What are Crops and Bleeds?

Answers to the most common questions we are asked about our services.

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FAQ - Desktop Publishing Questions

What are Crops and Bleeds and why are they important?


  • What are crops?

    Crops or crop marks are a set of marks that define a printed area. They tell the printer the boundaries/size of the printed area. If the printed area is a standalone piece (business card or flyer, etc.), the crop marks tell the printer where to trim the paper. As it has to be trimmed to its correct dimension, the crops marks indicate where the document will have to be cropped. They are the little lines that you can see around the edges of your artwork.

    Generally, the measurement for the crops is 3-5 mm in the European countries and in Japan. The measurement in inches should be 1/8” in the USA.

  • What are bleeds?

    Bleed is the term used for the extended area of your artwork that goes beyond its actual size. For example, if you work on a brochure that contains elements that touch the edges of your document, it will require bleeds. They will avoid that some vital objects of your document are cut. There is a distinction between two types of bleeds. The full-bleed means that every elements of your document will exceed its actual frame whereas the partial bleed means that only some elements of your document will go beyond the layout of your document.

    Generally, the measurement for the bleed is 3-5 mm in the European countries and in Japan. The measurement in inches is 1/8” in the USA. To be sure that you set up the correct one, you can discuss of the size of the required bleed with us.

  • Why are they important?
  • They ensure the quality of your printed document.

    When you create a document that will be printed, crops and bleeds are essential elements to ensure that your final document retains a professional look. This is why printers require crops and bleeds notifications to ensure a professional look to your printed document. There are a number of desktop publishing tools that can be used to manage crops and bleeds accurately.

  • Adobe InDesign
  • The most popular tool to design brochures is Adobe InDesign. It is one of the leading Desktop Publishing Applications. It can setup crops automatically for you when converting them into a PDF file format. You can check the crops and bleed options under the Document Menu where you can find options for page size, margin and bleed. Adobe InDesign is published by Adobe.

  • QuarkXPress
  • Another leading tool in the DTP space is QuarkXPress published by Quark. Quark has different versions depending on the type of language you are translating into. There are different versions for Arabic and Chinese so you need to be aware of this if you plan to translate Quark documents into these languages.

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