I want to make an A4 saddle stitch booklet(A3 spreads). I am confused as to what paper size I would have to use. I would have to include crop marks and bleed and if I printed on A3 would I have to shrink the spread to include space for crop marks and bleed?

I guess I am just confused as to whether the crop marks and bleed extend outside of the page size therefore having to make more space for them. I don't want to print A2 for each spread if this is the case so I am thinking I may need to shrink the publication to A5 instead?

Also, is necessary for me to include bleed in my publication as I don't have anything going off the edges of the pages?

2 Answers 2


Printing multiple pages of a publication at once is called a signature.

How large of a signature you need, what kind of bleeds and what kind of crop marks are all questions you need to ask your printer as it's going to vary from printer to printer.

Typically, these are all things your printer would do for you (and prefer to do for you as they are the experts on it).


A3 is an ISO216 size, 297x420mm. Allowing for bleed is what the ISO217 sizes are designed for.

You will need to consult your printer about his requirements, but if he does require crop marks and bleed you will probably end up designing on RA3 (Raw format A3) or SRA3 (Supplementary Raw format A3) paper: 305x430mm or 320x450mm.

When I provided artwork in the past which did not need bleed as nothing went up to the edge, the printers were quite happy with A3 artwork. They sorted out the trimming of their paper to the finished A3-size themselves.

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