Bleed Setup

You are here:
< All Topics

A common question we get asked is what is bleed and how to setup a file properly to include the necessary bleed allowance we require to print your book. Here is a breakdown of what exactly bleed is and how to set it up properly using your graphic design software.


What is Bleed?

Bleed is a term that is used in the printing industry to tell a printer if ink has to run off the edge of the page after the page is cut. Basically, if ink goes off the edge of a sheet, that edge “has bleed”. It’s very common to have “full bleeds” which means every edge of the sheet has ink running off the edge.

Below are some great examples of what bleed is from a great website for all things printing related


How Much Bleed Does Copywell Require

We require 1/8″ or 0.125″ or 3mm of bleed where applicable.


Bleed refers to objects that extend beyond the edge of the printed page
In the image above, the trim marks are where we cut the page to the final trim size, the bleed area should be at least 0.125″ or 1/8″



Step by Step: Creating a File With Bleed


First you need to determine your trim size, or the final size of the book when it’s cut and ready for readers. When you’re setting up  your artboard, you need to set the document to have 1/8″ bleed on the top, bottom, left and right (all sides).

Set 0.125″ bleeds on all sides


Extend all artwork that will bleed to the bleed area set above, shown in the image below as the red box.

The bleed box is 0.125″ larger than the trim size, which is shown as the red box in the image above


Once the artwork is extended to the bleed box, it is ready to print. Save as a PDF with trim marks and bleed.


The trim box represents the final size the book or piece is cut to, and it is 0.125″ smaller than the bleed box


When it’s saved as PDF with trim marks and bleeds, the piece should look like the image below. Notice the trim marks cut into the bleed area, as the bleed area will be discarded after trimming.


The image above shows a print ready PDF with trim marks and 1/8″ bleeds on all sides



The bleed area will be cut off and discarded.

The bleed area shown as the red boxes above will be cut off and discarded



The red area will be cut off and discarded


The final piece is trimmed to final size has bleed on all sides.


The final piece is trimmed to final size and has bleed on all sides




Table of Contents