15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2011 1:58 PM by macinbytes

    Proper bleed and margin settings

    InDesignCS4Student Level 1

      I have been working on a project and using 8 x 11 document page size. I set my margins 0.5 in and bleed at 0.18 in. One printer said it's ok to use for printing and now another printer says the settings are not correct. Are there any proper settings for documents or is each printer accept different sizes?

        • 1. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          No absolute rules, but .125 in or 3mm is fairly common for bleed. Margins are a matter of choice, but you should keep any important content at least the same distance inside the page edge as the bleed allowance (if the allowance gets used, the same amount is trimmed from inside the page area on the opposite edge), and probably more so it doesn't look odd if it moves closer to the edge after trimming (that said, if the trim is off as much as .125, I'd look for another printer next time).

          • 2. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
            InDesignCS4Student Level 1

            Would it be ok to go ahead and use the settings I have of 0.5 or should I change them to the .125? For the future instead of 8 x 11, I am going to use the standard size of 8.5 x 11 document size.

            • 3. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Half-inch margins are fine. Why would you want to change them to .125?

               

              How is this being printed? Whay did you decide originally on 8 x 11?

               

              Do you understand how bleed works? To print a bleed you need to print onto a sheet large enough to take the page plus bleed allowance, and hopefully crop marks outside that, then cut off the bleed. If this is going on a commercial copier, for example, allowing for an eighth-inch bleed (and you need that much for most copiers because they have poor page-to-page registration) and a quarter-inch of non-printing area around the edge of the sheet, you probably can't expect to get more than a 7.5 x 10 page size document with full bleed onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Your 8 x 11 could be printed 2-up on 12 x 18 or 13 x 19, if the printer can handle it, but those sizes cost a premium for copiers. On a press there is more flexibility, but certain sizes fit differnt presses better than others. You should ask the printer what sizes make sense for the equipment.

              • 4. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                InDesignCS4Student Level 1

                I originally wanted 8 x 11 because most magazines are that size. I would want to change them to .125 if there was a problem using the 0.5? Also because that a printer said that 0.5 is incorrect. I guess I need a different printer.

                • 5. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  Let's just get the terminology straight here so were sure we're bothtalking about the same thing.

                   

                  Margins, which you said were set to .5, are INSIDE the page boundaries. There is no "correct" value for margins -- that's a design decision, but if they are too small they may be ugly and/or difficult for botthe reader and the printer to work with, especially narrow margins on the outside (thumbs need space to hold the page) and inside vertical edges (too close to the binding can result in content being hard to see, depending on the type of binding).

                   

                  Bleeds are OUTSIDE the page area and get cut off. You said .18, which is a little narrow for something like a magazine that runs at high speed on a web (roll fed) press where there might be some drift. If the printer is telling you something is "incorrect" he should be also telling you WHY, and what you can do to fix it.

                  • 6. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                    InDesignCS4Student Level 1

                    Yes this is exactly what I am talking about.

                    • 7. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      I would definitely NOT reduce margins below .5. You might want larger.

                       

                      Can you get some explanation from the printer about what he thinks is wrong?

                      • 8. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                        InDesignCS4Student Level 1

                        You are right! I just compared 0.5 to the .125 and the .125 looks alot smaller sized compared to my 0.5. I am going to keep my 0.5, or even larger like you say. Now I just need to set the bleed. You mentioned that .18 is narrow. How about the .125 for bleed?

                        • 9. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                          InDesignCS4Student Level 1

                          It looks like the .125 is more narrow than a .18 bleed?

                          • 10. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            As I mentioned in my first response, .125 is a pretty standard setting for bleed, and the one that I would use unless told to use something else by the printer.

                            • 11. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                              InDesignCS4Student Level 1

                              The .125 just looks smaller compared to the .18, but I will try it, and I will ask the printer for some explanation for his resonse about the settings being incorrect.

                              • 12. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                Right. It's been a Looooong day and I'm not really awake anymore. I was seeing .18, but reading .118. .125 is fine, and the .18 is larger than necessary.

                                • 13. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                                  InDesignCS4Student Level 1

                                  I just wanted to let you know that the printer is claiming I don't have any bleeds at all. Like I told you the bleeds are 0.18, so I don't know why the printer is saying this, but I am definitely choosing another printer.

                                  • 14. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                    Are you sending the printer PDFs? Did you actually include the bleeds when you made the PDF? You do have to do that, they aren't included by default. It's the bottom section of the Marks and Bleeds panel in the Export Dialog (and if you have bleeds, you should also include crop marks).

                                     

                                    And just to be very clear, again, the document is set up as 8 x 11, and that's the size you expect it to be trimmed to, and you added your bleed by clicking the More Options button inthe setup dialog and entering an amount in the bleed fields. This would give you an additional red guide outside tha page area marking the bleed.

                                    • 15. Re: Proper bleed and margin settings
                                      macinbytes Level 4

                                      1/8" bleed is pretty standard I think anywhere. Is it possible that he's saying you don't have the right bleed because your files don't actually have the bleed? Are you exporting it to PDF with bleed? Just because you have the bleed set in the document won't mean that your exported PDF will have bleed. You would have to check the bleed in the export dialog. Even if you built the document with .18 or .25 or any bleed setting greater than .125 doesn't affect what your export is.

                                       

                                      When you export the PDF with .125 bleed set does the file have white edges? Showing your page bounding box in acrobat to see.

                                      Untitled.png

                                      For margins .5" is good. I generally do everything with .625" margins and at minimum try to make sure no type gets anywhere near where punches would be, whether files will punch or not. Even if the client says the jobs will never 3 hole drill I like to air on the side of caution. Banking on that being true is fine until someone decides you need to punch and end up with a 400 page catalog that needs fixed. 1/8" isn't much on a few pages, but gets worse and worse the more pages you have. Also clients have a tendency to trivialize 1/8" when bills come for fixing a few hundred pages of content.