Artwork – What are Crops & Bleeds?

What are Crops & Bleeds?

Specify printer’s marks

When you prepare a document for printing, a number of marks are needed to help the printer determine where to trim the paper, align separation films when producing proofs, measure film for correct calibration and dot density, and so on. Selecting any page-mark option expands the page boundaries to accommodate printer’s marks, bleed (the parts of text or objects that extend past the page boundary to account for slight inaccuracy when trimming), or slug area (an area outside the page and bleed that contains printer instructions or job sign-off information).

If you are setting crop marks and want the artwork to contain a bleed or slug area, make sure that you extend the artwork past the crop marks to accommodate the bleed or slug. Also make sure that your media size is large enough to contain the page and any printer’s marks, bleeds, or the slug area. If a document doesn’t fit the media, you can control where items are clipped by using the Page Position option in the Setup area of the Print dialog box.

If you select the Crop Marks option, fold marks are printed as solid lines when spreads are printed.


Printer’s marks

A. Crop marks B. Registration mark C. Page information D. Color bars E. Bleed marks F. Slug area 
  1. Choose File > Print.
  2. Click Marks and Bleed on the left side of the Print dialog box.
  3. Select either All Printer’s Marks or individual marks.

Specify the bleed and slug areas in the Document Setup dialog box. The bleed and slug areas are discarded when the document is trimmed to its final page size. Objects outside the bleed or slug area (whichever extends farthest) are not printed.

When printing, you can override the default location for bleed marks in the Bleed And Slug area of the Marks And Bleed area.

Files saved in PostScript file format allow capable post-processing programs to implement their own variable bleed.

  1. Choose File > Print.
  2. Click Marks And Bleed on the left side of the Print dialog box.
  3. Select either All Printer’s Marks or individual marks.
  4. To override bleed settings in the Document Setup dialog box, uncheck Use Document Bleed Settings and enter values from 0 to 6 inches (or equivalents) for Top, Bottom, Left, and Right (for single-sided documents), or Top, Bottom, Inside, and Outside (for double‑sided documents with facing pages). To extend the offset evenly on all sides of the page, click the Make All Settings The Same icon .
  5. Click Include Slug Area to print objects using the slug area defined in the Document Setup dialog box.


You can preview the bleed and slug areas before printing by clicking the Bleed Preview Mode  or the Slug Preview Mode icon  at the bottom of the Toolbox. (These may be hidden by the Preview Mode icon .)

Marks and Bleed options

The Marks And Bleed area includes the following options:

All Printer’s Marks Selects all printer’s marks including crop marks, bleed marks, registration marks, color bars, and page information.

Crop Marks Adds fine (hairline) horizontal and vertical rules that define where the page should be trimmed. Crop marks can also help register (align) one color separation to another. By using together with bleed marks, you can select overlapped marks.

Bleed Marks Adds fine (hairline) rules that define the amount of extra area to image outside the defined page size.

Registration Marks Adds small “targets” outside the page area for aligning the different separations in a color document.

Color Bars Adds small squares of color representing the CMYK inks and tints of gray (in 10% increments). Your service provider uses these marks to adjust ink density on the printing press.

Page Information Prints the filename, page number, current date and time, and color separation name in 6-point Helvetica in the lower-left corner of each sheet of paper or film. The Page Information option requires 0.5 inches (13mm) along the horizontal edge. Please note that page information is printed in GothicBBB-Medium-83pv-RKSJ-H (Medium Gothic) font.

Type Lets you choose default printer’s marks or custom marks (for Japanese pages, for example). You can create custom printer’s marks or use custom marks created by another company.

Weight Displays possible weights for crop and bleed mark lines.
Offset Specifies how far from the edge of the page (not the bleed) InDesign will draw printer’s marks. By default, InDesign draws printer’s marks 6 points from the edge of the page. To avoid drawing printer’s marks on a bleed, be sure to enter an Offset value greater than the Bleed value.

Change the page position on the media

When you print a document to a cut-sheet media size that is larger than the document size, you can control where the slug and bleed areas, printer’s marks, and page fall on the media by using the Page Position options in the Setup area of the Print dialog box. If a document doesn’t fit the media and needs to be clipped, you can specify which part of the document is clipped. The preview image in the Print dialog box shows the results.


To see the bleed and slug areas and printer’s marks, use the Scale To Fit option instead of Page Position; scaled pages are always centered. The Page Position options are unavailable when Scale To Fit, Thumbnails, or Tile is selected.

  1. In the Setup area of the Print dialog box, choose a position in the Page Position menu.

Printer’s marks and bleeds” by Adobe IndesignCS6 is licensed under CC BY-NY-SA 3.0

Raster Versus Vector

What The Raster Is A Vector?

   Raster Versus Vector Comparison Photo

When a graphic designer creates a masterpiece with imagery, it’s going to be either a raster, or vector image. So what’s the difference? A raster image, simply put, is made up of pixels. A vector image, more complicatedly put, is a mathematical calculation from one point to another. Both formats of graphics are well suited for web and print needs, if you know how to use them!

The Raster Rundown

Raster Pixelated Example

Raster, or Bitmap, is any image that is made up of pixels. These pixels come together to make photos, and those photos capture all the wonderful memories we hold most dear! Raster images can become finicky to use though if not formatted correctly for your print or web needs. In almost all cases, you won’t be able to stretch the image without losing quality in the resolution. It’s always helpful to know the dpi (Dots Per Inch) and ppi (Pixels Per Inch) of your image in case your printer or web designer has specific standards for their work.

If you aren’t familiar with all of the fun image editing programs that are available, such as Adobe Photoshop, an easy trick to figure out what size your image can print at with a 300ppi, is by multiplying the finished product’s width x 300. So if you wanted to print a mailer that was 4.5 x 6 inches, you would have 6 x 300 = 1800, so your image must be at least 1800px wide to get a print with excellent quality! If you come into a situation where you already have an image, and you want to know that largest size you can print at without distorting (or stretching) the picture, divide the pixel dimension by the resolution required by your printer. So if your printer requires the standard 300ppi, and your image is 2000 pixels wide, you would have 2000 / 300 = 6.67in, which means you can print an image up to 6.67inches wide! Raster graphics are ideal when you have an image with a large amount of detail. With that large amount of detail though, comes a large amount of information for the computer to process, which can slow everything down!

Vector Wisdom

Stretched Vector Example

I am a huge, huge, fan of vector. Not only does vector art make for very clean visuals, but it’s also the least fussy to manipulate. On a huge plus side, vector images can be stretched to any size! A small bumble bee in a field of flowers on a postcard, can be transformed into the bumble bee on a mega billboard advertising for the newest honey infused energy drink, with no fractures in the final resolution, and vice versa (you may have to rearrange an eye, or alter a nose, but those are easy fixes).

A convenient feature of vector graphics, is how easy it is to edit. When you open a file that is not flattened in a program such as Adobe Illustrator, every part of the image is on a separate layer, which can easily be manipulated. Because of the way vector graphics remember data mathematically, they do not cooperate as well with images that need a high amount of detail such as exact coloring. Unfortunately, because vectors are made up of mostly lines and dots, they cannot have styling effects such as drop shadow or beveling applied to them.

Like most things in life, both graphics have their ups and downs! Figuring out what type of graphic you are going to use, will all depend on the intentions of your project and what it will require aesthetically. Thankfully with raster and vector, there are many varieties to them both which gives us the ability to constantly make unique and personal products!