Avoiding “White Slivers” on Your Trade Show Graphic

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Categories: Artwork Guidelines, Trade Show Tips

Using bleeds in printing is widely used and for good reason: to prevent white slivers if your graphics extend all the way to the edge.

By extending your artwork background color or design all the way to the outer edge will prevent the dreaded “White Slivers” on the edge of your graphics after it is printed and assembled.

More on this later but let’s dive in to the what the “bleed” area is on your trade show graphic artwork templates.

How Bleeds Work with Trade Show Graphics

Since artwork is printed mainly on fabric or vinyl material for trade show graphics, bleeds are meant to provide extra material usually around the perimeter that can be used for finishing purposes.

The extra material is needed for sewing or cutting as part of the production process to often fit around a frame.

The area of the graphic that can be seen once the display is finished is called the “finished” area or “visual” area and within the visual or finished area, the “safe” area exists which is where you keep any important images, texts, and graphics.

The different areas of a graphic template. Note the “frame shadow” as this is a backlit display which can introduce a shadow where the frame blocks the display’s backlights.

What you don’t see in the end result is the bleed area which is cut off or used to sew together to fit the frame. This is the “waste” area of any trade show graphics print job, but it is crucial for any graphics that extends to the edge of the graphic (so really, almost all graphics that we see and do).

The Dreaded White Slivers

Microsoft has its “blue screen of death” and in our small printing world we have the “dreaded white slivers”.

In simple terms, a “white sliver” is just an unprinted area that is just the white material near the edge of the display.

This “white sliver” occurs if you don’t extend your background design or color to the very outer edge of your artwork template. If this area is left un-printed, the finishing process may not need all of the bleed and so a little bit is left visible and unprinted on your display edge, thus DUN DUN DUUUUN, the “white sliver”.

This is a very big deal if your background has color and the edge is a blank, unprinted, white material.

Steps You Can Take to Avoid White Slivers

You can avoid white slivers and set up your artwork correctly by doing one simple step:

Simply double-check your artwork template that you get from us or your supplier to see if it specifies the amount of bleed.

It is usually found around the perimeter on most of our templates.

Extend your artwork background design or color all the way INTO this space.

Do not add any extra bleed other than what the template calls for and definitely do not add any crop marks to this area.

Just extending your colors or design all the way into this space and keeping important information and graphics like logos, text, etc. not too close to the bleed or edge will give you a big leg up on your next project.

However, this issue is included in our template proofing checklist before we print your graphics. Meaning that we would catch something like this and get in contact with you to help solve it. This article is simply meant to explain ahead of time the purpose of using bleed.  

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