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Creating a bleed guide

From: Print Production Essentials: Packaging

Video: Creating a bleed guide

So, I've created guidelines out of the fold and cut components of the dieline, but I'd like to have something that shows me where bleed should fall. Now, I could just wing it, as long as there's 1 8th of an inch of bleed, I'm okay, right? But I'd really like it to be nice and neat. So I'm going to show you a little trick. First I am going to make a new layer and I'm going to hold some objects there until I turn them into guides. I make sure I don't mess up my guides, I'm going to lock my guide layer. So in order to be able to spot where I put these I am going to use just kind of an arbitrary colour.

Creating a bleed guide

So, I've created guidelines out of the fold and cut components of the dieline, but I'd like to have something that shows me where bleed should fall. Now, I could just wing it, as long as there's 1 8th of an inch of bleed, I'm okay, right? But I'd really like it to be nice and neat. So I'm going to show you a little trick. First I am going to make a new layer and I'm going to hold some objects there until I turn them into guides. I make sure I don't mess up my guides, I'm going to lock my guide layer. So in order to be able to spot where I put these I am going to use just kind of an arbitrary colour.

So I am going to make them yellow just so they are easy to find and over here I'm going to change my stroke to none. So with my rectangle tool, I'm going to make rectangles that correspond to the trim edges of my panels. And then I'm going to let Illustrator help me create guidelines that are going to serve for my bleed location. So again, I'm just going to drag in here, so what I want to do is sort of melt these together, and I could do this with Pathfinder. But a tool that I just absolutely love is Shape Builder.

So I can do it with Shape Builder too. I'm going to use Shape Builder and when you move in you can see that sort of screen wire look. All you have to do is drag from one object into another and that melts them together. I think that's a little more fun than Pathfinder. But now I need to have it generate a bleed for me. So I need this to sort of, expand. I need a concentric version of this that's an 8th of inch bigger. All I have to do is go to Object > Path > Offset Path. And put in an 8th of an inch, which is 0.125.

Of course it's always a good idea to double check, so I'm going to check preview. Sure enough, there we go. I'm going to click OK. Just so you know what's going on, it's a little odd what it does when you offset paths. Let me turn off everything else and I'm going to go to View and Outline and you can see that my original path is still there and then it's created a new path. So I don't need the original one, I'm going to delete that. This is the one that I want. I'm going to go back to Preview and I don't want it to be a literal object I want it to be a guide.

So, first of all I'm going to get into the layer where my trim guides and fold guides are, I'm just going to drag that little square down, now it's living in the guides layer. At the moment it's an object but now I'm going to turn it to guides by going to view View > Guides > Make Guides. Now, because Guides are already set to be locked, he's already safe. In fact, I don't even have to lock the layer. And, I don't have anything in Layer 8 now. So, I can get rid of that. So, just remember this, this is a great way for you to create a really good bleed guide that you know is perfect.

You know that it's exactly an 1 8th of an inch away from your trim and that way, you can work a little bit neater later on.

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Print Production Essentials: Packaging

31 video lessons · 4162 viewers

Claudia McCue
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