“Bleed” is an additional area of ink around the edge of a piece of high resolution digital artwork that is placed by the authoring designer to assist a printer in combating poor cropping or cutting of a printed item.
Bleed is added at the end of the design process once a client has approved the layout of a design. The client will rarely need to see the bleed as it is primarily used by the printer during the cutting process once everything has been printed.
Typically, printers require 3mm of bleed on all edges to enable them to cut the item out using “crop marks”. These crop marks are positioned at the very edge of the items boundaries and when lined up, the printer will cut through the bleed area – thus avoiding any unsightly white edges or borders.
This area of bleed space is a vital component for a printer to be able to do their job. So when you place design work into print, be sure to check that your designer has added the correct amount of bleed and crop marks.