Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Adding Bleed

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Adding Bleed

Hi and welcome to this tutorial on how to add bleed in Illustrator. My name’s Dan, and I’m going to show you through the process. Bleed is an area of print outside the document that’s trimmed after printing. It’s there as a precaution to make sure there’s no white space left on the document after it’s trimmed. When preparing a document for print, it’s really important to make sure the image extends right to the edge of the bleed, and that any text is set at a safe distance from the trim line. If you’re making a new document, you’ll want to customise the bleed on the first screen. Click file-new, make sure your units are set to millimetres,and type 3 millimetres into the first bleed box. At we use 3 millimetres of bleed on all our printed documents. Make sure this chain is clicked – it puts equal values in all the boxes. As this document’s for print, you’ll want to set the colour mode to CMYK, and use a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi). Once they’re set, click OK. If you’ve already made a document, and you want to add bleed to it, click file-document setup, make sure units are set to millimetres, and type 3 millimetres in the first bleed box. Again, make sure this chain link is clicked – it puts equal values in all the boxes. Click OK. The bleed is indicated by the red line running round the document. It’s really important to make sure your images run right up to this line – like this. Once your document’s ready for print, you’ll want to export it as a pdf. To export it, go to file-save a copy. In the Save window, select Adobe PDF from the dropdown menu. Type in a file name, and save. In the next window, you can customise the way your PDF is saved. For print, we recommend the PDF/X-1a:2001 preset. Click on the Marks and Bleeds tab on the left to show the Bleed options. We’ve already set the bleed, so we can tick ‘use document bleed settings’. At, we also like to include trim marks – to include them, tick the check box. Once you’ve set all your options, click ‘save pdf’. Be sure to check your PDF is exactly how you want it before sending it off. Make sure trim marks are visible in the corners, and that 3 millimetres of bleed have been applied. If those are correct, your document’s ready to send off to print. Thanks for watching, we hope you found this tutorial useful.

Comments (45)

  1. Good stuff – I found it useful.

  2. and thats how you make a tutorial
    thx 🙂

  3. u know how to make good videos

  4. Amazingly simple to understand video. THANKS!

  5. Very helpful. I have a question tho. Is it necessary to check off the 'Trim Marks' for print. What does that exactly do?

  6. ofc it was usefull my friend, ty ! :v

  7. Hi, I have an A4 sized Ai document that I added a 5mm bleed around, using your method here.  When I took it to the printing shop, they said around 5 mm of my layout, inside the artboard, would be cut off.  I asked them for a test print, and there was a 4mm white border around the sheet.  The guy said my images were too close to the border, so the printer (machine) cut it off.  But that would mean the bleed would have to be within the artboard, not outside it, like here.

    Why is this?  Is it because of image size?  (e.g. a document may be smaller than A4 so the bleed can be outside the artboard)  Or difference in printers?  They use something like this, but a bit smaller:    (pic 1).

  8. Thank you for this useful tutorial. Hopefully you will be able to answer my query fairly soon: I have followed what this tutorial and others have said, but I cannot get my document to bleed past the crop lines. This tutorial shows you simply dragging the document's edges over; however when I try this it drags the whole document with it, or just stretches the whole image across when all I want is the main edge colour to stretch over 3mm as cleanly as you do with this example. Where am I going wrong? I created the image in Photoshop first, if that makes any difference. Hope this makes sense. Thank you.

  9. Finally a bleeding tutorial that doesn't wreck my head!!!! THANKS, VERY HELPFUL!

  10. Thanks Dan for your help and share. Success!

  11. Brilliant – Thanks for the lesson – Subscribed

  12. Thank you for posting this. I'm new to Illustrator and this is my very first task. Glad I found this page. Subscribing! 🙂

  13. Thank you very much excellent lesson

  14. Thank you, this was indeed a really well structured and very well presented tutorial.

  15. Very useful tutorial – thanks for posting!

  16. Thank you so much .

  17. Really enjoyed this mini tutorial very straight forward!

  18. Straight and Clear cut! thanks a lot!

  19. Do you use 3mm bleed on every size document? Whether it's a 5×7 invitation or a 8.5×11 US letter size paper design?
    – Thanks

  20. Excellent tutorial, I receive many pdfs from illustrator from people not understanding this. Good job.

  21. Great tutorial! 🙂

  22. I agree. Straight to the point! Just subscribed. Thank you for your help.

  23. Why is it important to make sure your background goes into the bleed? It's just going to get cut off regardless? Why drag it over? Just leave it white? Thanks!

  24. Great tutorial
    thank you so much !

  25. my teacher wants 2 bleeds..?? can you help me please

  26. A very simple and genuine tutorial…Please just lower the volume of background music its a bit of distraction. thank you.

  27. simple and clear, thank you

  28. wow thanks so much. you just saved me humiliation

  29. Thanks a lot for this video!

  30. Helping me in 2018. Cheers!

  31. For a long time I didn't find any tutorial as useful as this one. Thanx

  32. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  34. thank you, so simple !

  35. Nice and easy. Just what I needed. Thanks!

  36. Thank you so much. This has been a tremendous help.

  37. first time I tried to learn bleeds and understood it right on the get go.. appreciate it!

  38. great explanation!

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