Trim size represents the final dimensions of your printed piece. However, artwork and photographs must extend beyond the trim size (see “bleed” below) to avoid narrow slivers of white at the edge of your piece once it is cut to size.
Safe-area is an area inside the trim and is important to pay attention to because this is where you should place your most important information within your design. Any content outside of this area is in risk of being cut off!
The safe area can also account for the gutter, or middle, of the publication and how easy it will be to see content in the center of a magazine spread. Safe area on many print ads can be as little as .125” or as large as 1”. If your advertisement is going to be a poster that will also be displayed within a metal frame, the safe area might be even larger to accommodate for the overlap from the lip of the frame.
Bleed is the portion of your design that extends past the trim size. Bleed is cut off when the publication is trimmed to the final size. Its sole purpose is to make sure your design or image reaches the very edge without leaving any unsightly white edges. We recommend 0.125″ (1/8 inch)–0.5” (1/2 inch) larger than the trim size but it really depends on the size of the piece and how it will be trimmed.