Photoshop Quicktip - A5 Flyers "Quick bleed"

Here is a quick tip for photoshop users who are designing their own flyers for events. If you are in the UK and Europe you will most often be using the A5 size of paper for flyers, usually portrait.

For flyers, you will need what is called a bleed. This is where the flyer is printed on a slightly larger paper than A5 and then cut down to size. This is to ensure that the image or background image goes right to the edge as printers cannot print edge to edge as they then have nothing to grip on to.

In Photoshop when you open an A5 document it has no bleed attached so you have to add it. If you are like me and can't be bothered to work out how to set up and save a template which would be sensible, or you are working on someone else's computer or just "reasons" then this quick tip will help you out and save you from having to calculate mm or pixels numbers. You'll thank me later for saving you from maths!

Open up an A5 document in Photoshop. Do not alter the width and height at this stage to add the bleed. The reason is if you add 6mm to both height and width you will get the correct size of the document however if you want to add guides then it is a pain to calculate.

Once the document is open, make sure your rulers are on. If they are not on then click CMD/Ctrl + R. Then make sure "snap is on" in the "View" menu.

Then click and drag a guide from the ruler to each edge of your document.

Next, you go to the "Image" menu and choose "Canvas Size".

Then make sure the "Relative" checkbox is checked and that you have your units set to the correct one. I am working in mm but in the US they often use inches and the standard bleed is 1/4 inch. Then you add double the amount of bleed (i.e. for a 3mm bleed all around you need 6mm, 3mm for each side). Also, make sure the anchor is set to the middle. This will ensure that the additional white space is added evenly all around the document and not to one side only.

This tutorial has probably taken you a few minutes but once you have done it once it should literally take you about 10 seconds to do this. Now you can go about creating your amazing work of art to entice people to your show or buy your albums etc!

You're welcome!

Cheers, Alex

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