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What are print bleeds?2021-03-26T18:07:37+00:00
Bleed refers to a background color, graphic, or image that extends to the edge of the finished paper size and beyond. It’s difficult for printing equipment to apply ink up to the cut edge of a sheet of paper. So an extra .125″ (3mm) margin is typically added on each side of the design, enabling the background color, graphic, or image to extend past (i.e., “bleed off”) the paper’s final trim edge. This extra bleed area will be cut off the printed sheet. For example, a letterhead sheet that incorporates bleed in its design will be 8.75″ x 11.25″ before being trimmed to a finished size of 8.5″ x 11″. 
 
In contrast, a piece with no bleed keeps all the printed elements a minimum of .125″ (3mm) away from the edge of the paper on all four sides. Nothing is printed to the finished edge of the paper. 
Sometimes I see “10 pt” or “12 pt” paper stock listed. Is this a paper weight?2021-03-26T17:54:32+00:00

Sometimes the thickness of Cover/Card stock is used instead of its weight. In North America, paper thickness can be displayed in points (1/1000″ or .001″). For example, a 10 pt. Card stock is 0.010″ thick (about the weight of a 140lb Index stock) while 12 pt. Card stock is 0.012″ thick (about the weight of a 100lb Cover stock).

Paper Weight Comparison Chart (Lightest to Heaviest) 

#’s gsm Paper Stock
16lb 60.2 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
40lb 60.2 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
20lb 75.2 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
50lb 75.2 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
24lb 90.3 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
60lb 90.3 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
80lb 104 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
28lb 105.4 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
70lb 105.4 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
40lb 109.1 g/m² Cover
50lb 135.5 g/m² Cover
60lb 161.8 g/m² Cover
100lb 161.8 g/m² Tag
90lb 161.8 g/m² Index
65lb 176.8 g/m² Cover
110lb 199.4 g/m² Index
80lb 218.2 g/m² Cover
90lb 244.6 g/m² Cover
140lb 252.1 g/m² Index
100lb 270.0g/m² Cover
170lb 308.5 g/m² Index
220lb 385.1 g/m² Index
What is the difference between LB, #, GSM, G/M2 and G/M²?2022-05-04T17:38:09+00:00

Besides a generic “Text” weight or “Cover” weight, descriptions often include a number to refer to the weight of the paper. The higher the number, the heavier the paper. Heavier paper is typically thicker as well.

There are two systems for indicating the weight of paper; an international metric system and a North American system. The North American system for paper weight uses pounds (expressed as either # or lb) while the metric system uses grams per square meter (gsm or g/m2 or g/m²), often called “grammage”. The North American pound rating is based on the weight of 500 sheets (a.k.a. a ream), while the metric rating is based on the weight of a 1 meter by 1-meter sheet.
The U.S. system is a bit confusing because the same pound number can be used for both lighter (Text) paper and heavier (Cover) paper. For example, 80# Text paper and 80# Cover paper have the same pound number even though the Cover stock is almost twice as heavy! The metric system in comparison is more straightforward. For example, 80# Text Paper weighs 104 g/m² while 80# Cover Stock weighs 218 g/m². The Cover stock is clearly more than twice as heavy as the Text stock.
The reason the actual weight of Text and Cover stock of the same pound rating will be different is due to the way the pound rating is determined. Both use the weight of 500 sheets for the pound rating, but they use a different size sheets. For Text stock, 500 sheets measuring 25″ x 38″ are used. While for Cover stock, 500 sheets measuring 20″ x 26″ sheets are used instead.
What is the difference between gloss and matte paper?2022-05-04T17:39:09+00:00

Paper can be grouped into two main grades based on weight and thickness: Text and Cover.

“Text” is a generic name for a variety of lighter, thinner paper stocks that includes Book, Bond, Writing, Ledger, Offset paper. Text paper is flexible, can be easily rolled and folded and is used for printing flyers, handouts, letterheads, book pages, etc. The paper used in ink jet printers would be considered Text.
“Cover” is a generic name for a variety of heavier and thicker paper stocks that includes Bristol, Index, Tag, and Card paper. It is more durable than Text paper. Cover paper is more rigid and must be scored (i.e., dented or creased) before it can be folded. This type of paper is usually smooth but can have a texture. It can have either a matte or glossy appearance. Cover/Card stock is often used for mass mailed postcards, business cards, playing cards, invitations, program covers, greeting cards, door hangers, catalogue covers, presentation covers, scrapbooking, etc. At its heaviest, Card stock would be similar to material used for a cereal box.
What is the difference between text, book, bond, cover, bristol, index, tag and card paper?2021-03-26T17:43:26+00:00

Paper can be grouped into two main grades based on weight and thickness: Text and Cover.

