Mailbag: Understanding trim size
This is a question from the forum, but my answer started drilling pretty deep into the printing process — so much so, that I wanted to share it on the main site to make it more readily available for anyone else trying to access this information.
Q.: I’ve been reading chapter 13 of “The Webcomics Handbook” and I’m a bit confused about margins and bleeds. As I understand it, it’s up to me to choose the finished size (e.g. 8.5 x 11 inches) and this is the trim size for the final page. However, I need to keep everything important within the live area, presumably because the trimming process might be slightly off-centre. So, who chooses the margins? I’d expect the printer to tell me what they can reliably handle, i.e. how accurate their machines are, but it wasn’t part of the sample spec sheet. Is there an industry standard for this or can I pick whatever I like?
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