You are looking at archived content. The hot new stuff is happening at Veerle's blog 3.0. You should check it out!

Jul 16

How to set up a full bleed design in Photoshop

2006 at 09.45 am posted by Veerle Pieters

Not sure if this is a cool tip, but this is something I always do when I start on a full bleed design in Photoshop (I mean a design for print, obviously). I thought I share this one with you…

Here is was I do:

  • I create a new document using the exact dimensions
  • I add guides on all sides of the document (make sure Snap to Document Bounds is checked in the View menu)
  • I add the bleed area by enlarging the Canvas Size (Image > Canvas Size)

For me it's just a logical thing to do, but I know from reading the comments on my blog, that everyone does things differently. I'm curious now, do you do exactly the same or do you have a smarter trick?

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and More A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.


21served

gravatar

1

permalink this comment Chris Coyier Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 01.49 pm

That’s a great idea. It sure beats calculating the document size from the start by adding the width plus (bleed x 2) and dragging your guides in afterword.

I suppose if you are working on a job that only has bleed on 1, 2, or 3 sides, you could still do it the same way, but then choose specifically how the canvas will expand with those little arrows in the Canvas Size dialog box.


gravatar

2

permalink this comment Istvan Pusztai Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 08.54 pm

Your logic is indeed logic Veerle :)
However I prefer to calculate exactly where the bleeds and margins are and then create the full size document. Afterwards I apply guidelines using those calculations. An example can be found beloew for a magazine cover I made (Protoculture Addicts #88)

BASE SIZE: 8.125” x 10.625”
Bleed of 0.125” (“b”)
SIZE: 8.375” x 10.875”
Margins
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Recommended: 0.375” (“r”)
Minimum:    0.25”  (“m”)
Guides setup
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Vertical
  0.125”  b
  0.375”  m
  0.5   r
  +++++++++
  7.875   r
  8.0”  m
  8.25”  b
Horizontal
  0.125”  b
  0.375”  m
  0.5   r
  +++++++++
  10.375”  r
  10.5”  m
  10.75”  b


gravatar

3

permalink this comment Colin Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 09.16 pm

Sure, those calculations do work fine, but I like Veerle’s analogue way of approching it.


gravatar

4

permalink this comment Mark Forrester Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 04.33 am

Yeah I’m not a fan of maths so I’m going with Veerle’s way of doing things. Thanks for the tip. Such an easy principle, yet somehow didn’t think of it.


gravatar

5

permalink this comment Enrique Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 04.46 am

I use the same technique, very logical :P


gravatar

6

permalink this comment Yannic Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 06.11 am

Nice tip thank you :)


gravatar

7

permalink this comment Brian Barbutti Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 07.54 am

So simple and yet so useful!
Thanks!


gravatar

8

permalink this comment MIchael Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 08.20 am

That’s pretty much the exact same process as mine.


gravatar

9

permalink this comment Matthew Anderson Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 08.31 am

I use exactly the same technique.


gravatar

10

permalink this comment Michael G Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 01.02 pm

I would use the same technique.

When you say ‘design with bleed’ are you referring to designing a layout i.e. a flyer or advert? Or are you referring to an illustration piece?

I’m guessing most of your visitors are web designers who are more likely to use Photoshop for designing rather then Indesign or Quark, correct?

Even if the design is for a one pager or simply a biz card I still prefer to use Indesign to lay this out, Photoshop for me is simply an imagery tool.


gravatar

11

permalink this comment Michael Sigler Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 02.29 pm

Michael G.: As I mentioned earlier I use the same technique. While I agree that InDesign is the proper tool for prin, I often tend to use Photoshop for at least the mockup stage of any complex print job.

By complex, I mean anything with patterned or complex backgrounds, with many images, shadows, details etc. Often times I find myself even laying out some text in PS to get a better idea of how final placement will be.

Another thing I find useful…

If I do lay some text out in Photoshop (not optimal in most situations of course) I export the entire image to whatever format is needed. Then I pull it into InDesign and use it as a guide for the text that I layout inside InDesign.

