Page Bleeds, continued

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Color Fill

If an image or graphic element has a similar or consistent color, than you can add an area of solid color to use for the bleed. Simply sample a common color with the Eye Dropper tool, or by using the Info palette and add this color to your swatch palette, extend the crop box of the image to accommodate the needed bleed area, and then fill the extended area with your newly selected color. Even though this isn’t a perfect situation, it is better to have a color on the edge, than to potentially have a visible white area once the printer has trimmed the printed piece.


Another more advanced technique to create a bleed area is to use the clone tool in most bitmap editing programs like Adobe Photoshop®. You will need to enlarge your canvas on the side that needs the bleed area added then using the clone tool, duplicate the pixels along the bleed edge. This technique is not the easiest, but as you can see in the examples below, Bleed_Clone-House_Before and Bleed_Clone-House_After the added area blends nicely.

As you can see from the above examples, some techniques for adding bleeds can alter the design layout of a project. In this case, the print client will either approve what the printer has altered or submit files to the printer with the necessary bleed area completed as he chooses. Most commercial printers routinely pull needed bleeds in print projects. This is a fairly simple adjustment if there is enough image area to accommodate this adjustment, so you may not receive any extra charges. However, for the more extensive work that we described above, you might receive an alteration charge that could be more than you expect. If you intend to make finished files for press-ready PDFs, or to submit your files to an offset printer without incurring alteration charges, than you will want to consider adjusting your own bleeds.

Article resources: Page Setup Considerations at

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