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DTP Printing

DTP/Basic Knowledge of Printing

Cutting Misalignment

Your printed products are printed on large-sized paper and cut to their finished sizes. In the cutting process, we cut printing paper not one sheet at a time, but in stacks. The motion and action of the cutting blade and contraction of paper sometimes adversely influence alignment during this cutting process. It is quite difficult to reduce this, and slight "misalignment" cannot be avoided. Cutting misalignment may cause unintentional errors. In this page, we introduce points to pay attention to and the measures to take to avoid such mistakes.


Bleed is the area into which color or other design elements extend outside the finished size, assuming that misalignment is inevitable during the cutting process. If no bleed is provided, it is possible that a white area might appear along the edge of trimming lines like the illustration on the left below. To prevent this from happening, you must extend color or other layout elements to the line 3 mm outside the trimming lines.

Maintain a 3 mm bleed

Letters Placed Near Trim Marks

Important information such as letters or pictures must not be placed beyond the bleed or near trim marks. Letters might be cut due to cutting misalignment if they are placed near cutting lines like in the illustration on the left. For this reason, maintain 2 mm of space inside cutting lines like in the illustration on the right.

Put 2mm inside cut lines

Thin Constant-width Border Along Trim Marks

We do not recommend making a border in a design having a constant width of 1 mm or less along trim marks. If you make a border with a thin, constant width, the width of the border at the top, bottom, left, and right sides might differ slightly due to cutting misalignment. For example, the border width will differ by 1 mm from the original when a cutting misalignment of 0.5 mm occurs. So, increase the width of the border like in the illustration on the right to make cutting misalignment less noticeable. We strongly recommend that you make borders 3 mm or wider.

Cutting misalignment to the right
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