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Borders With Bleeds

The actual edge of a trimmed piece can vary by as much as 1/16" from the planned edge of the page. A "bleed" area is used to compensate for this variation.

If your printed piece calls for a border along its edge, you will need to extend that border 1/8" beyond the outside cut line, in order to ensure that it prints properly. Otherwise, you might run into issues when the piece is cut to its finished size.

Good File

Good Border

We recommend a minimum border width of ¼” inside the cut line, plus 1/8” of extra thickness beyond the cut line for a total width of 3/8”. A ¼” border with a 1/8” bleed will ensure that the print piece looks clean, sharp, and symmetrical when it is trimmed.

Bad File

Bad Border

A thinner border (1/8”) inside the cut line may look good on your proof, but once it is printed and trimmed, variations in the trimming process may cause it to lose its symmetry and appear crooked. Increasing the thickness to ¼” (plus an 1/8” bleed) will help to compensate for these slight differences.