Leaflet printing is more popular than ever due to their low cost but high ROI, however there are three important things to consider to make sure your finished leaflet is perfect for printing! We’ll look at what colour format you should use, what resolution, and why you need to add bleed area on your design.

Colour Format

Picking the right colour format is very important when it comes to printing. Most digital designers use RGB colour, which is designed specifically for use on-screen. However, when it comes to leaflet printing, a different colour format has to be used. This is because RGB is a ‘subtractive’ colour format and only works on screens. Using this on print would result in the wrong shade colours being displayed once the design was printed.

Leaflet designs should instead use CMYK colour, which is an ‘additive’ colour format specifically for printing. This will ensure your colours will look right once they are printed, which is especially important when your brand’s image and look needs to remain consistent.


Another important thing to consider is resolution. Print designs can use might higher resolutions than what is usually used on web or computer graphics. Resolution for print is measured in DPI or dots per inch. Web designers usually design at 72DPI, or 72 dots per inch, however printing out a document at this resolution would look horrific on paper. Leaflet printing projects require 300DPI, which is nearly four times the quality level. This is because unlike a computer screen, paper has no pixels. As a result quality can and should be much higher than images designed for the web.

Bleed Area

The final thing to consider is bleed area. This is important because when pages are printed and then cut, the exact location of the cut can vary by between 1 and 5mm per page. As a result, you need to include some tolerance on the edges of your design so that if there is any variation in where the page’s cut is made, the design won’t be affected.

A bleed area is essentially a blank area with no design on it. The best thing to do is to avoid adding any kind of border to your design and make sure there is no text within 5mm of the edge of your page’s border.


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    Desmond Daniels

    Desmond has worked in the printing industry for over 30 years. He has a wealth of knowledge on everything from home inkjet printers to screen printing and industrial litho printers. Desmond currently works as a domestic cleaner but likes to print documents in his spare time.


    April 2013