3 years ago  •  By  •  0 Comments


This isn’t a True Blood reference, but a reference to the terminology used by printers. We’re great believers in cutting through the bullshit at Blank Box Design. There is no time for pretentious wanky art references or terminology here. So let me explain what are these mysterious bleeds. No doubt your printer will have mentioned them at some point and  most likely used this to justify a set-up or artwork fee.

Bleeds are basically the area of paper that is trimmed off when your printed material is cut to size. This is the simplest way to put it in one sentence. But let me break it down a little and use an example we can all understand.

The humble business card, we probably all have one or have received one at some point. So how do bleeds apply to business cards? Well a standard business card is 85mm x 55mm and a standard bleed is 3mm.

bleeds blank box design

This means then that before your business card is trimmed the artwork/design should actually be 91mm x 61mm. Simple then I here you say, just make the artwork bigger, and yes that right, that is pretty much all that’s involved. However always make sure you keep important contact info at least 3mm inside the edge of your finished trimmed design.

It’s all about the why at Blank Box Design so let me explain why bleeds are important. Even in todays advanced tech world printers aren’t 100% accurate, this can cause issues with your design and the final look of your business card if you have no bleeds. For example you have a simple business card with one side which is all one colour. Now if you make your artwork 85mm x 55mm (the standard business card size) and the printing is off by just 0.5mm your full colour side will have a white line down the edge.

bleeds blank box design

As you can see this can play havoc with the look of your design. So next time you are preparing your artwork for print remember your bleeds. Make your background artwork a wee bit bigger than the size of the finished printed piece and keep important info 3mm inside the finished edge. This should hopefully lead to no more additional print fees for setting bleeds.

I hope this helps, if you have any questions about anything thing in this post then pop them in the comments section and I will get back to you.


Submit a Comment