The image shows the print bleed area on this piece of printThe image shows the print bleed area on this piece of print

Preparing for a Mailshot – Print Bleed Explained

In News by Alan Horton

We’ve previously explained some of the many challenges that have to be tackled when preparing for a mailshot campaign. We wanted to explore one of these challenges, print bleed, in more detail, and have covered this in the article below.

What is a print bleed?

The name ‘print bleed’ can seem somewhat confusing, as we don’t often associate bleeding with printing. With printing, the bleed is the section of a sheet that will be trimmed once printing has commenced.

This has been done to allow the printer room for error when it comes to movement of paper or any design inconsistencies. If a printer needed to print perfectly up until the very edge, then chances are part of the design would be missed. It’s highly difficult to print exactly to the edge of paper or card, hence the reason for print bleed.

Generally, the best way to account for the print bleed is by extending the design or artwork into the bleed area, but ensure that the extension isn’t needed. This way, when the bleed is trimmed off during printing, there will be no unprinted edges with the final document.

Usually, a bleed area of around one-eighth of an inch is needed to ensure that a smooth, polished finish is delivered. However, this can vary depending on the type of printer and the mailshot that needs to be printed.

You’ll be used to this kind of printing as it is how your home printer will print. Notice when you type out a document and print it, a white border is left around the edges? That’s the bleed area. However, if you try to achieve full bleed printing with a home printer, it will be unable to.

Full bleed printing, that is where there is no margin to be trimmed off, can be achieved and is most often used for mailshots such as brochures. Full bleed printing requires different printers and different file designs.

Why is it a challenge?

The challenge that we have here at bakergoodchild is if we are supplied file designs or documents that don’t allow for the print bleed area, or inadequate bleed levels are left. This will leave mailshots with a small white line on the trimmed edge, which will take away from the aesthetic design of your mailshot.

As you are trying to make an impact with your direct mail campaign, everything needs to be perfect, and unnatural trims like this will draw a potential customer’s eyes away from the important message in the middle.

Preparing for a mailshot campaign

However, here at bakergoodchild, we’ve been an established UK Mailing House since 1995, so are more than rehearsed in print bleeding. If you are looking to prepare or conduct a mailshot campaign, and need help with print bleed or another area, we would be more than happy to help. Please just get in contact with one of our mail specialists here or call 0800 612 1972 today.


Image credit: Tookapic