What are Bleed, Trim, Margin and Crop Lines?
How to set up print ready artwork for a professionalprinter.
Have you ever sent your finished file to a Printer who's come back to tell you that your file
doesn't have Bleed?
Did you wonder "What is bleed?"
Or perhaps you just want to know how to set up a print ready design file for a professional printer?
In the below guide we walk you through what Bleed, Trim, Margins and Crop Marks are and how to set up Print-Ready artwork using the most common design too, Adobe InDesign.
Please note that as we go through this guide, we are referring to the standard and most common practices for Printcrafts pre-press and production processes. You may find other printers have different requirements and in rare some cases, we may request a file set up different to normal. But for the most part, below is a good general guide to setting up Print-Ready design files for commercial printers.
What's the difference between standard design artwork and print-ready?
The two images show above display a print ready InDesign file. On the left is the Print-Ready design file without any printers markings and on the right is the same file with guides over-layed to show you where Crop, Trim, Margin and Bleed are on the page.
Notice that the background elements bleed to the very edge of the page (Green BLEED Line) but all of the text and core page elements like the title, price, bullet points etc. all stay neatly within the safe page margin (Purple MARGIN Line)
After this page is printed in sections (See our blog on sections) the page will be trimmed along the page edge (Red TRIM Line) Crop Marks are small lines in each corner, (Orange CROP Line) in line with the page trim to guide our guillotines or Stitch and Trimmers where to trim the page.
What happens if you submit artwork that is not Print Ready?
So, to summarise what defines Print-Ready artwork, the design file should ...
Core page elements within the Safe Margin
Crop Marks to Indicate where the Page is to be Trimmed
All images must already be converted to CMYK