When designing or preparing your project for print, it is important to consider trim, bleed, and safety to ensure that your file turns out the way you plan once it is printed.
Trim refers to the final cut size of the file after the excess edges have been cut off (see the black line in Figure 2 below). The excess edges are also known as “bleeds” (which we will discuss momentarily).
Bleeds are any text, color, or image that goes beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin. If the final product is not white on all four sizes, you MUST include bleeds on your files (see Figure 1). All text, colors, and images that go to the edge of the page need to extend at least 1/8” (or 0.125 inches) beyond the trim edge of the page (See the yellow line in Figure 2 below).
Safety refers to any important text, color, or images that are not meant to be trimmed off of your final printed piece. Text, color, or images that are not meant to be cut off should be 1/8”-1/4” (0.125 inches to 0.25 inches) from the edge of the page (see the red line in Figure 2). Items placed closer than 1/8” from the edge are in danger of being cut off or showing uneven margins.