Saddle-stitch booklet without bleed.. super urgent, please help :)

After designing an 80-page saddle stitch booklet, my client informed me that the printer requires no bleeds. Of course, I designed this with a .125 bleed. It’s extra fun because I begged for the printers information throughout this entire process.

Regardless, I’m not sure what to do now with the deadline tomorrow morning. Will I need a full size 0.4 margin to account for a print without bleed. Or, can I save/export my current design without the bleed and that will suffice?

AHHHH… thanks!

If something bleeds off the edge, the printer will need bleeds, so there’s something here you, I or the printer isn’t understanding. If imagery does bleed to the edge, what is the printer proposing — an absolute perfect edge-to-edge print job that’s not even a single dot off? Or maybe just shrinking all the art to fit on the page and leaving white borders around the edge? Something is missing here.

Was this done in InDesign? Did you use the bleed settings in InDesign? If, on the off chance, no bleeds are needed, it really won’t matter since they can just be set to zero. Anything hanging over the edge into the bleed area just won’t print.

I think your client may be confused. Can you talk directly with the printer yourself?


That’s not for your client or the printer to determine. The design(er) dictates whether “the printer needs bleeds.” If the design puts ink all the way to the edge(s) of the page, then you as the designer must extend the application of that ink (a minimum distance) beyond the edge(s) of the page. That’s (a) bleed. It ensures that potential imprecision in trimming doesn’t result in slivers of paper color (where there should be ink) along the edge(s) of your piece.

If the design requires bleed, the printer may set a minimum or desired distance. If the design does not include any instances of ink to the edge(s) of a page, then no one “needs bleeds”.

Now, who wants more parenthesis?

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I’m (good). (Thanks.) (:D)

No you can not predict the production process…We could flip the web and all is good…Sorry i sell Appliances.

I’m wondering if the job is going to be printed on the finished paper size (e.g. 8.5" x 11" for a 5.5" x 8.5" book or 11" x 17" for an 8.5" x 11" book) so the printer is saying that they can not print a design with bleeds because the job wont be trimmed to size.

I can’t see why it wouldn’t suffice, if the print has seen the original print ready file with crop marks, and said they don’t need them. Give them to him without crop marks. Also ask the printer why (out of curiosity), so that when/if you ever work with them again you know how to send the files.

Just out of curiosity how do you handle creep for an 80pg saddle stitch? Do you set it when you export (I know indd has the setting), or do you modify/build the doc to accommodate creep–i.e.pad outer margin?

That question is more for anyone, I’m genuinely curious, (thanks).

Is picking up the phone and talking to the printer all that forbidding a task? Right now we are speculating.

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Printers have always told me to let them worry about that since it’s so dependent upon the weight of paper stock being used.


@Just-B Right, so basically my client agreed to a design without bleed (white border) since it’s cheaper to do that. They can just print on a regular size page not worry about the trimming process.

All is well now! And he’s paying the little bit extra for bleed print since he completely failed to give me this information before designing 80 pages in under two weeks. -_- whatttta nightmare though.

Thanks to all of you @DocPixel, @HotButton, @willyflew, @Steve_O, @Sparrow, @Eriskay! Love this community. You guys are great!

P.S. I actually was “forbidden” from talking to the printer I guess… my client insisted everything go through him and refused to give me his information… so weirdddd… he must have some sort of control issues I guess :wink:

That has to be the most absurd thing a client can do. I guess the concept of “producing the best product” is somehow lost.

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For an 80-page booklet, most printers would prefer to impose it in signatures on larger sheets of paper on a larger press, then fold and trim to size. That being the case, a bleed wouldn’t add much, if anything, to the cost of the job. Now if we’re talking about a small quantity being printed digitally at a smaller print shop, yeah, they just might be printing this a page at time.

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Right, and in that kind of sheet-fed operation, 8.5" x 11" finished size with bleed would require 12" x 18" sheets, which are considerably less common and more expensive than the 11" x 17" that will be used in the absence of bleed.

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