Pressworks Blog

Print Speak: One Word A Day Brain Booster- What is a Bleed

September 28, 2016 by


We all want to know what we are talking about especially when it comes to communicating with a professional vendor. Today starts our Print Speak: One Word a Day Brain Booster series. Today’s commercial printing term is “bleed”- we are not talking bleed in the medical sense but bleed as it applies to commercial printing.

Bleed: In a nutshell any text or images beyond the bleed line is the portion of a print piece that will be cut off and discarded.

Bleed- used to describe a document which has elements that touch the edge of the page, beyond the trim edge and leaving no margin. The piece is printed on a larger piece of paper and is trimmed down to its final size.

Anytime you do not want a margin or border on your finished product it must be designed with a bleed. All pertinent information and text must be placed at least 0.25” inside the bleed line so it does not end up in the recycle bin. Of course there are always a few exceptions- large and grand format printers, print edge to edge and do not require a bleed.

Below is a list of some standard product sizes and bleed specifications:

  • 3.5”x 2” business card ———– 3.75” x 2.25”
  • 4” x 6” postcard —————— 4.25” x 6.25”
  • 5” x 7” card- ———————- 5.25” x 7.25”
  • 8.5” x 11” flyer ——————– 8.75” x 11.25”
  • 11” x 17” sheet ——————- 11.25” x 17.25”
  • 12” x 18” poster- —————- 12.25” x 18.25”