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DTP Printing

DTP/Basic Knowledge of Printing

Bleed & Trim Marks

Bleed & Trim Marks

The marks outside the four corners and the centers of each side of an art board, such as those shown in the figure on the left, are "trim marks."What exactly are these marks and why are they there? Trim marks are provided to accurately align or "register" the positions of the 4-color ink plates used in printing to faithfully reproduce your full-color designs. The four color inks - C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y (Yellow), and K (Black) - are printed by individual plates. Trim marks are necessary so that the position of each ink plate is not misaligned or "out of registration" with each other.


This illustration shows part of a file designed in Illustrator. This design is unacceptable because there is no 3 mm bleed. Let’s see an acceptable design (↓).



This design is acceptable because the colored areaextends outside the above design up to the trim marks or into the "bleed area." Let's see another unacceptable design (↓).


Letters outside the trimming lineEven the letters are in the bleed area. This is unacceptable because bleed is necessary. Please take a look at the illustrations below.



This illustration shows a finished product that has been printed correctly according to the design. The bleed area is gone because it was cut by the trimming blade after printing. Is everything clear now? If there are letters in the bleed area, they cannot be read because they will be cut by the trimming line.


This phenomenon occurs when no bleed is provided for the printed product. The edge of the paper is white, isn't it? This is because the cutting blade shifts slightly during cutting. Bleed or color printed outside the trimming lines is necessary to prevent this kind of mistake.



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