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Archives for : March2016

Don’t Cut Me Off

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Have you ever created the perfect image, just to submit it to a printing company and lettering got cut off, images skewed, or it not turn out the way you expected? This is possibly due to not accounting for the bleed and cut/trim size of the design/image you are having printed. Every company does their bleed printing differently, and understanding the terms, the company’s bleed and trim sizes and how to design for these elements is very important.

What is a bleed?

In printing terminology, “bleed” refers to printing outside the trim size/cut size in order to ensure no white, unprinted line remains on the sheet when the final print is out. The cut size or trim size is where the image will be cut and no important text or images should be beyond this point. All important items should be within the margin zone by at least 0.25” to avoid any risk of trimming important text and designs. For example, if a document is of 10”x14”, it should be setup to print on an area of 10.25”x14.25”. Safety margin zones usually range from 0.1625″ (1/16″) up to 0.25″ (1/4″), all depending on the size of the printer. As a designer, using a wider safety margin of 0.25″ will allow you to accommodate more printers across the board while conserving the beauty of your design.

What is full bleed?

A “full bleed” print is when a page is printed completely from one edge to the other with not even a hairline of unprinted area. Full bleed printing does not actually require any specials tools or equipment. All you need to do is to enlarge the picture a bit and then cut it down to regular size to ensure no margin is left unprinted. However, full bleed printing is still not something that is recommended to be done at home because you will need a bigger printer and you might not have the perfect tools for cutting that the print shops do – like the guillotine cutter which quickly and consistently cuts down your document to the right size.

What is the purpose of having a bleed?

The “bleed” part is usually left out for the printer to allow some space for the movement of the paper while printing. And adding a bleed is usually helpful for printing brochures, posters or other advertisement materials. If a bleed of 1/8 of an inch is not made, any misalignment in the paper can lead to having a white edge on your document which does not give off a professional look.

How do you add bleed?

You can add bleed in almost design and illustration software by setting the dimensions in the settings tab. Although the exact instructions vary according to the software you are using, you can easily get help from online sources.

As you set up your documents and files for printing, be well aware of where your trim edges are, and also keep in mind that there is always a mechanical margin of error when the job is printed and trimmed. To be on the safe side, always keep the important content within safety margins.

5 Tips to Improve your Outdoor Portraits

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People have been amused and inspired by the ‘captured’ image, since cavemen drew paintings of animals and men hunting animals back in the Stone Age. From there onwards, photography went through a long, revolutionary phase. With this amazing evolution, we have witnessed some of the most beautiful masterpieces of photography. Photography has many different types practiced all over the world. One of these types, gaining noticeable fame in recent years, is Outdoor Portrait Photography.

Outdoor portraits are one of the most famous genres of photography, used by individuals, as well as businesses all around the globe. A large part of portraiture are outdoor portraits and are often misjudged by people as still photography. In outdoor portraits, there might be a little more work involved in controlling the environment. Therefore, most people are not properly familiar with how to master outdoor portraits. Let us talk about some of the most common tips you can use to improve your outdoor portraits.

Depth of Field:

In portrait photography, the depth of field (DOP) is basically the space in front and at the back of the object you have focused on. Using small DOP is basically to sharpen the object you have focused on and is called shallow. In an outdoor portrait, the main aim is to focus on your subject. Hence, it is better to use the Shallow DOP when creating an outdoor portrait.


When focusing on distant objects, you will most probably have a higher DOF as compared to closer objects. Make use of the Aperture Priority Mode for outdoor portraits. This will help you manage the aperture while the camera controls the shutter speed. If you can operate the DOF, it will eventually improve the results. Try using cameras with a longer focal length for outdoor portraits.


The aperture and the DOF are inversely proportional. When you will set your camera for the highest aperture, you will have the lowest DOF.  Decreasing the aperture will increase the DOF. Hence, if you are using a shallow DOF, make sure the aperture is high.

Daylight Camera Settings:

Shooting in natural sunlight might give you a lot of light for your portrait, but it will also produce a lot of flaws in it. When the sun is high it will cast shadows on the subjects face for example, under the eyes or nose. Make sure to find a shaded area for your portraits for example under a tree or you can also wait for the clouds to cover the sun. At night, you can use reflectors to get the sharpest image of the subject.

Focus on the Eyes:

The ideal focal point for most portraits are a person’s eyes. Using a wide aperture and focusing on the eyes is one of the best ways to capture a better portrait. This is a great way to soften other features of your subject and highlight the eyes, and not to mention, capture some beautiful pictures.


The bottom line is that most people are not sure how to obtain a mesmerizing outdoor portrait. However, taking the above mentioned tips in account will surely help you in improving your outdoor portraits.