The most important part about following a design template is receiving your “BLT.” Sorry, there’s no yummy goodness on this BLT; it’s just Bleed, Live, and Trim. These are the three distinct measurements that are very important to ensure your printed piece will turn out as intended.
Bleed is the area that extends past the edge of the card. When the card isn’t cut perfectly on the line, you don’t want the edge of your card to appear white. Therefore, when your design “bleeds” off the edge of the page, the background of your card will always appear seamless.
Live is also known as your safe zone. All text and great visuals need to stay inside of this line. Again, just in case of a slight shift when cutting, you don’t want anything meaningful to get cut off.
Also known as a cut line, this is where the printer aims to cut the card down to size.
The template that I have shown above also shows the rounded corners. This is important because your BLT will change a bit once those corners are trimmed off.
It’s important to note that every printer does things a bit differently. Everyone prefers their bleed and live space to be in slightly different places. So make sure you check with your printer prior to submitting artwork. Also, make sure that ALL guidelines are removed when saving your final files. No one needs to see those lines except for you!
Printing a brochure or a piece that folds? This can be really tricky! You would think that for a tri-fold brochure you would just equally divide your page into three columns. However, you have to account for how the pieces fold into each other. Also, did you know that the inside folds are opposite of the outside folds? You could sit and figure out all of the math… or just download the template.
I’ve been a graphic designer for more years than I will admit, and I still download the template every single time. It’s just not worth having your piece, that you worked so hard on, fold wrong.
We offer free templates in .eps and .jpg format for every item we print. Simply find your product, find your size, and then find your template!
And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. We are here for you!
Need help with a custom design? We’ve got you covered!