Useful Hints – Rother Print

Crop marks and bleed

Why printers need crop marks and bleed

When commercial printing presses and production photocopiers can’t print to the edge of a sheet of paper, they use larger sheets of paper than the final size required, which are then trimmed to size. In most cases multiple pages are printed on one large sheet and then trimmed down to the desired size after printing.

Crop Marks

Crop marks are lines printed in all four corners of the printed sheet – this is where the sheet should be trimmed to achieve the final finished size. They are also known as trim marks or cut marks.


When a design requires images, colour and other design features to fit right up to the edge of the page. the designer will extend the design by an additional 3mm beyond the crop marks to ensure a perfect finishing during the trimming process. This is known as bleed. Without bleed there is a risk that any design elements that border the crop marks could end up with either a white line around the edges when they are trimmed, or a small part of the design may be cut off.

Image Quality (file sizes)

Pixels per inch (ppi) on a screen translate to dots per inch (dpi) in print. However, an image which looks great on a screen can sometimes look pixelated in print.

As a general rule, if your image is measured in kilobytes (KB) it is unlikely to be of a good quality when enlarged. Images in megabytes (MB) are larger and so more likely to enlarge well.

If in doubt, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.