Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe a document which has images or elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin. When a document has bleed, it must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down. Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended by the "bleed" amount beyond the cut line to give a bleed. Text and other images that you need on your finished job must sit at least 1/4" in from the cut line to avoid having your artwork look as if it were about to fall off the page.
The artwork for 8.5 x 5.5 full bleed postcard should NOT be designed at 8.5 x 5.5; rather, the file size must include the bleed amount, for instance, 1/4" bleed on each side of the document. This will increase your file size to 9 x 6.
Your final printed job could have white margins on all sides if you do NOT include proper bleed in your artwork. E.g. your uploaded artwork for the above example is only 8.5x5.5 vs. 9x6 - you could end up with white margins around the edges.
This is where the
Anything that is not
This is the final
Crop Marks & additional markings
Please do NOT include crop/trim marks, bleed marks, color bars or any additional markings in your file.