2 key things to make sure your advert looks right
Next in the series of getting your advert right are bleeds and safe areas.
Sounds like terminology from a battle, but its quite simple and not dangerous at all.
We do from time to time see print adverts with the following two problems:
1. An unintentional white border around the advert
2. Areas of the advert that are cut off
Let’s start with the first problem of an unintentional border around an advert.
This is usually to do with a lack of bleed area.
A bleed area is a printing term that refers to the area of the design that goes beyond the specified dimensions and will be trimmed before it’s printed.
The reason for this is it can be difficult for the printer to align up designs and print exactly to the edge of a sheet . It is easer to print a slightly larger sheet and then trim down.
Most publications will have a set size for their adverts.
For example the dimensions for an A5 landscape advert are 148mm high x 210 mm wide.
So you might design your advert in these exact dimensions, send it off to the magazine and expect to see your advert to appear just as it does on screen.
The trouble is that without the design going into the bleed area, the printer will just add a blank area for your bleed space.
Thus when its trimmed down it may leave a white border around the advert.
Bleed areas for a magazine are typically 3mm (but can be 5mm or more) so the correct dimension to design to for an A5 advert with a 3mm bleed are 154mm high by 216mm wide
You should design your advert to stretch over this entire area, expecting it to be cropped down to the 148mm high size.
Now let’s talk about the second problem: areas of an advert being cut off.
It’s very important to keep in mind a safe area.
You definitely don’t want any important elements of your advert in the 3mm bleed area.
But just keeping it out of the bleed area isn’t good enough.
You really need to make sure all the important content is well within the dimensions so that it isn’t too close to the edge, even after the bleed has been cropped away.
Billboards for example, need a bit more space on the edges. So if you design your advert with your web address virtually on the bottom of the advert, it might be there on screen, but could be folded under when it’s physically placed at the location.
You need to keep all your most important content within what’s known as the safe area. This is typically 5mm in from the edge of the actual dimensions of the advert (not 5mm in from the bleed area)
So remember to ask about these two important factors.
Do I add a bleed and how big? (It’s usually between 3mm and 5mm but it does depend on the media.)
What safe area size do you recommend within the dimensions?
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