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To bleed or not to bleed, this is the question.
This little tutorial will explain when to and when not to utilize a bleed on a print ad.

A bleed should be included on any job where the customer would like color printed all of the way to the edge of the piece on one or more sides. When the job is designed, the image must extend 1/8” beyond the edges of the piece to ensure that there will not be any unwanted white space at the edge of the job after it is cut to the finished size.

Try to keep important text 1/4” away from the edge of the piece to ensure that it will be on the final piece after the job is cut. A good use of the bleed area would be to have a picture or colored background extending beyond the edge of the piece. It is not necessary for a job to bleed off all 4 sides of the piece.

If the customer does not want image to print all of the way to the edge, then the ad must be created with 1/4” white space at the edges of the piece. This 1/4” margin cannot have image of any kind in it.