork Guidelines for additional information. See our templates if you need help getting started with your artwork.