Adding Bleed to Your File

When printing your large format project, request bleed specifications. A 1/4″ bleed is generally recommended to ensure that your image is finished properly with color or graphics that go right to the trim or fold without leaving a sliver of white along the edge. In some cases, you may need more or less. In reality, cutting off a sliver of media is rarely possible, better to give your vendor a margin of error in case there’s a misalignment while printing, folding or cutting. If .25″ isn’t available in the image, consult your customer service representative for options.

Products that include hardware or high speed finishing processes often require more bleed for various reasons. Make sure you check with your vendor, and get a template for file set up when it’s available.

Set up your design and extend the the bounding boxes of background color or any graphics along the trim or fold edge of your project into the bleed area, the image or color should literally bleed past that page edges. See below for a visual guide.

Illustrator: Under the File menu choose Document Setup (⌥⌘P for Mac) and add the amount of required bleed to the Bleed area

Indesign: Under the File menu choose Document Setup (⌥⌘P for Mac) and add the amount of required bleed to the Bleed area

Photoshop: Under the Image menu choose Canvas Size (⌥⌘C for Mac) and include your bleed requirements into the overall document size. This program isn’t meant for page layout, so it lacks many of the document set up choices like adding printer’s marks or bleed and margin areas.

Canva: Click the following link for instructions.
Margins, bleed, and crop marks

Corel Draw: Click the following link for instructions.
Set Up Files for Print

QuarkXpress: Click the following links for instructions.
Custom Bleeds 2018
Custom Bleeds 2019

Illustrator and Indesign: Saving a PDF including crop marks (or trim marks) and bleed is often the most preferred option for your vendor, but if you want to send them a packaged folder of your native files that will allow them to manipulate the file for color correction or fixing any other small issues.

When saving a PDF set the preferred Adobe PDF preset, Press Quality or PDFX1A, you can then choose the Marks and Bleeds menu on the left and this is where you can check the boxes for Trim Marks (Illustrator) or Crop Marks (Indesign) and Use Document Bleed Settings, or you can add a bleed size if you’ve forgotten to add it to your document size.

Photoshop: Save As (⇧⌘S for Mac) Tif, PSD or Press Quality PDF. This program isn’t meant for page layout, so it lacks many of the document set up choices like adding printer’s marks or bleed.

Canva: Click the following link for instructions.
Download Print Design

Corel Draw: Click the following link for instructions.
Set Up Files for Print

QuarkXpress: Click the following links for instructions.
Custom Bleeds 2018
Custom Bleeds 2019