So you got some media packs from the local newspaper or magazine or spoke to a professional printer and they told you about a “Bleed Size” and a “Trim Size” and you have no clue what they were talking about and felt awkward to ask…
It is no problem, let us help you with a brief explanation:
Trim is a printing term that refers to the area where the publication will be cut or “trimmed” to yield the desired size. For example, printers will print a number of business cards onto a large sheet of paper and then ‘trim’ each card.
Bleed, in printing terms, refers to the area of the artwork being printed that goes beyond the Trim area (or the actual size of the publication). In other words, the bleed area is what will be cut off after printing.
So what is the point of ‘Bleeding’ Graphics or photos. Well, it is easy, imagine you have a coloured background running to the very edge of the page, if the guillotine is even half a millimetre off while timing off the publication, you may get a thin white (unprinted) strip on the very edge of the paper. By letting the colour background print beyond the ‘trim’ area we ensure that even with small mechanical inaccuracies, we avoid unwanted white lines on the edge of your publication.
Lastly, Margin (or safe area), refers to the space inside the ‘trim’ area to which is safe to keep graphics and text for maximum impact and legibility. For example, you may want to leave a 15mm margin between the text of your leaflet and the edge of the paper, so it can be read easily and to avoid the risk of the text being cut off the page.