Trim, Bleed & Margin

Trim, Bleed & Margin

Trim, Bleed & Margin is the most important concept of a print job.

Everything else is just either technical application instructions or adjustments to enhance quality.

1) Trim (black) is where the product will be trimmed/cut.

2) Bleed (red) is a safe zone outside the trim area.

3) Margin (purple) is a safe zone inside the trim area.

Step 1/3


Paper is a product of nature, and as such it is ”alive”. While we try to ensure that our papers are kept in check, one might, for example, be a millimeter shorter than the next.

This means that if the product is double sided, the second side will not be printed in the exact same spot as the paper before. When cut, it will make the paper show.

Bleed and margins makes the problem disappear (at least visually).

The end result with wrong margins.


If the print shifts, bleed makes it possible to still use the product. Without bleed, there would be an ugly paper border.

The first image shows what happens without bleed, the second image when properly done.

Important! Always use 3 mm bleed. While less would be enough, 3 is both easy to remember and somewhat of a standard in Europe so that’s what we require.

The end result with wrong bleed.


Bleeds are the outer safe guards and margins the inner. If text is too close to the border, it might be cut.

Straight lines too close to the trim might look skewed. Margins creates an optical illusion and fools the eye.

Note! We recommend 8 mm margins for text and straight lines. While you can use less, we can’t guarantee a good looking end result.

The end result with wrong margins.