Bleed Explained

A print guillotine is a top-of-the-line paper cutter that can effortlessly and accurately cut through hundreds of sheets of paper in one pass. At Bollard Cover Printing, we use two types of blades, tungsten steel and high-speed steel, both of which are regularly sharpened. Despite the sharpness of the blades, micro-movements can occur as the paper is being cut and the edges are pushed away from the blade. To prevent the appearance of white areas on the corners of your print, it is recommended to add a small overprint or “bleed” around the edges of your artwork. Bollard covers protect the prints and the guillotine.

electronic printing paper guillotine

How much bleed do I need?

It is recommended to include a 3mm overprint or “bleed” all around your document. This means that any images or background colors/patterns should be extended to the outer edge of this area. Bollard covers ensure that the prints remain in pristine condition.

printing document with no bleed

Document set up with no bleed

printing file with 3mm bleed added

Document set up with 3mm bleed

PDF file with 3mm bleed and crop marks

Exported PDF with bleed and crops

How do i add bleed to my document?

Under File > Document set up in the dialog box that says bleed and slug click into the bleed part and add 3mm on each side.

Similar to indesign except File > New will bring up the document dialog box, add 3mm to all sides.

Photoshop does not have a bleed setting so we recommend setting up your document 3mm bigger all around, so if document is to be printed A4 (210x297mm) set up as 216 x 303mm.

screenshot of illustrator bleed set up

Illustrator bleed dialog box

Safe Area

At Bollard Cover printing, we strive to ensure that your artwork looks clean and visually appealing. To achieve this, we recommend incorporating a safe area or “margin” within the artwork. This area should not be confused with bleed and is generally used for text, headings, or critical information placed on top of the background area. Although on-screen type layout may appear fine when it is a few millimeters from the edge, bollard cover printing advises to utilize a safe area to maintain the overall appearance of your artwork.

Safe Area

To keep your artwork looking clean and aesthetically pleasing we recommend working with a safe area or ‘margin’, not to be confused with bleed this area sits within the artwork and is generally used for text and headings or important information on top of your background area, your type layout on screen can look fine if its a couple of millimetres in from the edge but once it is printed onto its chosen material it will appear cramped and  uneven.
We recommend a margin of at least 5mm for smaller printed items and for larger items such as banners go up to around 25mm.

If you are unsure about bleed and your artwork or have any questions then call us on 023 8087 8037 or email us.

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