Navigation Menu+

What are crop marks?

Posted by in Blog, Graphic Design

Since most printing machines can’t print all the way to the edge of a page,
what printers normally do, is that they print on large pieces of paper that get cropped afterwards.

Crop marks are the way printers know where to cut your design to its final size after the document has been printed.
Crop marks are positioned at the corners of your document, past the design’s final size and they look like in the image below.

Cropmarks Graphic

Crop marks are needed when your design goes all the way to the edge of the piece of paper.
As a matter of fact, your design should always go past, at least 1/4”, the final size your document.
In technical terms, that piece of your design that is going past the cut line is called “Bleed”.

The “Bleed” on your designs help prevent a white border around your design
if the cutting machine is not well calibrated or if the paper moves.

Here is an actual example of what a ready-to-print file should look like when you send it to the printer.

ShopRunback Cropmarks Example