Why do I need a template?

Templates are necessary to ensure that your design fits the card's unique trim and fold specifications. Here’s what to look for:


Bleed: Many templates have extra room at the edge, outside the trim guide. This extra room is the bleed and it gets trimmed away. Any time you want your background to run off the page, it has to FILL the bleed area, or extend all the way to edge of the document, with the intention that it will be trimmed off. If your background stops at the trim guide, you might have a gap of white paper at the edge.


Safe Zone: (also called ‘safety margin’) refers to the invisible cushion left around text and subject matter that you do not want cut off. As a general rule, most designers leave at least a ¼” safe zone between content and the trim guide.


Adobe Photoshop users: Open any template and press CTRL+; (Control + Semicolon) to toggle Photoshop guides on/off.


A business card is 2 x 3.5" but the design starts as a 2.2 x 3.7" document. The extra room is the bleed.


Extending background elements past the trim marks ensures full edge to edge coverage after trimming.


The area inside which all text and important subject matter should be kept is the "safe zone."


The finished product after trimming.

Questions? Call us! (800) 279-4726 (701) 258-4726, to speak with a graphic designer, or email the lab manager: lab@bobsphoto.com

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