Bleed and Crops
You may commonly hear the terms bleed or crop in printing, and these are key things to consider when designing a print product and applying print techniques. If you have a company that designs and prints for you then they may take the trouble of bleed and crop management for you, but if you are creating a design for print yourself then it is important that you consider the bleed line and crop marks of your design. This is an absolute must before you print.
The bleed is essentially the space around the edge of your design area where the print finishes but allows room for paper movement. It usually appears as a white edge and commonly in UK print design projects is 3mm wide.
It is crucial that this allowance is made to maximise the integrity of the design, especially if you are printing multiple design pages to be printed on one page for later cropping. If you are using software applications such as InDesign or Illustrator they will give support and guidance on how to create a bleed allowance. If you have enlisted a project design company to create your design, they should be adept at doing this. However, if you feel when your draft copy is produced that the design is poorly set or moves off the edges, don’t be afraid to ask them to adjust their bleed to combat this.
When designing your print items make sure you leave at least 5mm from the ends to avoid trimming any of your text or images.
Cropping, or cutting, is where you trim the edge that has been created for the bleed. Many design software applications such as Illustrator or InDesign have inbuilt mechanisms to help you create crop marks on your design. They commonly appear as dotted lines or as cross hatch markings around the edges of your design.
Setting up Bleed in Indesign
Indesign is the easyest software program to set up bleed from with many options like Page Sizes, Columns, Margins and Bleed. Just select the relevant options and click ok to progress to your document page.
Setting up Bleed in Illustrator
To set up bleed in Illustrator you start by making a new document file which also comtants options like Page Sizes, Units, Orientation and Bleed. Just select the relevant options and click ok to progress to your document page just like in InDesign.
Although some applications such as Photoshop sadly do not produce crop marks, you can add them manually if you do so carefully. Whilst setting up crops marks in Photoshop, isn’t recommended and can be time consuming so we would simply import your photoshop file into Illustrator or InDesign to create a better print ready PDF.
Alternatively ask your expert printing firm, like us here at Betterprinting to undertake the crop marks for you.
If you want a professional finish and true consistency across your printed material, particularly for posters, leaflets and flyers, then ensuring you have proper print alignment on the bleed area is vital. Likewise a well measured and applied crop line will also ensure that your printed product is trimmed to perfection.
Here at Betterprinting we have years of experience and knowledge to ensure that our customers can always rely on us to crop and deliver a product that will undoubtedly be satisfactory every time.