Bleed is a process to where printers need an area outside of the final trim area. Bleed was first developed as a “catch all” for paper cutter operators where computerizationa and consistent accuracy by the equipment used was not there. Today, programmed cutting is commonplace in commercial printing.

There are two terms you need to know so we may talk the same printing lingo. “Final trim area” and “Live area”

Final Trim area ? This refers to the final size of the printed item. So a business card is 3.5″x2″ final trim area. Or, a 1/2 pager is 5.5″x8.5″ final trim area.

Live area ? This refers to the area where type should be inside the final trim area. We ask that the live area be 1/8 to a 1/4″ from the final trim area. Example: if a 1/2 pager has a final trim area of 8. 5″x5.5″ the live area should be 8.25″x5.25″. This ensures good balance with the printed product and prevent the possibility of cutting type when final trimmed.

Posted in: Print Design FAQ