• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.



Junior Member
Wondering if someone could clear up bleeds etc. for me. I've never really had to have anything printed - professionally, that is, so it's a bit new to me. I realise you need at least 3mm of bleed added to the document to print - right? And the background/images should extend to the bleed. Text and the like need to stay within the safe margins. Now, I've done a poster in Illustrator that's going to print. The art board was A3, and - before I realised you could add the bleeds etc in Illustrator, so placed it within inDesign. Document was A3, added the 3mm bleeds, stretched the poster to extend to the bleed - threw everything off a little, size-wise. I then went back to Illustrator, added 3mm bleed to that file, extended the background only - it was a solid colour - then added it back to InDesign, exported as a pdf.
Now, have I done that right? Only, my problem is how do I go about it if I do something within Photoshop? Do I make my A3 canvas 3mm larger, then add to InDesign? My thinking is that if I didn't do that, then it'd be slightly pixelated due to me extending it? I dunno if I'm doing this right, I've only had a few things printed and they were for uni, and other times it was through Vista Print, but that was only for flyers etc.
Also, do I need to add crop marks?
Still fairly new to InDesign... and Illustrator to be fair.

Sean Lee-Amies

Many printing companies have their own set of guidelines that they want designers to follow and provide them with templates or documents that fit their requirements, which makes everything easier. The whole point of the bleed is to make sure that all of the important stuff gets printed, and not chopped off. So if you're making an A3 document, your documents total dimensions need to be A3 + Bleed. Don't stretch your image, just create the document from the start with the bleed size already set, it should be a case of increase the document dimensions, or canvas in Photoshop, never stretch the image.
I'm not sure what you mean about setting up the bleed in PS and then adding it to ID? Just set it up in ID with the bleeds, or work in PS :)
Also, whilst we're on the subject.. Let's talk about what printers you're using....! Vistaprint = a big no no, unless you're being paid peanuts for the project in question, you should really be using some better quality companies!


Junior Member
Ah okay. So if I'm working in Illustrator, Photoshop etc. etc. always start up a new document/image or whatever with the appropriate bleeds already set, right?

What I meant was, at first when I had my Illustrator file setup, it was standard A3 dimensions. I then opened up an A3 document up in InDesign, added the bleeds then placed the Illustrator file onto that. Then I resized it to snap to the bleed guides. Was asking if this was the right way because if I did that with a PSD/JPG etc, then surely it would pixelate, provided the the JPG was A3 dimensions, without the added bleed (to the JPG). If that makes sense. But in future I'll add the bleed to the file within PS etc.

Haha no don't worry. I used it whilst in uni, was doing (free) stuff for a society, they wanted Vista Print. Only free stuff I've done has been printed there.
An A3 image stretched out a few mm in ID wouldn't pixelate to any noticeable amount, as long as its a dpi of 300. You can get away with less. All depends what your doing and how close people are going to be viewing it. I do some bigger bits at 150dpi full size or 300dpi at 50% size. But as Sean says its always worth talking to the printers to find out what they want.If your thinking of adding bleed to something in PS then you are probably using the wrong programme. But everyone works differently. Even if its just a single large image I'd still being that into ID and edit it in PS. Don't think you can do crop marks in PS as easily as you can in ID. You can even bring an ID document into ID.