Need to Know Printing Terms Bleed, Gutter, and Crop Marks!

What is a Crop Mark?

The solid black lines in each corner are called “crop marks”. We use the crop marks as guides when cutting the product down to its finished size.

It’s important that you DO NOT alter or move the crop marks.

After you have finished your design and you have created your PDF proof, only your design and the crop marks should be visible. If you’re happy with your proof then this is how you would supply your design to us for printing.

What is a Gutter?

The dotted green line represents “gutter”. This is a visual reference to stop you from crowding the“finished edge” (the solid red line) with text and any graphics that don’t require bleed.

The example below shows the appropriate use of “gutter” for the text along the top, left and bottom edges of the design.

After you have finished your design and you have created your PDF proof, only your design and the crop marks should be visible. If you’re happy with your proof then this is how you would supply your design to us for printing.

What is a Bleed?

The dotted blue line represents “bleed”.  If any part of your design touches the “finished edge” (the solid red line) your design must then extend past the finished edge for 1/8” (3mm).

Example (A) shows the correct use and amount of “bleed”.  Example (B) shows incorrect use and amount of “bleed”.

After you have finished your design and you have created your PDF proof, only your design and the crop marks should be visible. If you’re happy with your proof then this is how you would supply your design to us for printing.

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About Danielle Gregor

AlphaGraphics Lisle/Naperville is a full-service printing and visual communications company. We specialize in Business Solutions, Marketing Communications, and Print Services. Let our team of professionals work with you to find the best solutions for your needs. We offer complete design, printing, mailing and digital archiving services, as well as direct marketing solutions that include the latest technologies including social platforms.
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1 Response to Need to Know Printing Terms Bleed, Gutter, and Crop Marks!

  1. ahsanidrisi says:

    Great article, really helped me understand the terms, i was searching for it

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