Bleed and Resolution – What does that mean??

 Has anyone ever asked you to include a bleed in your files, or how about we need a photo that is at least 300 dpi? Have you wondered what does that mean? Or have you thought why can’t I just use the photo I got off a website?

If you want your photos to print in the highest quality possible then bleed and resolution ARE very important.

Below are some guidelines that can help explain each, plus bonus information on crop marks, fonts and safe zone.


All file formats must have a minimum of 350 dpi (dot per inch) resolution.
The images designed for the web are done at a low screen resolution of 72 dpi. Print images need to be created at 350 dpi or there will be a substantial drop in the image quality.








What’s a bleed?

Bleed is the portion of the product that will be trimmed off when it is cut to the final size.

Why bleed?

The purpose of a bleed is to continue a color, image, or design to the edge of the product. Due to the possibility of shifting in the trimming process, a bleed is required to ensure that a white line does not show on the edges of your product.

We require ALL files to be built to the full bleed dimension specified for each trim size.

We automatically trim the bleed off of each side, which will result in the desired trim size.

For example: business cards require a 0.125″ (1/8”) bleed to each dimension (or 0.0625″ bleed on all four sides). Thus, a 2″ x 3.5″ business card would have a bleed size 2.25″ x 3.75″.



Please build your press-ready files by adding crop marks.
Lines indicating where the paper should be cut to produce the correct size.







a. Fonts must be embedded in PDF files.
b. Fonts must be outlined or converted to paths or curves in EPS files.
c. Some fonts have copyright restrictions and will not embed in PDF Files.
d. Quark Express: Fonts and images must be included with all files submitted. (Mac only)



All critical elements (text, images, logos, etc.) must be kept at least 0.125″ inside the edge. Anything left close to edge may be cut off during trimming.


If you need any additional information or need one of our graphic specialist to help you please contact me or on Twitter @DonNelsonPrint.


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