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Printing With Bleed? Full Bleed Terminology Explained

Everything That You Need To Know About Full Bleed Printing

Are you new to the world of printing? If not, you must be well-aware of the fact that bleeding forms an important concept. If one comes across a file that contains full-bleed in printing, it might signify that bleed has been included across all the four sides of a document.

When a document doesn’t have any border, it is known as full bleeding. To bleed the design that is going to be printed, designers are required to expand the canvas by 1/4th of an inch, both horizontally and vertically. Well, this extra space isn’t used for printing any text or data. It’s because printers would cut down the size later on. It would help to create an impression as if the file has been printed without any kind of borders.

What Is Bleed?

none full bleed sample
none full bleed sample

The term bleed is associated with the printing industry. It is referred to when a document doesn’t contain any borders. Basically, it has to do with the edges of a paper. It also involves the way a file is printed and it is being cut.

Printers are known to grab each sheet of paper by its edges. This is done to put the paper through the printer based on certain alignment. One thing that must be kept in mind is professional printing service providers should print a large sheet of paper than required. Once it is printed, the paper must be trimmed. Often when an artwork is of the exact size of the finished product, it is possible to make a small shift during trimming.

When Is Bleed Mostly Used?

Bleeding is mostly used to widen the image background even more and keeping just a quarter-inch more than the cutting line. In case, one comes across an image without any background, stripes might be visible. Usually, these faded lines or line dividers are sometimes visible all over the product that has been printed.

Often the term ‘full bleed’ is used interchangeably with ‘full bleed’. It tries to point out that the process of printing might go all the way to the border.

Ways to Apply Bleed

sample for full bleed printed table
sample for full bleed printed table

Well, bleeding depends on the visual illusion that it creates. It creates the impression that the printed product was printed in such a way that it reaches the edge of the paper. One gets to see many printers in the market, which comes with this capability. No matter how significant the printers might be, clients would ask for bleeding service, during every level of the print process.

Whether a business is planning to print business cards or color copies, customers love to see bleeds an all corners. Bleeding comes with some added cost. However, bleeding can trim down a bit of space which is very important.

Whenever you are thinking of getting your print trimmed off the edge with the help of a printer, it might cost some extra bucks. Moreover, the print order can get delayed for days when one tries to full-bleed an image by themselves.

Different Bleeding Techniques

What’s surprising is that each nation and printing company follows a different bleeding requirement. Customers can easily find it from any website. For instance, the online USA market follows a 0.25” bleed mark. It is the standard to provide an expanded range and compatibility with the help of any printing press.

In the European market, one gets to see a wide range of acceptance for bleed. On the design file, it needs only 2mm up to 5 mm.

Printers Have full Bleeding Abilities

Often when businesses look for a good printing company, they will come across many companies like 55printing or VistaPrint. Most of these printing companies being professional know their job very well. They won’t charge any extra penny for bleeding the designs of a file.

Businesses that are on the lookout of full-bleed printing must be well-aware of the fact that the demand for bleeding has increased hugely. Studies have shown that they don’t like white borders in prints. After all, white borders in a print might look a bit unprofessional and unfinished. So if customers need to reproduce full-bleeding within a print, the following steps should be followed. They are:


Customers can buy home trimmers in order to cut down the white edge of the printed paper. It might sound interesting. However, is it possible to trim every photo or page? Well, it can take a long time to trim the edges and it might not be in a proper form. It might often lead to reprinting for another time. Hence, it’s advisable to take the help of a printing company that can trim the files easily.

Order Trimming From a Professional

Print shops can charge you an exorbitant amount. It’s always advisable to go for a printing company that offers to bleed and cutting at an affordable rate.

Buying a Printer

Still, if a person is not able to hire a professional printer service, they can buy a printer. Some printers are available in the market that offers customers with borderless printing.

Print Logos or Images till the Edge of the Template

Nowadays, businesses are on the lookout to take the help of ‘full bleed’ printing technique for printing postcard or visiting cards. Basically, it’s a borderless printing where there is no use of background and it usually reaches the edges. It helps any file to get a high-end look.

All professional printing service offer templates for every kind of printed media. For instance, for business cards, the template is of 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch on each side. It is larger than the standard business card size, which is usually 3.5-inch x 2 inch. This is referred to as full-bleed edge design element.

Any printing company while printing words, images, or logos till the edge of the template should have a proper understanding of the bleed margins. Only then they can avoid the issues of the image or the text widening beyond the designated printing area. This, in turn, can help to get a professional-looking product.

Calculating the Final Document Size with Full Bleed

When it comes to printing, there are many ways to deal with it. Firstly, an appropriate margin must be left along the edges of the printed material. It would allow a slight room of error for printing and trimming. Always, 0.25 inches inside the edge is regarded as a safe zone for any document.

In case, a customer wants to widen the image or graphics till the edges of the material, they should print the document slightly bigger. Once it is printed a slightly bigger than the edges can be easily trimmed off. For this reason, it’s always better to broaden the image beyond the size into the bleed zone. In this way, it can cut off the extra portion of an image. Thereby, leaving a clean print that can reach the edge of the binder.

  • Bleed Area for a Document

Generally, a standard bleed area should be .125 inches on every side. Hence, for printing, if one is preparing a standard 11 x 8.5-inch document, then the final template should be 11.125 x 8.625 inches.

  • Bleed Area for a Folder

Alternatively, if one is printing a custom background image on a standard 9 x 12-inch folder, the image for every side should widen to at least 9.125 x 12.125 inches.

  • Bleeding a Cheap Color Copy

It’s disheartening to see that there is no clean color copy machine with borderless capabilities available for the people. The reason is pretty simple. After all, the burning of a toner takes a lot of space. So those who are planning to print till the edge of the border, a lot of toners get wasted. Moreover, there isn’t sufficient space to store toner when a large volume of the project needs to be printed.

  • Bleeding a Normal Document Vs Large Document

Any normal size document only requires a .125 inch margin; whereas, larger documents might need a larger bleed area. The standard bleed area for documents bigger than 18 x 24 inches is basically .5 inches. For instance, those who want to prepare an 18 x 24-inch document for printing; they will need to prepare an 18.5 x 24.5-inch template. However, a room must be left for cutting.

One can’t be sure of accurately where the bleed area would be cut. Hence, one should ensure to widen the images to the edge of the final document and till the end of the bleed zone. For example, it is pretty normal to widen a background design into the bleed zone. However, one won’t love to have a photo of a person in the bleed area. There is a risk of the person getting cut from the final design.

Going For Inkjet Canon

One popular printer that offers borderless printing is Inkjet Canon PIXMA G1010. It can make the life of a person easy due to the following features.

Refillable Cartridges

You can easily check out the ink level. Once it starts to reduce, you can re-fill it.

Non-Spillable Refills

The refillable cartridges make use of technology so that the ink doesn’t spill and creates a mess.

Borderless Printing

Full bleed printing is possible with this printer. It allows borderless printing on images and paper that is smaller than the bay size.

High Volume Prints

Get a high volume of prints with this printer. It can print 150 to 1500 sheets at a time without paper jamming.

Ink Doesn’t Smudge

Home-based inkjet printers usually drip ink on the glossy paper. Hence, it smudges the ink. But this is not the case with this printer from Canon.

Final Thoughts

Consumers should always buy a trimmer and then cut off the paper once it gets printed. Alternately, a color copy machine can be used to trim off a big sized sheet into a standard one. However, in order to give a document a professional look, hiring an expert printer is important.