Search's Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

We've got a bleeder! (Envelopes with bleeds)

As a designer, I used to dread the thought of having to create an envelope for a customer.  I would find several sites that could "print bleeds" but there were always limitations.  Limitations were always a design pet peeve of mine as well.  

For instance, I once had to design an identity pack for a retail floral shop.  I had some sweet vector flower silhouettes that I wanted to wrap around the side of the envelope and flow into the, they were cool flowers, not like 60's wallpaper, I swear!  In addition to the wrap around flowers, I wanted full coverage ink on the envelope flap.  This was my most spectacular 4 color envelope ever!

So like any amateur designer, not fully understanding the printing process, I had this design printed at an online print store.  The envelope came back with an 1/8" white line around all edges and the flap was blank.

Here's what the problem was....
I had bleeds.  While some places tell you they can print 3 sides with bleeds... it's never as good as you want.  The ones where you can "have 3 bleeds" are the ones where the envelopes are printed on already converted envelopes.  This meaning that the envelope has already been created, folded and glued.  There is just a gripper that holds the edge while it passes through a jet press.  This method is great and cost effective if you have a simple design and limited amount of ink coverage.

What I needed was a process called Flat & Convert.  With this method, your design is printed on a flat sheet of paper so your whole design is seamless.  Those flat sheets are then converted into envelopes via die cut, folding and gluing.  While this process is more expensive than the jet press route, it's the most effective way to produce your original creative idea.

Over the years, I've found that consulting your print representative whenever you have a slight doubt before beginning a project is the safest way to ensure accuracy and cost effectiveness in your final product.

Feel free to contact the folks at with questions.

Have an Oooo  ahahh ahahatastic day!
- Melissa the Purple Hued Primate 

Online Printing. Custom Printed Envelopes. Graphic Design.

No comments:

Post a Comment