The need for bleed on CD and DVD artwork probably causes the most confusion for clients who are setting up print artwork for the first time.
Simply put, ‘Bleed’ is an area of your artwork which extends beyond the finished edge of the printed item, and is lost when the item is trimmed to size after printing.
‘Bleeding’ the artwork beyond the finished size allows for the inaccuracies that creep into the printing process so that when trimmed the print will extend to the edge of the item with no unintentional unprinted white areas.
‘Bleed’ is required for printed paper and card based CD and DVD packaging artwork as these are trimmed to size. CDs and DVDs are not trimmed so their artwork needs to be to the finished size.
A simple example would be a single sheet front insert for a CD Jewel Case. The finished size ready for consolidation with a Jewel Case is 120.5mm (w) x 119.5mm (h). Our artwork guide asks for 3mm bleed all round. This means that the artwork will need to extend to 126.5mm x 125.5mm by adding 3mm to each edge. The usual way of doing this is to extend a colour block or use a larger photo but mindful that 3mm will be lost.
Below is another example:
The artwork above shows the centre pages for a CD Booklet. The magenta key line shows the finished size of the booklet once it’s been trimmed to the correct size.
‘Bleed’ is the area of colour and photo’s to the outside of the magenta line, and this area will be lost once trimming is complete.
When producing your artwork do not add any key lines unless you are able to define them as separate layers which can be removed. If you are producing High Res jpeg artwork this will not be possible, so supply your artwork without any key lines or guides. We will position it on the page and send you a visual showing the trimming line and bleed for your OK.
For a multi page CD booklet (above) the finished size is 241mm x 119.5mm (to be folded). Once we’ve added at least 3mm bleed to each edge of the actual artwork the size becomes 247mm x 125.5mm or more. There is no problem using more than 3mm bleed as we can remove what’s not required.
Links to our CD and DVD artwork guidelines are here