How to add bleed to an InDesign document for printing
Starting off with a new document we are prompt with some options.
The new document panel is going to be the easiest and quickest place to add bleed to your design.
When it comes to bleed, your two bottom options on the panel are going to need to be set.
The Margins will set up a guideline within your document called the safe zone. You will keep all text and images that you don’t want cut off to be within this safe zone.
The printer usually likes about 1/8 of an inch. ( .125 ) in decimal.
The reason for the print margin is to give room for image movement/shift.
On the last part of the options panel, we are going to add bleed. Most printers ask for 1/8 bleed all the way around your printing.
In your document, you are going to see 3 boxes. ( see the image above )
The purple will be your Margins box. It’s used for your safe zone.
The black is the actual edge of your printing document. This where the cuts will be made to your card.
The red is your bleed. Any image or color that goes to the edge of the card will go to this line.
The image below gives a simple idea of how the lines will help you as a guide while putting your design together.
Exporting your print design
Here is the spot a lot of people seem to miss.
While exporting your design as a pdf there are a couple things you are going to want to check.
Go to your Marks and Bleeds tab. Under the Marks section, you are going to want to make sure the Crop Marks is checked. This isn’t something that you have to do as far as making sure that your bleeds are exported with your design. It is a good habit to create and offer to your printer.
The bottom part of your Marks and Bleeds tab there is a section Bleed and Slug. Make sure that the Use Document Bleed Settings are checked.
And now you have a print ready file with bleeds and crop marks for your printer.
I also wrote a quick tutorial on adding bleed to your Photoshop document that you can check out.