Arvest Press Inc.

252R Calvary Street
Waltham, MA 0245

Fax: 781.894.4434

Open Monday thru Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


Directions to Arvest

Arvest Impressions:

An inside look at the printing process

In Armenian, the word Arvest means "art". At Arvest Press we love what we do, and treat each new printing project with the artistic care of a skilled craftsperson. This passion translates to a high level of customer satisfaction, and top quality products.
Starting with the Basics: Living on the Edge

Bleeds and Safe Margins:


With Bleeds and safe margins we are basically talking about the edge of the page and how the design of a project interacts with the paper when the project is printed. Starting with the safe margin first, the safe margin is how close to the edge the text is and how it may be affected by the trimming process once the design is printed. The most common example would probably be a business card, when the typesetting is usually a smaller size font and text is laid out either close to the side or bottom of the small card. Because the printer is working with such a small item to begin with, it is good practice to keep your text elements at least an eighth of an inch from the sides and bottoms. This allow the, usually large, cutting blade to cleave through stacks of business cards without inadvertantly chopping off a very important last digit of a phone number, or the a chunck of the .com in an email address.  In the layout program, it's easy enough to either set your interior margins when you create the initial layout page, or to use the guides to drag a boundary into place to ensure the text stays away from the edge of the design.


Bleeds are probably one of the most commonly misunderstood parts of a design for the beginning designer. When an element in the layout extends to the very edge of the paper, the printer needs the element to extend beyond that edge, or "Bleed" off of the paper. Images are typically used for this purpose, as a corner or a heading. Sometimes an image may be used as the full face of a piece, like a postcard mailer for instance, with text on top of it. A layout like that would be described as "bleeding" on all four sides. Decorative text or graphics may bleed as well, or a line or solid colored footer might extend fully across the bottom of the layout.


Having a bleed in each of the above cases is important when the printing is complete and the piece is ready to be trimmed. If the finishing person had to trim to an exact edge, he or she would have to trim each piece individually, losing both uniformity and obviously, production time. By extending the design element over the edge of the page, there is built-in compensation for any tiny shift in the trimming process as the cutter slices through stacks of printed paper. Best practice is to have a minimum one-eighth overhang or "Bleed" for any element that runs to the edge of the paper. If creating a print ready PDF file, it is especially important to set margins and bleeds correctly when exporting from a layout program. We'll cover that subject in the next blog. 


Next Blog: PDF creation

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