Printing: final trim or not

Hello fellow printers,

I have a question. I have been presented with a design from a client that is fairly simple.
But there is one bit I’m unsure about. His design has a line that extends to the border of the paper.
The work I’ve done before was trimmed to final size and then printed, which worked very well for me.
Is it possible to print this cards in final size too, or why would you recommend going a bit bigger and then trim to final size?

Thanks a lot!

I’ve posted a mockup of the design so you can see what I’m talking about.

image: cards-trim.jpg


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For a lot of reasons your press sheet should be larger than your finished size.

1) It allows you print bleeds, as in your illustration. You wont be able to have image go off the edge of the final piece if you don’t trim.

2) It allows you to have a good amount of space to keep your base and guides away from each other if your using a boxcar setup.

3) It ensures that the edges of the final piece will be clean and sharp. Usually some amount of scuffing or stray ink on your hands will make the edges of the sheet dirty. By printing an oversize sheet you can trim off the scrap and make sure the edges are pristine.

I’d print on a larger press sheet that allows an 1/8” bleed, then trim the card down to its final size after printing. This way you don’t have to worry about the inked bleed edges marking onto the tympan (and setting off onto the next sheet).

Also, if you are printing with photopolymer plates, I’d consider adding crop marks to your two plates. I know that this adds to your overall cost, but printing with marks is useful when setting up your job because:

a) it helps you make sure you back up your two cards properly on the press sheet

b) it’s makes it easy to check that your printing is square on the sheet (use a measuring gauge). This makes trimming a snap.

Have fun printing!


Advice above works.
I do not use crop marks as I am thrifty. I insure that my cards are printed squarely and am careful that they be in register with one another. Then I measure and mark one sheet for the cuts.
Different inks and different paper stock will dry differently and may be affected by your weather. You must be careful when you clamp and cut the bleed that you do not cause an offset. Give your stock as much time to dry as you can before you cut the bleeds. Ink which is dry to the touch can be offset by a hard clamp on the cutter. Slip sheet several sheets of the printed cards with clean white paper and cut the bleed. Examine the slip sheet for offset. Better to find out before you cut and ruin many due to offset.
Make haste slowly.

Thanks guys, this is truly valuable advice for me.