“Text” is a generic name for a variety of lighter, thinner paper stocks that includes Book, Bond, Writing, Ledger, Offset paper. Text paper is flexible, can be easily rolled and folded and is used for printing flyers, handouts, letterheads, book pages, etc. The paper used in ink jet printers would be considered Text.
“Cover” is a generic name for a variety of heavier and thicker paper stocks that includes Bristol, Index, Tag, and Card paper. It is more durable than Text paper. Cover paper is more rigid and must be scored (i.e., dented or creased) before it can be folded. This type of paper is usually smooth, but can have a texture. It can have either a matte or glossy appearance. Cover/Card stock is often used for mass mailed postcards, business cards, playing cards, invitations, program covers, greeting cards, door hangers, catalogue covers, presentation covers, scrapbooking, etc. At its heaviest, Card stock would be similar to material used for a cereal box.
ISO Metric paper sizes2021-03-26T17:41:20+00:00
SIZE WIDTH (mm) HEIGHT (mm) WIDTH (in.) HEIGHT (in.)
Int’l Business Card 85.6 mm 53.98 mm 3.37 in. 2.125 in.
Japanese Business Card 91 mm 55 mm 3.583 in. 2.165 in.
Hungarian Business Card 90 mm 50 mm 3.543 in. 1.969 in.
A0 841 mm 1189 mm 33.11 in. 46.81 in
A1 594 mm 841 mm 23.39 in. 33.11 in.
A2 420 mm 594 mm 16.54 in. 23.39 in.
A3 297 mm 420 mm 11.69 in. 16.54 in.
A4 210 mm 297 mm 8.27 in. 11.69 in.
A5 148 mm 210 mm 5.83 in. 8.27 in.
A6 105 mm 148 mm 4.13 in. 5.83 in.
A7 74 mm 105 mm 2.91 in. 4.13 in.
B0 1028 mm 1456 mm 40.48 in. 57.32 in.
B1 707 mm 1000 mm 28.66 in. 40.48 in.
B2 514 mm 728 mm 20.24 in. 28.66 in.
B3 364 mm 514 mm 14.33 in. 20.24 in.
B4 257 mm 364 mm 10.12 in. 14.33 in.
B5 182 mm 257 mm 7.17 in. 10.12 in.
B6 128 mm 182 mm 5.04 in. 7.17 in.
North American paper sizes2021-03-26T18:31:29+00:00
SIZE WIDTH (in.) HEIGHT (in.) WIDTH (mm) HEIGHT (mm)
Business Card 3.5 in. 2 in. 85.6 mm 53.98 mm
Executive 7.5 in. 10 in. 190.5 mm 254 mm
Jr. Legal 8 in. 5 in. 203.2 mm 127 mm
Letter/ ANSI A 8.5 in. 11 in. 215.9 mm 279.4 mm
Legal 8.5 in. 14 in. 215. 9 mm 355.6 mm
Ledger/Tabloid/ANSI B 11 in. 17 in. 279.4 mm 431.8 mm
ANSI C 17 in. 22 in. 432 mm 559 mm
ANSI D 22 in. 34 in. 559 mm 864 mm
ANSI E 34 in. 44 in. 864 mm 1118 mm
Arch A 9 in. 12 in. 229 mm 305 mm
Arch B 12 in. 18 in. 305 mm 457 mm
Arch C 18 in. 24 in. 457 mm 610 mm
Arch D 24 in. 36 in. 610 mm 914 mm
Arch E 36 in. 48 in. 1914 mm 1219 mm
Arch E1 30 in. 42 in. 762 mm 1067 mm
Arch E2 26 in. 38 in. 660 mm 965 mm
Arch E3 27 in. 39 in. 686 mm 991 mm
Arch E2021-03-26T17:13:49+00:00

N. American ARCH Sizes

Arch A:
9 in. x 12 in.
(229 mm x 305 mm)
Arch B:
12 in. x 18 in.
(305 mm x 457 mm)
Arch C:
18 in. x 24 in.
(457 mm x 610 mm)
Arch D:
24 in. x 36 in.
(610 mm x 914 mm)
Arch E:
36 in. x 48 in.
(1914 mm x 1219 mm)
E2021-03-26T17:12:58+00:00

