Print Cutting, Full-Bleed Business Cards, and Other Guidelines

At Overnight Prints we allow printing to the edge of the products and we take pride in having the tightest cutting margins available. These margins are 1/16 of an inch and are named full-bleed (green line) and safe zone (red line)

Full Bleed

If you wish to have colored backgrounds or images continue to the edge of the product, they must continue past the safe zone to the full bleed margin. If they do not continue to the full bleed margin, you will most likely end up with white strips along the edge of the product due to the cutting tolerance.

Safe Zone

Illustrates the cutting margin. We can potentially cut the product up to this point. Anything extending outside of this area risks being trimmed.

The following sample business cards demonstrate some of the common mistakes while designing and the resulting printed product.

Background image does not extend to bleed zone
In the following sample image, the background image only extends to the trim zone instead of the bleed zone. Due to cutting tolerances, one possible result is a business card with an unaligned while border it. If the original design had included a background which covered the all zones, the resulting card would not have this undesired background.

please avoid this…
do this instead…

Text is not within safe zone
In the following sample image, the text of the business card extends beyond the safe zone. Objects that are not in the safe zone may be cut off and lead to undesired results.

please avoid this…
do this instead…

Text is aligned on safe zone
If the text is aligned on the safe zone line, it will not be cut off. However, due to cutting tolerances, it is possible that the final result will have the text right against the edge of the product. To avoid this, Overnight Prints recommends that the text and other graphical objects should be placed well within the safe zone and designers should leave some space between the objects and safe zone boundary.