What is print bleed? Tips and advice on how to buy print and printing from a printer

What is Bleed in Printing?

You may well have heard the term – so let’s clarify exactly what it is… here’s Wiki’s take on it

“Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.
It is very difficult to print all the way to the edge of a sheet of paper/card – to achieve this it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the paper/card down to the required finished size. Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended beyond the trim line to give a “bleed”.

What are print bleeds in the UK?

Bleeds in the UK and Europe are 2 to 5mm from where the cut is to be made. This can vary from one print company to another – so if you’re preparing artwork for a printer, ask!

Full bleed is printing from one edge of the paper to the other without the standard borders by which most personal printers are limited. This is useful for printing brochures, posters, and other marketing materials. Often the paper is trimmed after printing to ensure the ink runs fully to the edge and does not stop short of it.


So basically it’s all about making sure your finished article looks the business. For all the work that we undertake we will ensure that you have proofs before the project goes to print – so you will see exactly what you are going to end up with.

And of course, if we’re designing your brochure, catalogues, leaflets or exhibition print in-house here in Oxfordshire, then things like Bleed are already taken care of by our team of print designers. Any questions? Feel free to ask!

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