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Old 03-12-2010, 04:40 PM   #1
Ronald
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Default Maximum Bleed for 8.5"x11" Sheet?

My client wants to print a full-bleed plaque design that will go in an 8.5"x11" frame, but he wants to print it on 8.5"x11" paper since it's cheaper than 11"x17". I know this is an amateurish question, but what's the approximate maximum bleed I can achieve on 8.5"x11"? I looked it up online but it turns out I have a lot more leeway than I thought, at least with one printer I used. Then I emailed one of the people at the print shop about it and they instead told me the general rule for bleed compensation (adding 1/8th of an inch) rather than telling me my potential outcome for starting with 8.5"x11". Do all printers have different gripper edges and therefore different results? It's probably not a big issue but I'd just like some more answers for further insight.

Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
don Arnoldy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald View Post
My client wants to print a full-bleed plaque design that will go in an 8.5"x11" frame.
It depends.

...on the quantity you are planning to print,
...on the equipment the printer has,
...on the kind of paper you want to use.

8.5" X 11" and 11" x 17" are standard sizes for office papers...but they are not the only sizes of paper.

Your printer should be able to by paper in basis (also called parent) sizes. the parent size for the text, book and offset grades of paper is 25" x 38"--which would allow your printer to cut it into 9" x 12" sheets. These will run through even a small offset duplicator press so that you can print your bleeds and then trim it down to 8.5" x 11". There will be some lost paper this way—but not nearly as much as trying to print each piece on an 11" x 17 sheet.

If you only want to print up a couple of dozen, then this is probably more work than your printer would want to do (unless you have a good relationship with him). but if you are printing up even a couple of hundred, this is pretty standard way to do it.

It may also be that the printer you've talked to doesn't have a large-enough paper cutter to do this (some really small places don't)—keep looking, some printer in your town can do this.

--don

   
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:49 AM   #3
Benwiggy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald View Post
My client wants to print a full-bleed plaque design that will go in an 8.5"x11" frame, but he wants to print it on 8.5"x11" paper since it's cheaper than 11"x17". I know this is an amateurish question, but what's the approximate maximum bleed I can achieve on 8.5"x11"?
I'm not quite sure I understand why the client is specifying what sheet size the printer should use.

1. If you want to produce something that is 8.5 x 11, that has ink going all the way to the edge, then you need to prepare artwork that is BIGGER than 8.5 x 11, i.e. 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all sides extra.

2. If you are taking the job to a printer, then they will use whatever paper size is good for them, and trim your job to your specified size. If the printer has said that they have to use 11 x 17 sheet to print one page of 8.5 x 11 with bleed, then they won't be in business for long.

3. However, if your client insists that the printer use 8.5 x 11 paper for some reason, then most printers will need to include bleed within this area. In other words, they will trim it down to 8.25 x 10.75.

Last edited by Benwiggy; 03-13-2010 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:44 AM   #4
Bo Aakerstrom
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If it is a digital print shop (i.e. something you would find on the highstreet) they might be limited to which paper sizes they are using, but if you want bleed it needs to be added to the final size.

What type of frame is going to be used? Unless it is a clip frame it will cover some of the edges of the paper, which means you don't need bleed as such. Find out from the printer (if it is a digital outfit) how close to the egde they can print, who knows, you might get away with it.

If this is just to save a few bucks on a small number of prints, it really is false economy if it is going to cause problems.

   
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:33 PM   #5
Eric Ladner
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I've done almost everything around print shops except run a press, so I readily admit that I'm not really good on the technical side of where the ink meets the paper, but I learned just recently from our pressman that in some cases you can fake a bleed without printing on a larger sheet and trimming it.

We were doing a job for a friend of the boss - i.e., it had to look good but not cost us too much - and we needed a solid box to bleed off the edge of the 8.5 x 11 letterhead. Dave said, "Give me just a little bleed, 1/16" or less, and the thickness of the blanket will keep it off the roller."

The results looked good to me. Of course, it may all depend on an operator who knows his press, and is willing and able to invest the time in fiddling around to make it work.

My youngest brother would have (admiringly) called it "an old Indian trick." Those old Indians (like old wives) knew what they were doing!

-Eric
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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At this late date...

I'm surprised no one hit the obvious way to meet the budget. A bleed is always larger than the finished trim size. So if you want to use a standard frame size, you print on 8-1/2 x 11" letter sized paper--but TRIM to 8x10, US standard photo size, and use the matching standard photo size 8x10 frames for the plaques.

If the boss wants a bleed, he's got to pay for paper that is larger than the finished trim size, and he's going to have to pay extra for the TRIMMING itself. Unless you get one of the "photo" grade inkjet printers, because some of them will print a full bleed on some paper sizes. The catch-22 there is that they are more expensive--and the ink "overspray" eventually has to be cleaned out of them.

On a physical printing press (which it won't pay to use for runs of less than perhaps 500 pieces in any case) you can indeed run a full bleed on any sheet--but may make a total mess, not only from the grippers but from a starwheel tracking it down the center of the page and other issues. A lot depends on the skill of the pressman, and the quality of the press itself.
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