What is Bleed zone

What is bleed zone?

What is bleed in printing? The bleed is the surface or area to be cut off by the guillotine or cutting machine in order to have a full page print jobs. The bleed is the extended part of background image or color on each side of a document for coverage the following errors.

  1. Movement error of the paper in printer
  2. Cutter precision error (machine error)
  3. Staff error who cut the printed paper (human error)
  4. The tolerance between the papers size. Different packages of paper are not precisely at the same size. In other words, there are usually 1mm up to 2mm differences between different page packages.

In order to have a full printed paper, your file must consist of 1/8 inch bleed from each edge of your artwork.

Generally, in the Canada and USA, 1/8 inch from where the cut has to be made is considered as a bleed zone. However, in the Europe this distance is 5mm.


Artwork Width = Final width size+ 1/8 inch (Left side bleed) + 1/8 inch (Right side bleed)
Artwork Width = Final width size+ 0.25 inch (1/4 inch)
Artwork Height = Final height size+ 1/8 inch (Top side bleed) + 1/8 inch (Bottom side bleed)
Artwork Height = Final height size+ 0.25 inch (1/4 inch)

Bleed information

Bleed information is included every subject or elements who meet (touch) each border or the paper's edges, therefore, they have to begin from outside of the finished piece.

The artwork's file must content bleed that will be active by print shop's staff on the print sheet.

Artwork's detail

Before printing any job, there is some detail about the size and placement that should be respected:

  • Print ready file (Artwork) has to have enough bleed
  • The important content, text, image or logo must be in safe zone 

Artwork's samples

  • Final size 3.50 " X 2 "
  • Artwork's size 3.75 " X 2.25 "
  • Bleed size 0.125" of each side
  • Safe zone 3.25 " X 1.75 "

Postal card 4X6 and 5X7

  • Final size 4 " X 6 "
  • Artwork's size 4.25 " X 6.25 "
  • Bleed size 0.125" of each side
  • Safe zone 3.75 " X 5.75 "
  • Final size 5 " X 7 "
  • Artwork's size 4.75 " X 6.75 "
  • Bleed size 0.125" of each side
  • Safe zone 4.75 " X 6.75 "

See the sample
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