Designing for Print – Setting Up Crops and Bleed

A design destined for print requires setting up to certain specifications to ensure that the work is printed correctly by industrial lithographic or digital print firms. This often starts with the initial document upon which the design is to be created by adding the correct bleed area and crop marks. Let’s take a look at what crops and bleed actually are, why they are required and how to set them up in your favourite Adobe package.

Baffling Bleed

Let’s start with the term bleed, this is the area of artwork that is extended beyond the actual dimensions of the document. It is used to avoid strips of white paper showing on the edges of your print should the batch be misaligned when cut to size. Any objects in your artwork that touch the edges of the document require bleed, for instance a background colour or image should spread to cover the entire bleed area as should any objects that creep in from the side of the page....