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Since 1982!

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Melbourne, FL 32935
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Artwork for Full-Bleed Printing

What is it?

"Bleed" is a term used to describe printing that goes all the way to the edge of the paper... with no blank margin area.

Document Size

To set up artwork for a bleed, you must make the artwork larger than the item you wish to have printed. In most cases, 1/8" larger on all sides is sufficient.

Example: For a standard 4x6 postcard to be printed with a bleed you will need to set the document size to 4.25" x 6.25". This is arrived at from 4" finish size + 1/8" extra on each side; and likewise top and bottom.


Because your document size is larger than the finished piece, your margins will need to be set differently.

For the 4 x 6 postcard example, an actual 1/8" margin on the finished piece will require setting a 1/4" margin in your software. This is because the software will be measuring from the outside of the oversized area.

Note: This will look on screen like a very large margin. It will help to create a box too show the cutting edge.

Background / Foreground

Your background image, design, or color must completely fill your document, including the extra 1/8" on all sides.

Any foreground copy, such as type, logos, etc. must stay inside of margins set according to the directions above.

Note: If done correctly, no part of your design should stop at the cutting edge - foreground nor background.

Why its necessary

Printing is not a perfect science. Each sheet of paper that is printed may be in a slightly different position. Likewise, the cutting process may move slightly.

The extra background prevents having a thin white strip showing on the edge of the finished item; caused by the cutting and printing processes not aligning perfectly.

Edge of Artwork for
Full Bleed Printing

Illustration of bleed artwork


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All information believed to be accurate at time of publication, but is subject to change without notice. Services offered are subject to availability and technical feasibility.
*FREE business card setup offer subject to review of requirements; additional charges will apply for advanced designs, subject to our sole discretion.

Vector Artwork - What is it and why is it needed?

This can get a little technical; as always we're happy to help out.
We can take a quick look at your file, or handle the artwork from start to finish. Its all up to you - just give us a call!

In order to print multiple colors of ink, it is necessary to seperate each color used from all other colors.
This is so that a plate can be made for each ink. To do this, the artwork must be in a 'vector' format. Put simply, everything in the artwork is an electronic 'object'. Thus, platemaking systems can say 'red objects here, blue objects there'. This differs from 'raster' artwork, which is a long series of dots(called pixels) with a color assignment for each.

Typically, useable vector artwork will have a file extension of .AI, .EPS, or .PDF.
It will likely have been created in Adobe Illustrator® or a similiar software package. Note that .AI and .EPS files may not open on your computer if you do not have the necessary software. This does not indicate that they are un-useable files. Examples of non-vector, raster files are .GIF, .JPG, .TIF, .BMP or .PNG; and will often have been created in Adobe Photoshop® or a similiar software package. Other sources for raster art would be cameras, scanners, and web pages. Raster art is not typically useable for two color printing.

As with most things computer, there are exceptions to these rules. Raster art can be placed in vector files, making them un-useable; and, in some cases, we can use raster images for spot color. As always, we would be happy to take a look at your file.