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I've been tasked with creating a cut acrylic label with an offset protruding graphic. The label will be approx 5 cm x 10 cm with a 3 mm bleed.

How do I handle the bleed area for the internal corners? The illustration shows the bleed in blue, cut line in magenta and one problem areas circled in orange.

bleed for internal corner

Making the "square" formed by the bleed on the internal corner either solid dark grey, solid light grey or mitred all seem wrong... is the solution either a redesign, a white border, or moving to a transparent label?

  • I'd bleed the light gray in a 45 degree angle... or not at all... – Joonas Dec 2 at 11:51
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Bleed works perfectly to account for inaccurate cutting when your artwork overlaps the edge of the media. When you create artwork which snaps to one of the corners, or even one of the edges, there is no perfect solution. Only 100% accuracy will ensure a perfect result.

Here I show eight different ways to add 3 mm bleed on your artwork, ranging from the naive no bleed at all (1) to the sophisticated 45 degree angles (8):

And here I'm simulating (very) inaccurate cutting by moving the artwork 1.5 mm down and 1.5 mm left inside the format:

As you see, none of these solutions offer a bulletproof way to account for inaccurate cutting.

If I had to choose, I think I would go with option 6 (the one you are showing in your example) as it seem to give the cleanest result. But it's up to you. Now you have eight possibilities to choose from.

If I were you, I would talk to the manufacturer and hear if they have any good advice. They must have encountered this issue before.

All this said, please bear in mind that your labels probably are punched with a premade form. This should ensure a higher accuracy than if they were cut in a cutting machine.

  • 1
    Thank you for this comprehensive answer. The labels will be laser cut, apparently with a tolerance of 1mm. The printing company's solution is basically your #3. A re-think/re-design might be on the cards. – James 2 days ago

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