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BLEEDS: Edge-to-Edge printing

BLEEDS: Edge-to-Edge printing

If all or parts of a design are intended to print right upto the edge of the finished sheet, those areas are said to ‘bleed’ off the edges. For example, any background block colour, photo or design element. To achieve the desired result, these elements should extend beyond the finished edge of the sheet by at least 3mm within the artwork provided, where they are then trimmed off after printing.

Additionally, any text should be positioned no closer than 4mm from the final printed edge.

These designs need to be printed on stock that is larger than the final finished size, and the layout should therefore include crop marks indicating where the trimming should take place.

The artwork should be provided to us as a high resolution PDF for print purposes. Please see the example below:

Bleeds Background photo is extended by 3mm on all four sides. Crop marks are added in each of the four corners. Text is positioned within 4mm from the edge ( as denoted by dotted line).
Bleeds Finished Result:
The 3mm extra is trimmed away to give a 85 x 55mm layout with full bleed to all four sides with text elements neatly positioned from the finished edges.



Automatic Booklet Creation - using InDesign

Booklets that are folded and stapled in the middle should have a number of pages that are multiples of 4.
Eg: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, etc.  Note that if, for example, you have created a 7-page layout, then 1 extra page would need to be included - which could be blank.



Any background colours or photographs that are to extend to the edge of the finished booklet should fill into the bleed area (denoted by a red box around the outside of the document area view).  Any text should not extend outside the minimum margin area of 6mm.

For example - see the diagram below:

Using Facing Pages View, the example shows an image crossing two separate pages in booklet at the bottom. The image extends into the bleed area on the outer edges.
Also shown is a single image that stops at the centre margin but extends into the bleed area on the outer edges. 
Note that the text is constrained within the (minimum 6 mm) margin area, denoted by the pink inner boxes.


1) Create an A5 portrait document with FACING PAGES PAGE VIEW.  Set the required number of pages that are divisible by 4.  Set margins at a minimum size of 6mm. *Set all Bleeds at 3mm (if needed) -this is found under ‘more options’.*

2) Design each page in start-to-finish order (ie. cover, page 1, 2 etc upto outside cover).  Pay attention to bleed areas, constraints on text positioning within minimum margins etc. as above.

3) When ready to create pdf for print, perform the following steps:

  1) Create outlines of any unusual fonts.

  2) Choose ‘File’ - ‘Print Booklet’

  3) Choose ‘Set up’

  4) Select ‘2-up Saddle Stitch’

  5) Check the box ‘Automatically adjust to fit marks & bleeds’

  6) Check the box ‘print blank printer spreads’

  7) Click ‘Print settings’ - select ‘Adobe pdf’ as your printer

  8) Choose ‘Set up’ from LEFT HAND MENU

  9) Choose ‘Paper size - Custom’ :

       For A5 portrait booklet enter 320mm & 225mm
       For A4 portrait booket enter 450mm & 320mm
       For A5 Landscape booklet enter 440mm & 170mm

10) Choose ‘Portrait’ orientation

11) Select ‘Scale 100%’, and ‘Centred’ for page positioning

12) Choose ‘Marks and Bleeds’ from LEFT HAND MENU

13) Check the box ‘Crop marks’

14) Check the box ‘Use document bleed settings’

15) Click ‘ok’

16) Choose ‘Preview’ to check your pages will print in the correct order

17) Print to pdf - High quality print.

Your pdf should present as a landscape document, with all pages in correct ‘Printers Doubles’ order, with bleeds and crop marks included.


Manual Booklet Creation - (for advanced users only)

To successfully print a booklet that is folded and stapled in the middle, the total number of pages should be divisible by four. If this is not possible, then the result will be that blank pages will be left either at the front or back of the booklet.

The term ‘Printer’s Doubles’ is a description of how the artwork is constructed so that all the pages are correctly positioned from start to finish within the booklet. An example of an 8-page booklet - WITHOUT BLEEDS - is set out below:

Imagine the booklet is unfolded and unstapled, and each separate sheet is flattened out in front of you. The sheets will appear as follows: 

Booklet A 16-page booklet would
be constructed as follows:

16 1
2 15
14 3
4 13
12 5
6 11
10 7
8 9

If your design includes Bleeds, your layouts should be constructed as follows: 

Any backgrounds or images that extend over the whole spread or cover can be constructed as per the outer cover example below. Any pages with DIFFERENT bleeds on all four sides should be extended on THREE outer edges but NOT the centre edge, as per the inner cover below.  Other individual elements within your booklet that bleed should be extended as needed, as per pages 3 and 6 of the example below.  If your booklet contains SPREADS they should be divided at the centre edge so they will meet together when the booklet is assembled - as per pages 4 & 5 of the example below. 

Booklet with bleeds


When you are ready, please note that your artwork should be provided to us as a high resolution PDF for print purposes.  If you would like further explanation of any pre-print techniques, please telephone us for a more detailed explanation.





Adobe Creative Suite - Native File Formats

.indd - InDesign
.ai      - Illustrator
.psd   - Photoshop

Microsoft Office - Native File Formats

.doc or .docx - Word
.ppt or .pptx   - Powerpoint
.xls or .xlsx    - Excel


PSD - photoshop file
Photographs supplied in this format will tend to be larger in size but retain all of the original quality details.  This is the ideal type of file to produce should manipulation of the photo be required before printing.

JPG - joint photographic experts group file
Photos are usually supplied in jpg form.  Generally their quality is good.  However, if they are opened or amended and re-saved they will loose quality each time this occurs.  They should be created at minimum 300dpi, preferably 600dpi and at the size they will be printed at.  Ideally no further manipulation of the file should be needed before print.

TIFF - tagged index file
.tiff files are generally larger than jpg files, but do not suffer loss of quality when opened or edited.  They are therefore the preferred format for print.

EPS - encapsulated post script file
These files are generally supplied for Logos that have been designed in a programme such as Adobe Illustrator.  They retain CMYK separated colour information and are therefore suitable for ink-separated Pantone colour print work.

These high resolution image files from professional cameras are intially created in RGB format.   They can be altered and then saved to either high resolution jpg or tiff format with no loss of quality at that point.  However they may also need to be converted to CMYK format, where the tones of the image may change.  It is therefore preferable that this is done before we receive the file.

PNG - portable network graphic file
These are mostly used for Web and screen views.  They are generally better quality than jpg files, but are not always ideal for printing.  They can only be saved in RGB colour format, so may need to be converted to CMYK for print; this process can alter the tones of the colour within the file, and should therefore be done before we receive the file.

GIF - graphic interchange format file
As for PNG, but for files of lower quality and complexity.

PDF - portable document format file
This is the ideal format for print, as all colour information, font styles and layout structure are retained in the file. 



We will accept all of the above file types, but please note the following:

Photos:                     Jpg files saved at maximum quality, 300-600 dpi, at desired size.  Quality may be compromised
                                 if further manipulation is required.

                                  Tiff files will retain maximum quality, although files will be larger.

                                  Psd files will allow maximum editing ability but will be larger in size.

Logos:                        Eps files for work that is to be printed in Pantone inks.  Tiff, psd or pdf files for full colour print.

Mulitple page files:      Pdf files will retain quality, font and layout style information.  However, enlargements may not
                                     be successful if jpg files within the layout are of low quality; in this case please supply at actual size.


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