What is bleed in printing terms?

Bleed is excess printing around the outside of your file that will be cut off during production finishing. It is essential in printing almost all types of paper print products including business cards, presentation folders, canvas prints, banners and more. To prevent your printed product from having white lines around the border, you must set your file up with bleeds. The bleed is an extra 1/8” (0.125 in) of image or background color that extends beyond the trim area of your printing piece.

It is important to set up your bleeds at the very beginning of your project so you don’t have to adjust at the end. Sometimes it is difficult for the print company to create bleed on a complex file.

In the graphics below you will see:
Trim (finished size cut) Line: The final size of the document after the last cut is made
Safety Area: The safe area or inner margin in which to keep all important elements (such as logos, text and page numbers) within to prevent them from being cut off. This margin should be at least 1/8” inside the edge of the trim (Finish size cut) line.
Bleed: Bleed must be at least 1/8” from the trim (cut line) line or (0.125 from the cut line).