Once done, I go back to photoshop, kill any of the layers I don’t need for InDesign, save and update the graphic. Wallah. Saved me some headaches getting precise measurements for every spot of text (though I am of course still checking my grid and whatnot).

I find this similar to how some people use backgrounds of their mockups to help layout webpages.


gravatar

12

permalink this comment Graham Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 02.44 pm

Exactly my approach - just using it now for the menus of a friend’s new restaurant.


gravatar

13

permalink this comment Veerle Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 01.40 am

@Istvan Pusztai: this seems like making things more complicated. Maybe it’s because we use millimeters here (btw, you can blame this guy for it, he’s the inventor). I just add 6 millimeters in the Canvas size and I’m done.

Michael G said:

When you say ‘design with bleed’ are you referring to designing a layout i.e. a flyer or advert? Or are you referring to an illustration piece?... Even if the design is for a one pager or simply a biz card I still prefer to use Indesign to lay this out, Photoshop for me is simply an imagery tool.

I was kind of waiting for this question. Yes you are absolutely right of course. In 90% or maybe even 95% of the time I use Photoshop just for my pictures and I use InDesign for the layout. That’s how it should be. However, sometimes I need to deliver a ‘template’ for my client so he can edit this later on and most clients always ask for Photoshop documents (because they don’t have InDesign). A while ago I was working on huge posters (a few meters wide) containing only a photo and a slogan + logo. I also decided to do this entirely in Photoshop since the guy who prints the posters asked me to deliver the file in EPS (FYI: scaled down 1/10, 720 dpi with max. JPEG compression).

Michael Sigler said:

If I do lay some text out in Photoshop (not optimal in most situations of course) I export the entire image to whatever format is needed. Then I pull it into InDesign and use it as a guide for the text that I layout inside InDesign.

I sometimes do this too. In Photoshop you can play around more with the images, masks and effect etc. you have more creative freedom. So once the design is done I do the same trick :)


gravatar

14

permalink this comment Pilok Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 02.22 pm

Hi Veerle,

I use exactly the same technique… I find it simple and effective. Regarding your last comment… Even if photoshop is only an imagery software, it is important to visualise where you image will be “cut” in InDesign, no? Thus, the guides are important to adjust it.


gravatar

15

permalink this comment Alice Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 01.00 am

As I can see from comments many people act as you do or would adopt your method. Actually everybody has their own approach.


gravatar

16

permalink this comment cc Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 04.26 am

When you say ‘design with bleed’ are you referring to designing a layout i.e. a flyer or advert? Or are you referring to an illustration piece?


it is a good site//
http://www.euwowgold.com
amazing~


gravatar

17

permalink this comment raZna Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 12.44 am

I use exactly the same technique, even if i don’t often use photoshop for print. I prefer illustrator, but for that, when the artwork acts like a background and it’s streched to the margins, i prepare the image in photoshop with the required bleeds.


gravatar

18

permalink this comment Kris Meister Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08.26 pm

Actually, if the piece is not text heavy, I prefer to work with it in Photoshop alone.

Unfortunately my machine gets lethargic with Photoshop docs above around 35MB, so often I will switch over to Illustrator/Indesign so the my computer can be more responsive, not because I prefer it that way.


gravatar

19

permalink this comment Jim Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 12.05 pm

I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find it difficult to add a quarter inch to both directions to accommodate a 1/8th inch bleed all around at the start of document creation.


gravatar

20

permalink this comment John Athayde Tue Aug 1, 2006 at 10.33 am

I’ve done it the same way for years, especially with the 4x6 postcards we do for music clients.


gravatar

21

permalink this comment bowa Wed Aug 2, 2006 at 08.34 am

... i must have read this wrong ... or did Veerle really apologize for using a metric system ?

a metric system is just so much more logic and intuitive than inches, feet, yards, ...



Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Flickrness

buy something from my Amazon wishlist