Trim, Bleed & Margin
Trim, Bleed & Margin is the most important concept of a print job. Printers strive to print with 100% accuracy, however, as with any mechanical process there are tolerances
that should be taken into account.
1) TRIM (black) is where the product will be trimmed/cut.
2) BLEED (red) is a safe zone outside the trim area.
3) MARGIN (blue) is a safe zone inside the trim area.
Paper is a product of nature, and as in nature nothing is exactly the same, so while we try to ensure that our papers are kept in check, one might, for example, be a millimeter shorter than the next.
This means that if the product is double sided, the second side will not be printed in the exact same spot as the paper before. When cut, it will make the paper show. Bleed and margins make the problem disappear (at least visually).
If the print shifts during the printing process, bleed makes it possible to still use the product. Without bleed, there would be a noticeable paper border at the trim edge.
The first image shows what happens without bleed, the second image when bleed is properly incorporated. Important! Always use 1/8” bleed, this should insure your printed piece will not have uneven paper borders.
Bleeds are the outer safe guards and margins the inner. If text is too close to the border, it might be cut.
Straight lines too close to the trim might look skewed. Margins create an optical illusion and fool the eye. Note! We recommend at least a 3/16” margin for text and straight lines. While you can use less, we can’t guarantee a good looking end result.