InDesign bleeds, printers marks’ and margins for white space.
InDesign bleeds, printers’ marks, and margins are often not set-up properly to print well on press. Troubleshoot InDesign bleed problems and printers marks to save time. Create a better book! Typically, we see books in PDF form, provided to us as ready to print. We may find problems with files set-up by designers who have never worked on quality books. High-quality books are a different beast than brochures.
We depend on book designers to know what they are doing. Also, we don’t usually discuss design issues unless we see a technical problem. InDesign bleeds, printers’ marks, and margins for white space are issues.
About InDesign bleeds and printers’ marks as they relate to book layout.
When an author intends to have an image bleed on all four sides, the image must extend to the outside bleed marks, which are part of the printers’ marks. A problem arises when the image only extends to the inside trim marks. When pages with this problems are trimmed, we could have a little white line that shows next to where the trim is on the page.
Our trim is very accurate, but we cannot trim to that exact line. We may be off my a millimeter or two when the signature is folded. That is why there is a 3 mm bleed. The bleed can also be set to 0.125″. The book block is trimmed after folding and gathering all signatures together. It becomes a book block, and that is what is trimmed to size.
The folding alone can account for a millimeter. The thickness of a signature depends on the number of pages in the signature, and the thickness of the paper. Typically we fold the signature several times until it is closer to the final page size. The folding process alone makes it impossible to trim out a sheet on the absolute exact trim line on all pages. A single sheet like a poster or letterhead should be trimmed exactly, but a book block will vary slightly. If you see any Star Print Brokers samples, you will see that we do a great job.
White space margins for books.
We are not referring to margins set-up on page as text guides. Instead we are referring to the amount of white space between the image and the trim of a page.
Let’s assume we are looking at a coffee table book with many large images. If margins look like they end about a quarter inch from the edge of the page, they may look awkward when printed and trimmed. This is also relative to page dimensions. It is not too bad on a small book, but discourage a narrow white space margin on a 12 inch x 12 inch photography book.
One solution is to have the InDesign images that bleeds on all four sides. Another solution is to reduce the image so more white space shows. See for yourself! Print out the page. Trim with scissors to the inside trim marks. Remember, the outside marks are the bleed marks. You can really see potential white space margin problems when the page is trimmed to size.
Summing it up …
The extension of images to the outside marks for bleeds must be correct.
The white space margins are up to the author and designer. Take a close look at your PDFs, InDesign bleeds, printers marks, and margins for white space. Make sure they are as you would like them to print on press.
We also design books.
Incidentally, there is a good article at Adobe.com. Learn more about InDesign bleeds and Printers Marks.