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what are crop marks and bleed?

Crop Bleed Sample

Crop marks and bleed are essential components to a print ready file. Here we will look at these terms in closer detail.

CropsBleed

Crop Marks
Crop Marks are thin lines placed on the corners of a document, image or artwork layout to indicate where the paper should be trimmed after printing. Crop marks are important for any artwork, especially if the design will bleed.

Bleed
To have bleed on a document means that the printed design is intending to extend to one or more of the edges of the document. Bleed is typically required to extend 2mm or more past the crop marks. This ensures that when the document is trimmed, the design does go the very edge of the page. As printing is a manufactured process, slight variations in trimming are simply part of the process. If there is no bleed, the likelihood of having a white strip on the edge of the finished product is high.

Regardless if the document has bleed or not, any print job that needs to be trimmed to size will require crop marks. These can be applied using the same software used to create your design. Commercial printers typically print on paper that is larger than your actual document size. This enables them to print multiple copies per sheet, then using the crop marks as guides, trim to its final size.

The team at The Print Group always check to ensure all artwork submitted is indeed print ready. When in doubt, don't hesitate to ask how we can help.