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What does it mean to add “bleed” to my artwork?

When you supply your own artwork, has your printer asked you to add a “bleed” to the artwork?   Many printed pieces have artwork, graphics and background colors that go to the edge of the paper.  Bleeds refer to the artwork that goes beyond the finished product and is trimmed off in the finishing process.  As it  is extremely hard to print exactly to edge of tthe paper due to paper and press movement, bleed allows for those adjustments so that when trimmed, the colors to right to the edge.  In the United States and Eagle, a 1/8″ bleed is normally added.


This info-graphic explains bleed:


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