“Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colors can extend into the bleed area and after trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.”
1. Trim is where the product will be cut.
2. Bleed is a safe zone outside the trim area.
3. Margin is a safe zone inside the trim area.
Without the bleed, there is no guarantee that your print job will come out printed as intended. This is only true for full color artwork. If the background of your artwork is white or needs no printing, then there is no need for bleed (so poetic).
Typical bleed are is 1/8″ outside of the finish size or “Trim line”. This means that your artwork should have an extra 1/4″ added to the full size before you send it to print. For example, an 8.5″ x 11″ document should be 8.75″ x 11.25″. Most print companies offer templates for the products they sell and they are always free. It’s always best to download and utilize these templates to avoid any printing errors.
This is just something that you will want to keep in mind when designing anything for print.