Friday, April 22, 2022

Bleed and Crop Marks: What Do They Mean For You?

If you have worked with a printing firm, you have probably heard the words “bleeds” and “crop marks” come up before. But what does that actually mean to you, the print buyer?

What are Crop Marks?

Crop marks tell the printer where to cut the paper, especially if it’s a finished product, such as a business card or postcard. But there are crop marks on pages for a booklet as well sometimes.

If you look at a proof of your project, you will probably see these tiny lines that go horizontally and vertically, giving the margins for your project to be cut down. All crop marks in the USA should be either one-eighth or one-quarter inch. Since projects are printed on oversized paper with bleeds, these tick marks help guide printers when trimming the print job down to the final size.

What is a Bleed?

A bleed is when the color or text goes off of the page, and the cut will trim excess color off of it.

A bleed makes for a complete look as the artwork typically goes (or “bleeds”) off the page. There are two types of bleeds: full bleed and partial bleed. A full bleed is when all the artwork goes off the page, whereas a partial bleed is when only some of the artwork goes off the edge.

How to Use Crop Marks and Bleed Marks

These two tools ensure that you get a quality printed product containing all the words and artwork you desire. To have your project print-ready, you need to use crop marks so that bleeds can be done correctly.

When you save your project, you will want to use a PDF so that it remains permanent and the crop marks are solidified. This ensures your project will come out as you planned.

A PDF document contains embedded fonts, so the printer won’t have issues with what you laid out. One of the most common issues related to printing is fonts that are contained within the document.

For example, they might be incompatible versions, corrupted fonts, or missing fonts. Font issues tend to occur when using programs such as Illustrator or Adobe InDesign. A PDF eliminates these types of issues because all your design elements are embedded within the file.

No matter what your project is, we are here to help. If you aren’t sure how to create a PDF, let us help you. We want to partner with you to get successful print project results. Visit our website to learn more - we even have templates you can download at 

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