Printing Q&A

Below are answers to common printer questions. The Deadline team can also answer any print-related questions over the phone or in person.

What is a bleed, and what should I do if I have one?

A “bleed” allows you to run your artwork to the edge of the page with no margin or space around the edges. It refers to an extra 1/8″ of image that extends beyond the trim area of your printing piece. If you want ink to the edge, you must add a bleed.

What is your live area?

Your safe, or “live,” area is the inner margin in which to keep all important elements. Keeping all your photos and text within this area prevents them from being cut off.

What is fold?

A “fold” is the area of your document that will be folded after printing. Deadline will provide you with a proof that includes your “fold” mock-up, so you can see how the document will look in its final form.

What is trim?

The “trim” is the area where your document will be cut or where the edge of the paper will be.

What is trim size?

The “trim size” is the final size of the document after the last trim and/or fold is made.

What is RGB?

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. These colors are used for digital cameras, scanners, computer monitors and television screens. You should leave colors in “RGB” form for best reproduction unless your quote specifies “CMYK”.

What is CMYK?

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Printing with these four colors is often referred to as full color or “4-color printing”. CMYK are subtractive colors. Any file that is printed on a printing press must be converted to CMYK. We print most jobs digitally, so many times you won’t need to convert files.

What is gamut?

Gamut is converting between the CMYK and RGB color space. This can cause a shift in color. because each color format only produces a selected gamut of the full spectrum of color. The color range of each format, however, differs. There are areas in the RGB color space that extend beyond the CMYK range. Those colors will be affected by a conversion from RGB to CMYK. This is why it’s typically best to leave colors in RGB for best reproduction unless your quote specifies “CMYK.”