I'm designing a video reel, static illustration for display purposes on a few TV's at a corporate party. Each SmartTV is able to run video or display images off a USB drive - this is not an issue.

Should I design with a "clear space" around the edges to account for overscan or potentially some mis-rendering of my video and design? I've read some documentation on disabling overscan but overall, is it a bad practice to "full-bleed" design elements off the edge of TV displays?

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    Welcome master! I've edited your question slightly to clarify things. The term "signage" isn't generally used for video display. If you feel my edit was inaccurate, please feel free to click the Edit link yourself and adjust. Thanks! – Scott Aug 5 '15 at 22:02
  • Thanks for the welcome. The edit is acceptable since signage is graphics; however, digital signage in the form of menus, airport gate information, etc. is a very apparent form of graphic design for TV's. Though not explicitly stated, a portion of my design task is a cocktail menu that will be displayed at the bar. – master Aug 6 '15 at 0:09

The traditional recomendation

For a 16:9 tv it is recomended a safe frame of 10% on each side and 5% on the top and bottom.

For example, a full HD 1920 would be 192px to the left, 192 to the right and 54 px on the top and 54 px on the bottom.

Oposite than print design, there is no "bleed" it is called a "safe frame" and it is to the inside. Make non important graphics full HD but the text leave it in this 1536x972 px frame.

Some other recomendations say that this measures can be smaller. 5% on the sides and 2.5 on the top and bottom.

My digital age recomendation

Seeing thoose recomendations they look from the pre digital era. Today I do not imagine any decent tv manufacturer that make a digital screen that imprecise.

So I would reduce that safe area to a fixed pixel size each side. Let us think that if we take the 2.5% safe area on top and bottom on a 1080 screen, it is 27px. I am lazy and I like round numbers. I'll put 30px to be conservative.

I would use a safe frame of 30 px each side if I do not completly controll the broadcasting conditions, but at least I know all the displays are HD (real FullHD or just HD).

If the broadcasting is controlled and it is digital 100% on a same model of displays... This safe area could be reduced to 0%.

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    +1 All good info. I think that calling it "bleed" is going to be confusing to people who come here not knowing any better. Bleed is for when the "trim" is too big for the art. Overscan is where the trim is too small for the art. and this is what the safe area concept is meant to address. – Yorik Aug 6 '15 at 14:32
  • You are right. I edited that part. – Rafael Aug 6 '15 at 14:34
  • Thanks Yorik & Rafael - I knew using 'bleed' was incorrect but I also wanted to relate it to a more common practice. – master Aug 6 '15 at 15:22

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