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HOW TO ADD PRINTER MARKS & BLEEDS TO ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR FILES

Sending a printed item with a full color background? Not a problem, unless you don't have bleed around it. Bleed allows printers to print to the edge of the page, if your artwork doesn't have bleed, it will create unwanted white margin around your document. To avoid this issue, you need to add a bleed to each print document you design.


SAMPLE OF HOW THE PDF SHOULD LOOK.




WHAT IS BLEED??
A bleed extends background colors and elements past the edge of your document, so that it can be printed and trimmed down to size with no unwanted white margin around the edges. Standard bleed size is 0.125" all around (about 3mm). That is the standard bleed for every print job including posters, mailers, business cards, etc.

HOW TO ADD A BLEED TO A NEW ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR (.ai) DOCUMENT
  1. To create a document with bleed, open Illustrator and click File > New

  2. Type in the documents size for your artwork

  3. To add a bleed, go to the “Bleed” section and click on the arrow under the section titled “Top” until you see “0.125 in” Adjusting the bleed under one section will auto-populate the rest.

  4. Click “Create”

The art board has been created. You’ll be able to see the bleed area has been added to your document because you will see a red line around the document artboard.

Make sure any colors or pictures meant to go to the page’s edge, extend past the edge to the red bleed line. Doing so will ensure there is no unwanted white space when printing. There shouldn't be any text added to this area.





HOW TO ADD A BLEED TO AN EXISTING ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR DOCUMENT
  1. Open the document.

  2. Click File > Document setup

  3. In the first box next to “Bleed” hit the arrow under “Top” just once until it reads “0.125 in”. The other boxes will auto-populate. (Make sure all boxes have 0.125 in)

  4. Click “OK”

The red line around your document shows the bleed has been added. Adjust your document’s elements to go up to the red line if needed.






HOW TO EXPORT AN ILLUSTRATOR FILE WITH BLEEDS

To export an Illustrator file with bleeds, you need to save the document as a PDF.

  1. To do so, go to: File > Save As

  2. Type the file’s name and select where it should be saved to.

  3. Make sure the “Format” is set to Adobe PDF.

  4. Click “Save”

  5. Click on “Marks and Bleeds” in the side menu

  6. Under the “Marks” section, click on only “Trim Marks”

  7. Under the “Bleeds” section click the box next to “Use Document Bleed Settings”

  8. Click “Save as PDF”



That’s it! Now you can email the PDF to lifeincolors ready to print.

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