Gustavo Baner from ColorCopiesUSA

Gustavo Baner


Date Published: 2019-02-18 // Updated: 2023-11-10

In the dynamic world of print marketing, the appeal of your materials can make or break the impact they have on your audience. Among the various techniques that enhance the visual appeal of color printing, full bleed color copies stand out as a game changer.

This article dives into the intricacies of printing with a bleed, exploring its benefits, applications, and how it can significantly elevate your marketing materials.

Understanding Full Bleed Printing

This form of color printing is a process where the print extends to the very edge of the paper, eliminating any unprinted margins or borders. This method ensures a more professional and seamless look, making your printed materials more eye-catching and impactful.

This first piece "bleeds":

color copy bleed: Print: photo with bleed as you get them from stores like CVS, Walgreens, Kodak, etc

This next piece does not "bleed":

Printed picture with a white border made many years ago. This one is a picture with NO BLEED

Why Choose Full Bleed?

Its primary advantage is its aesthetic appeal. By extending the design to the very edges, it creates a more immersive and engaging visual experience. This technique is particularly beneficial for:

  • Brochures and Flyers: It enhances the visual appeal of brochures and flyers, making them more likely to grab attention.
  • Business Cards: This layout on business cards can make them stand out in a stack of traditional cards.
  • Posters and Banners: This is essential for large format prints like posters, signs, and banners, as it maximizes visual impact.
color copy bleed: Print: photo with bleed as you get them from stores like CVS, Walgreens, Kodak, etc

No Bleed: This next other picture does not bleed

Printed picture with a white border made many years ago. This one is a picture with NO BLEED

Design Considerations For Full Bleed Printing

When designing, it's crucial to consider the bleed area – the extra space around your design that gets trimmed off during the cutting process. This ensures that your design extends beyond the final cut size, preventing any white edges or important elements from being cut off.

When using an online printing service like Color Copies USA, having your file set up correctly will save a lot of time.

Creating Effective Designs
  • Use High-Resolution Images: For a sharp and clear print, always use high-resolution images (300 dpi).
  • Maintain a Safe Margin: Keep essential text and graphics within a safe margin to avoid them being trimmed. A .25” margin is recommended.
  • Color Consistency: Ensure that the colors used are consistent and accurately represent your brand or message.

The Technical Side Of Full Bleed Printing

Understanding the technical aspects of printing with a bleed can help you prepare your files accurately for online printing. This involves knowing about:

  • Bleed Size: Typically, an additional 1/8 inch (3mm) is added to each side of the design.
  • File Preparation: Ensure your files are set up with the correct bleed settings before sending them to print.

Choosing The Right Paper For Color Copies

The choice of paper plays a significant role in the final outcome of your prints. Consider paper weight, texture, and finish based on the purpose of your printed material.

Professional Printing vs. DIY

While DIY printing options are available, professional printing services offer the expertise and equipment necessary for high-quality prints. They can handle various paper types and sizes, ensuring your prints are cut precisely and look impeccable.

Not only that but home printers do not have the capability to print to the edge of the paper, making adding a bleed to your image pointless. The only way to get finished color copies with a bleed is to have a commercial printer print on larger paper, and then trim down to the appropriate size.

Cost Considerations And Budgeting For Full Bleed Printing

This method of printing comes with a slightly higher cost due to the additional ink usage and precise cutting required. However, the investment is often worth it for the professional and high-impact look it offers.

The image below shows a full bleed piece seen from the perspective of a printing company.

Color Copy Bleed: Full Bleed Printing Piece Explained

In Summary

Color copies with a bleed are a powerful tool in the realm of print marketing. By understanding and utilizing this technique, you can significantly enhance the appeal and effectiveness of your marketing materials. Whether it's for business cards, flyers, or large-format prints, it is an investment in the quality and professionalism of your brand's visual communication.

Remember, the key to successful full bleed printing lies in careful design preparation, choosing the right paper, and opting for professional printing services to achieve the best results.

This image presents the same information in the printing lingo

this image shows the requirements of the image that will be printed with bleed

#1 - Bleed helps readers to be more focused.

Image with color copy bleed
no bleed

Bleed allows for a more attractive visual impact. Please observe the effect of bleed/no-bleed on a simulated book cover.

book no bleed - it is unusual to have books with images that do not reach the edge
color copy bleed example

Documents that bleed are usually viewed as being "more professional". That means more efficient marketing actions. Amateur documents, on the other hand, designed through home-desktop-publishing software usually have thick white borders

brohcure printed no bleed
same brochure as a bove but printed using bleed. Looks very different