What is bleed and why is it so crucial?

by | Technical

What is Bleed and why is it so crucial?

Here at Print4UK bleed is such a crucial aspect of the printing process, occasionally there is a small degree of movement on the press so to avoid unnecessary white borders we make sure that all our art work has at least 3mm of bleed before it gets sent to print. This blog below explains the why bleed is so crucial to the printing process

During any printing process, there is always a small degree of movement on the press. That’s why if your artwork runs to the edge of the printed page you need to include 3mm bleed. Applying the correct bleed ensures that the print will go right to the edge of the page. Without bleed, some pages may have a white hairline at the very edge when trimmed.

It’s easy to supply your print-ready pdf with bleed when you create artwork on any major desktop publishing software. Our guide below explains how.

Adobe Indesign

When you create your new document and enter your page size, add 3mm all around using the bleed and slug box. If your artwork document has already been created simply open “Document set up” under the File menu and add it then. You’ll clearly see the page and bleed guides on your document (as long as you have your guides set to show under the view menu) so take any graphics you want to run off the printed page to at least the bleed guide.

When you export your artwork to pdf ready for print, click on “Marks and bleeds” and click the checkbox for “Use document bleed settings”. You can add crop marks here too.

Adobe Illustrator

When you create a new Illustrator document you’ll see a section for bleed just under your page size. Again, if you are using an existing document, just open “Document Setup” under the File menu and enter 3mm bleed there.

With Illustrator you can just save your document as a pdf (once you’ve ensured the mode is set to CMYK) and your artwork is ready for print.

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop doesn’t allow you to add bleed when you create a document or save it as a pdf, so when you create your new document simply add 6mm to both the height and width of the page. This will give you 3mm bleed all around. Remember that your trim size is 3mm less all round than the document you’re working on so it’s a good idea to use guides to show your page size. Also, make sure your image resolution is 300dpi at artwork size and that your colour mode is set to CMYK.

Bleed made easy


About the author

Lewis Burgess

Digital Marketing Assistant

As Digital Marketing Assistant at Print4UK, Lewis helps with all aspects of digital marketing – from social media, to web design and from email campaigns to PPC. Being social media savvy Lewis settled into the role with ease. He is looking forward to making a real impact on what goes on at Print4UK, by taking their digital marketing to the next level.


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