Why you need ‘bleed’.
Keeping in mind that printers don’t print to the edge of the paper, if you want a print where the images go to the edge of the paper, we need to print on a slightly larger sheet then trim off the border or the un-printed area around the edge.
With very small degrees of natural movement in the print and cutting processes, it’s virtually impossible to cut the border off without leaving some of the white un-printed area or, alternatively, cutting into the actual image. This is why we need ‘bleed’.
Bleed consists of your background image only (no text, pictures or anything that needs to be displayed in full) and it should ideally extend 3-5mm beyond the edge of your required print size. Cutting into the bleed makes the trimming process easier and more effective.
Space inside the edge.
For the same reasons as mentioned above, you should also avoid having critical content too close to the edge or the cutting line. Try to leave at least 2-3mm of space (i.e, background image only) on the inside of the edge of the print.
And don’t forget crop marks. These are the short lines on each corner that indicate where the print needs to be trimmed or ‘cropped’ to give you the final size you need.
Like bleed, these can be easily added in most design software programs.
For more information on bleed and crop marks and artwork set up, go to out Artwork Specifications Instructions.