Understanding the Safe Area

Author: Ellie Williamson
Published: 06/07/2013

This resource explains what the 'safe' area is, and its importance when preparing your artwork for print.

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What is the 'safe' area?

The 'safe' area is the area of your artwork where all important text and images are situated.

Any elements outside the 'safe' area are at risk of being cut into when the printed items are trimmed due to possible variations in the trim position.

Where is it positioned and what size is the 'safe' area?

The 'safe' area should sit 3mm in from the trim line on all edges of your artwork, resulting in all elements being positioned 5mm from the outside of the bleed area.

Exceptions to the 'safe' area rule

Banner artwork requires a 50mm margin outside the 'safe' area.

Why is the 'safe' area important?

Ensuring all elements are within the 'safe' area not only avoids anything being cut off, it also helps the finished items to look more clean and professional.

Example of the 'safe' area when applied to business cards

The following example shows the dimensions of a finished business card and the dimensions of the 'safe' area within the business card.

Natural Size 85mm 55mm
'Safe' Area 79mm 49mm

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Ellie Williamson Pre Press Expert
I form part of the Pre-Press team, working meticulously to ensure your artwork is print ready and will achieve the best outcome possible. I am a huge book worm, enjoy creating my own greetings cards, experimenting with nail varnish designs and am crazy obsessed with handbags! I have been at FMG over 5 years and started as an apprentice. I love it #OFMG

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Business Card Template Showing Bleed, Trim and the Safe Area

Business Card Template Showing Bleed, Trim and the Safe Area

This template Illustrates bleed, trim and the 'safe' area when applied to a business card. You can download the template and use it as the basis for your artwork.

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