Read our definition of bleed label templates and learn how to use this type of template.
You may have heard or seen the phrase bleed label templates and wondered exactly what it means. Bleed label templates are designed to help produce printed sticky labels that feature a border or full colour background – without the problem of white edging appearing around the edges of your self adhesive labels.
What Is White Edging?
Most desktop printers and design software are limited in the level of accuracy they can produce in label templates. This makes it almost impossible to line up a label template with 100% accuracy. If you use border or coloured background, you may end up with “white edges” around some of your sticky labels. This is an area that is left unprinted because your design isn’t quite perfectly aligned with your blank labels.
Why Do Bleed Label Templates Prevent White Edging?
Bleed label templates work by oversizing your design so it overlaps the edges of your self adhesive labels. This prevents any white edges from appearing on any of your sticky labels.
This does mean that if you are printing a border, you will need to use a thicker border – so it has enough width to comfortably overlap the edges all the way around your sticky labels.
What Do Bleed Label Templates Look Like?
The area where your design bleeds over the edges of your blank labels is known as the “bleed area”. Bleed label templates represent this area in slightly different ways depending on the file format of the label template.
PDF bleed label templates, for example, will usually simply add an extra outline around the shape of each blank label. The outline of the blank labels is displayed as a solid outline and the outline of the “bleed area” is a dotted outline (or vice versa). Alternatively, different colours may be used to indicate each area. When adding a label design, you simply need to make sure it enters (or fills) the bleed area.
Word bleed label templates have to be set up differently because Word cannot show detailed outlines. Instead, the size of the table cells representing the blank labels will be increased to include the “bleed area”. In other words, the areas that represent your sticky labels actually represent your blank labels AND the bleed area. When adding a label design, you need to make sure that it fills the cells representing each blank label.
Are There Bleed Label Templates For All Label Shapes & Sizes?
The short answer is no. Bleed label templates are available only for label sizes where there are blank areas all the way around each sticky label. If your sticky labels butt up against another blank label on one (or more) sides, your bleed design would overlap onto the adjacent label(s). This is usually fine if your border or background uses a single colour. Any overlap would use the same colour and you wouldn’t notice the overlap. If there is any variation in your border or background colour, however, the overlap will be very noticeable indeed.
You can use a standard label template as a bleed label template, simply by oversizing your border or background. Remember, you can only do this if your border and background are consistent in colour.
What Label Shapes & Sizes Do Have Bleed Label Templates?
Bleed label templates work best with more irregular shapes. For example, circular labels / round labels and oval labels will always have blank spaces around and between each blank label. Square labels may be laid out with their edges touching OR they may have gaps all the way around. Likewise, most rectangular labels are butt cut in one way or another. This means at least some sides of each blank label will butt up against (be adjacent to) another label – which prevents the use of bleed. There are a few rectangular label sizes that do feature gaps between the rows and columns of blank labels. These label sizes can have bleed label templates.
Traditionally, standard label sizes are determined by the dimensions of an A4 sheet. The sheet is divided up into (usually) equally sized blank labels with as little waste between and around those blank labels as possible. This is the main reason why many label sizes and layouts do not allow for the use of bleed label templates. Standard sizes are designed to avoid wasting material and so don’t have the blank spaces required for overlapping designs in a bleed label template.
Download Bleed Label Templates From Label Planet
We supply bleed label templates for all of our label sizes where possible. This includes all of our circular labels / round labels, oval labels, and square labels. We also supply bleed label templates for our rectangular label sizes LP1/199, LP33/53, and LP84/46. Each of these label sizes features rectangular sticky labels with gaps all the way around each blank label.
You can find these bleed label templates by visiting our Label Templates Home Page. Select your label shape and label size. This takes you to the individual printing and template information page for that particular label size. The download links are in the centre of the page. Choose a Word bleed label template or a PDF bleed label template. You may also have the option to choose a portrait or landscape orientation (rectangular sticky labels only). Left click once on the purple download link to begin the download process. If you are asked if you want to open or save the file, select save.