Designing For Print

March 8, 2010
Eric Johnson

By Eric Johnson | Minuteman Press




Designing For Print

     There are many things to consider when desigining materials with the intention of sending them to print.  For example, you may be designing a business card with color that is meant to go off of the page.  In printing this is known as a bleed.  If the cards are not designed properly, a problem will occur when the printing is done which will lead to a white border being present on one or more sides of the cards.  Why does this happen?  This becomes most evident during the bindery phase, which is when the business cards are cut to their proper finished size of 2" x 3.5".   There are a number of reasons why this can occur.
     During the printing process a slight paper shift can sometimes occur that needs to be compensated for in the design.  The gripper (the area where the printer grabs the paper to send it through the printing process) needs to be figured as well.  When cutting is taking place, it is very difficult to cut precisely to the edge of the color.  This is something again that the proper design techniques can help to compensate for.  How should the business cards be designed then?  If you are designing a business card with a bleed (color going off the card) the actual finished palette size needs to be 2.13" (2 1/8") x 3.65" (3 5/8") with text and images placed no less than 0.13" (1/8") in from the finished dimension of 2" x 3.5".  The reason is that this design leaves an additional 1/8" of color to compensate for shift, gripper, and cutting.  Once you have your card designed, send us the artwork with only a single card present.  Don't try and lay the cards out with multiple cards on one sheet.  We will take care of this part.  If you are unsure of how to do this we will be happy to design your business cards or other projects for you, explain it to you further, or even provide you with a template you can use to properly design your project. Simply click here to "Ask for Help", and we will help make your project a reality.
     The same applies to other projects with bleeds such as brochures, postcards, flyers, or anything else you can think of.  We want your project to turn out exactly as you envisioned it as much as you do.  The simplest way is to click here to Send Us a File including any images and using the form to explain any text and fonts you have in mind.  We'll take it form there.  Designing your project yourself can be enjoyable and rewarding.  As long as your project is designed properly, the outcome will be exactly as you envisioned.