N. American ANSI Sizes

ANSI A:
8.5 in. x 11 in.
(215.9 mm x 279.4 mm)
ANSI B:
11 in. x 17 in.
(279.4 mm x 431.8 mm)
ANSI C:
17 in. x 22 in.
(432 mm x 559 mm)
ANSI D:
22 in. x 34 in.
(559 mm x 864 mm)
ANSI E:
34 in. x 44 in.
(1118 mm x 864 mm)
B02021-03-26T18:33:39+00:00

ISO B Sizes

B0:
1028 mm x 1456 mm
(40.48 in. x 57.32 in.)
B1:
707 mm x 1000 mm
(28.66 in. x 40.48 in.)
B2:
514 mm x 728 mm
(20.24 in. x 28.66 in.)
B3:
364 mm x 514 mm
(14.33 in. x 20.24 in.)
B4:
257 mm x 364 mm
(10.12 in. x 14.33 in.)
B5:
182 mm x 257 mm
(7.17 in. x 10.12 in.)
B6:
128 mm x 182 mm
(5.04 in. x 7.17 in.)
A02021-03-26T17:12:35+00:00

A4 is slightly narrower and a bit longer than North American Letter size paper.

ISO A Sizes

A0:
841 mm x 1,189 mm
(33.11 in. x 46.81 in.)
A1:
594 mm x 841 mm
(23.39 in. x 33.11 in.)
A2:
420 mm x 594 mm
(16.54 in. x 23.39 in.)
A3:
297 mm x 420 mm
(11.69 in. x 16.54 in.)
A4:
210 mm x 297 mm
(8.27 in. x 11.69 in.)
A5:
148 mm x 210 mm
(5.83 in. x 8.27 in.)
A6:
105 mm x 148 mm
(4.13 in. x 5.83 in.)
A7:
74 mm x 105 mm
(2.91 in. x 4.13 in.)
How do I create bleed in my design?2021-11-08T17:47:59+00:00

To create bleed in your design, simply make sure the background color, graphic, or image you want it to bleed extends off the final trim edge of the page by .125″ (3mm).

If you are creating your file in an application such as Photoshop, you must make your document height and width dimensions .25″ (6mm) larger than your final trim size. For example, if the finished size is 8.5″ x 11″ then make your document 8.75″ x11.25″. Position guides that are .125″ from each edge. For design purposes, these guides will represent where the paper (and any of your design elements) will be cut.
Position any background color, graphic, or image that you want to bleed so they are extended past your guides, all the way to the outside edge of the document. Remember, the extra .125″ will be cut off after your piece is printed.
Bleed Before and After Trimming2021-03-26T16:17:18+00:00

The illustration on the left shows a document designed with bleed (finished size plus an extra .125″ (3mm) on each side). Because minor variations can occur when cutting the paper to its finished size, to avoid being trimmed off, text and other important matter must stay .125″ (3mm) away from the trim edge (the “safety zone”).

The illustration on the right shows the printed piece after trimming. Note the last “e” in “Example” has been cut in half because it extended past the safety zone and into the trimming area. Some of the artwork has been cut off for the same reason. Any elements that extend past the safety zone risk being lost in the process of trimming the paper to its finished size.
What is the Safety Zone?2021-03-26T16:16:37+00:00

To avoid being trimmed off, text and other important matter must stay within a “safety zone” that is is a minimum of .125″ (3mm) away from the trim edge. Any design elements that extend beyond the safety zone risk being cut off in the process of trimming the paper to its finished size. For example, the safety zone for an 8.5″ x 11″ letterhead would be .125″ smaller on each side, or 8.25″ x 10.75″.

What is the Trim Edge?2021-03-26T16:15:47+00:00

A sheet with bleed is larger than its finished size. The “trim edge” refers to each edge of the sheet after it has been cut to its finished size. Any printed elements that extend beyond the trim edge will be cut off in the process of reducing the paper to its finished size.

Bleed VS No Bleed2021-11-08T17:50:33+00:00
This illustration (bleed) shows a page printed with bleed, before trimming. When trimmed, the finished piece will have a color or graphic content extending to the finished, cut edge on all four sides. The illustration on the right (No bleed) shows a page designed without any bleed. When trimmed, the finished piece will have an unprinted border on all four sides.
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