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Guidelines for Bleeds, Rulers/Guides, Image Resolution, and Print Prep

Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool that makes it easy for the average user to create beautiful images, posters, brochures, and more.

When prepping your Canva files for professional printing, ensure success using these guidelines:

Bleed Marks

Diagram of the safety line, bleed line, and trim line.

  1. Open Canva and create a new document
  2. To add the correct margin (1/8" bleed) around your design, select File, then View Settings
  3. Select Show Print Bleed
  4. If you want your design or colors to extend to the edge of the page, stretch your background or images into the extended bleed margin
  5. To guarantee precise trimming, keep text and essential images out of the bleed margin (allowing 1/8" of distance between margin and any featured elements)
  6. Remember, anything included in bleed margin (at the edges of the page) will be trimmed during the finishing process


Screenshot of Canva menu with view settings, show rulers and guides and add guides highlighted.

Want picture-perfect layouts? Rulers and guides to do not print and offer a great way to align your con- tent. Put these tools to work in three easy steps:

  1. Select File, then View Settings
  2. Select Show Rulers and Guides
  3. Select Add Guides to customize your preferred columns and grids while precisely spacing design elements away from the bleed margin

Image Resolution

Low Resolution vs. High Resolution

While low resolution images load quickly on digital screens, professional printing requires high resolu- tion images. For best quality results:

  1. Add custom artwork to Canva by clicking Upload, then Upload Files
  2. Custom photos or logos included in Canva templates should be uploaded at the highest resolution possible (recommendation: 300 dpi or higher)
  3. After design is complete, follow Prepare for Printing guidelines below

Prepare for Printing

After you've added finishing touches and your design is ready to send to the printer, follow these prompts:

  1. On the top right corner of your screen, click Share, then Download
  2. Under File Type, select PDF Print (so designs are downloaded at high resolution)
  3. Check the box labeled Crop Marks and Bleed
  4. If your file has multiple pages, select those you want to download (using Select Pages)
  5. Under Color Profile, select CMYK (this requires a Canva Pro subscription; 30 day free trials available!)
  6. Press Download, and Canva will generate a print-ready PDF

Still feeling uncertain? Contact us with questions before you print to save on time, money, and unnecessary stress!