This handy guide will help you truly understand what bleed is and how it works, and show you how to add it into your documents to get the right outcome in your finished product.
First of all, we need to understand what bleed is and why we add it.
Bleed is the section of artwork that goes beyond where the paper is cut. When the paper goes through a printing press, and then through a guillotine, each piece of paper is different at a microscopic level. To ensure there is no white border at the edge of your artwork – which can look untidy and unprofessional – we recommend that you print images beyond where the cutting line is. This is so when the paper is cut – you get a nice clean cut-off point!
It’s also important to note that going too close to the edge can have the opposite effect and cut off things that you want to display. It’s always a good idea to have your artwork expand past the edge of your document. It’s also important to leave plenty of space between your text and the edge of the sheet to avoid getting it cut-off.
This is not only good practical advice, but it’s also good design advice as well. Having empty space in your design gives it some breathing room and makes it easier to absorb.
A standard US bleed is 0.125″, or one-eighth of an inch that extends beyond the edge of the sheet. For best aesthetics, the larger your document is the more space you should have between your text and the edge of the sheet. As an example a business card may have margin between your text and the edge of the sheet at a minimum of a 0.125” ( 1/8”). For a larger document like a letter you may want a 0.5” (1/2”) margin.
Check out the graphic below for an example of bleed and margin.
Canva is a popular web-based drag-and-drop client that allows you to create very basic designs, quickly. If you need something printed from Canva, be sure to follow these instructions:
For additional information on creating bleed in Canva follow the link below.
Also be sure to check out our FAQ page for additional information.