I am designing graphics that will be placed on the front side of stairs. I am going for a continuous look like tiling graphics.


artboard placement

I have the artboards 0" away from each other and placed a .125" bleed around all of the artboards.

The problem

Since the artboards are 0" away from each other, the bleeds cross into the adjacent artboards. So when I export the graphics as-is, the colors I want for the bleed in 1 artboard will also show up in another artboard.

I could export each artboard individually and hide the overlapping graphics but that would be pretty time consuming.

adjacent artboards


  • Should I be using bleed in this instance?
  • Should I only just have .125" left & right bleed?
  • Would this be the correct way to setup tiling in Illustrator?

My other idea would be to make the height .125" higher to make up for any cutting errors and cut down to the correct size when cutting. I am not worried about the width.

1 Answer 1


I can't answer with certainty, as I've never done design for custom printed vinyls like this, but I would assume the printer might want one big canvas with the "cut" lines on a seperate layer in this case. That would essentially allow him to cut each stair with 1 knife move.

Your top and bottom bleeds between individual stairs don't sound necessary(because what you want is continuity between the stairs, and removing bleeds and letting the printer make 1 cut will guarantee that.) Am I making any sense? Your left/right bleeds and the ones at the very top and the very bottom will be needed though.

In all cases, you should really contact your printer to see how he wants the file delivered, because at the end of the day, he'll be the one printing it and if you don't fit his specs, he won't print it.

  • I actually am the designer and printer. The graphics are printed and cut individually as our printer can only print 55" wide. But I agree in that I could group the panels (around ~9 or so high in my case at 6") that are the same width and make the one cut instead of exporting the graphics individually and then cutting.
    – AndrewH
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:51
  • Ok, I get what you mean about the width. Yeah, in your case, you'll need to group a few together and flip them sideways to efficiently use the width of your printer. But yes I definitely would recommend just getting rid of bleeds and making one cut, you're just adding steps otherwise. Same goes for the uneven steps, but you'll have some unused space, but I doubt there's an easy solution for that given that your steps are wider than 55". Jan 6, 2016 at 18:25

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