A Margin is a white or blank space between the main content and the top, bottom and edges of the page. During the printing process adding a margin keeps important elements from being cutoff during bulk trimming or looking uneven. In terms of design, margins help create focus and give the eye a break. They also provide the reader with a place to take notes or hold the document. Dramatic margins also add to the visual appeal of a designed piece.
*Safe Area: You may hear the term Safe Area used when designing for print. This area is safe to place your important elements in. Any cutting or folding imperfections do not go past this point. You can use our minimum margin recommendation (1/8″) during File Setup to define this area visually while designing.
1/8″ Margin for Most Documents
We recommend adding a minimum of 1/8″ margin to your printed piece. Outside margins measuring less than the recommended 1/8” minimum run the risk of appearing uneven when trimmed in bulk.
*For booklet design, add more space to the inside margin (near the fold) than the top, bottom and outside margin. This will ensure the main content appears centered despite the page fold.
Extra Inside Margin for Books
Add more space to the inside margin (near the fold) than the top, bottom and outside margin. This will ensure the main content appears centered despite the page fold.
*Some people call this same area “Gutter” this can be misleading during File Setup. In Indesign, “Gutter” is the area between columns. Make sure you are adding your extra space to the Inside Margin.
3/8″ Margin for Envelopes
Full Color, Process Color and Spot Color envelopes require a 3/8“ clear margin at the top of the envelope for the press to grip the envelope.
*Envelope designs requiring full bleed on all sides have to be printed on larger flat sheets that are then converted into envelopes afterwards, so please specify this when placing your order as both prices and turnaround are greater.
Templates are available for almost any item you can print with us, and each one shows the recommended minimum margin and bleed in relation to trim or die lines.
Next Step: Color Modes
Design and save your document in CMYK color mode. See when other color modes are necessary.