Safe zone, trim and bleed lines for Blurb's InDesign plug-in

Michael Y
Michael Y
  • Updated

This article explains the bleed, trim and safe lines found in our InDesign plug-in templates. You'll see examples of good and bad layout choices regarding those lines.

Bleed, trim and safe lines overview

You'll see three colored lines in each template when using our Blurb Book Creator plug-in for InDesign.

blank_page_with_guides2.png

 

RED = Final File Size/Bleed Line

Full-bleed images must reach the outermost red bleed line in order to ensure a full bleed without an unwanted white edge.

BLACK = Page Size/Trim Line

The black trim line is an approximation of where the trimming will occur.  The actual trimming may could occur slightly to either side of the black line. Keep important content away from the black trim line. 

MAGENTA = Margin/Safe Art Boundary

AKA the safe line. Don't let important content touch or cross the magenta safe line. That will ensure it won't be trimmed off.

 

Example layouts: magenta safe line

1. Correct layout: content doesn't cross the magenta safe line

Below, the text doesn't cross the magenta safe line. There's no risk of the text being cut off.

text_within_safe_zone.png

 

Below, the important content (the dog's ears and the bridge towers) doesn't cross the magenta safe line. There's no risk of those being trimmed off.

correct_layout_content_in_safe_zone2.png

 

2. Incorrect layout: content crosses the magenta safe line

The text below is placed beyond the magenta safe line (and very close to the black trim line). This is a bad design. Some of the text may be trimmed off in the printed book, particularly the first row and the text along the right side.

incorrect_layout_text_close_to_trim_line2.png

 

Below, the arrow indicates where the dog's ear crosses the magenta line and almost touches the black trim line. This is a bad design. The top of the dog's ear will likely be trimmed off (and the bridge tower to the right might be trimmed, too). Always position important content so it doesn't cross the magenta line. 

incorrect_layout_content_close_to_trim2.png


Example layouts: bleed line

1. Correct full bleed design

A full bleed layout is design where the image or background cover runs all the way to the edge of the page (the outer red bleed line in our InDesign plug-in template). Below is a correctly designed full bleed layout. The image runs all the way to the outer red bleed line along each side. 

good_bleed_layout2.png

Below is the same design as seen in the exported PDF. (The dark grey border is just Acrobat Reader's background). This design is good because the image runs all the way to each edge without any white margins. This is how a correctly designed bleed layout should look in the exported PDF, with no unwanted white edge.

good_layout_corgi.png

 

2. Incorrect full bleed design

In this example the edges of the photo don't extend to the red bleed line. They only go to the black trim line. This is an incorrectly designed bleed. The trim line is just an estimate. The actual trimming could occur a bit to either side of the trim line and result in an unwanted white edge in the printed version of this book. A correctly designed bleed layout must reach all the way to the outer red bleed lines in the Indesign template.

incorrect_full_bleed_design_indesign2.png

Below is the same incorrect design as seen in the exported PDF. The white edges around the page would likely appear in the printed version. They might look a bit thinner in the printed book but may still be visible. A correctly designed bleed layout should reach all the way to the edges of the PDF file.

incorrect_bleed_layout_in_pdf2.png

 

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