How do I design for full bleed (borderless) products?
Designing for full bleed products such as cork bottom coasters, cutting boards, and mousepads is a slightly different process than designing for products with a white border. When designing for full bleed, the goal is to have your image “bleed” or run off the edge of the product so there is no white space between your image and the edge of the product. When done properly, your image will cover the entire product. This is accomplished by making your image slightly bigger than the actual product it’s going to be placed on.
For example, a cork-bottom coaster is 3.75″ x 3.75″ in size. We recommend uploading a 4″ x 4″ image if you want to take advantage of full bleed printing. Because your image is slightly bigger than the product you want to make sure important elements such as text, copyright notices, people’s faces, etc. are a safe distance away from the edge of the image. This “danger zone” is known as the bleed area because most of the design in this area will bleed off the product and will not actually be printed. The safe zone in the center of your image is known as the “live area”.
If you download a product template you will be able to see exactly how big this bleed & live areas are. We recommend using a template whenever you are designing for the full bleed (borderless) effect. If you don’t use a template you risk having small white borders appear on your product.