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100Brochures.com Design Specifications << Go to Homepage

Start with our Templates!

Doing so will make your job easier and possibly save you some headaches. Our templates will provide you with predefined guidelines for bleed, cut, and safety lines. Using our templates is the best way to eliminate a lot of issues.

Of course, you are welcome to create your own artwork without using our templates, too.  

Always keep this in mind:

All art should be a minimum of 300dpi @ 100% image size.
Design in or convert to CMYK, Do Not send RGB, the color will shift, usually undesirably.
Maintain a .1875” (3/16ths”) Safety Zone from the edge of the sheet to your Live Copy.
Maintain a .125” (1/8th”) Bleed area (past the edge of the trimmed sheet) for any element that touches the edge of the final product.
For best results, use our TEMPLATES and follow the instructions, then send a PDF file for printing.

What is Bleed and Safety Zone?
It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper/card so, to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the paper/card down to the required finished size. Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended beyond the trim line to give a bleed.
Bleed information refers to elements outside the finished piece. Often a printer requires bleed information on pieces that have bleed to allow for “printer bounce” when cutting a job down to size. Failing to provide bleed information and crop marks can result in finished pieces showing a thin area of white on the edge.

The safety zone, or safe margin, is the area (0.1875”) all along the edge of the sheet, or to a fold, which is a margin that your live copy/text should not go past, to ensure it does not get cut off. A visual example can be seen HERE in the Detailed Bleed sample.

Why should I use CMYK instead of RGB?
You should design in CMYK mode to ensure the most accurate color reproduction. All printers (no matter the size, style or technology) use a 4 color build proccess to create all the printed colors that you see. When you buy ink for your desktop printer, do you buy CMYK ink or RGB ink? CMYK of course! there is no RGB ink, RGB is for monitors and other screens. If you design in RGB, we will have to convert it to CMYK and the color shift will not be desirable. 

Why should my images be a minimum of 300 dpi? (and just what is dpi?)
For the best image reproduction results, 300 dpi is the minimum resolution to use, if you use or send images that have a lesser resolution, the images in your printed product may appear fuzzy, blurry or pixelated. Be careful of images from websites (unless you are getting stock photography), web images are 72 dpi and probably will not reproduce clearly.
DPI means Dots (pixels) per inch. The more DPI in an image, the more information is in the file and the printed results will be a clear image.

Can I preview a file I’ve uploaded?
Yes, you will be able to immedialty preview your product after upload, as a matter of fact, we require it as after uploading you must preview and confirm the artwork for printing.

What if I use lines in my piece?
Keep all lines at least .25 pts thick. While thinner lines may be visible on screen, they may not show on print.

What if I want a border on my piece?
When trimmed, the border should be 1/4" thick. Therefore, it should be set up to be 3/8" from the bleed line. There is a cutting tolerance of 1/16" which may cause uneven borders. We do not recommend borders. However, if they are necessary in your artwork, keep the minimum border thickness to make it possible for us to cut as evenly as possible. We do not guarantee perfect trimming.

Detailed Bleed Sample
Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe a document which has images or elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin. When a document has bleed, it must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down.

The example below shows how a document should be set up with bleed. This is the way you must set up your document if you intend to have graphics that extend all the way to the edges of the cut item.

The example uses a business card, however the same principle and measurements apply to a document of any size.

This does not only pertain to small printed items such as postcards, but larger documents as well. No printers can print right to the edge of a sheet therefore any standard size prints with bleed must actually be printed on a larger sheet and cut down. For example, an 8.5”x11” page with bleed must be printed on a larger sheet and then cut to size.



This would be the resulting PDF output file (without the Zone/Area indicator lines [Red-Green-Blue]):


After Trim (without the Zone/Area indicator lines [Green-Blue]):



Final Product 




Detailed Folding Information