Slug vs Bleed
If you have anything to do with desktop publishing, you are aware of pasteboard. Pasteboard is an area outside the document area where it is possible to keep items during printing (in fact, there are many items that you might need while designing), though these items are not printed. This necessitates having margins in the document page. Slug and bleed are two words commonly used during the printing process. They refer to a particular area in the document that shows up and includes inaccuracies and some other information that may be useful for the vendors. However, slug and bleed are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably. This article attempts to highlight the features of both slug and bleed to remove any confusion in this regard.
What is Bleed?
Bleed is the term used for printing that goes past the edge of the paper after trimming has been performed. The printer has to make use of bleed if there is any element in the page layout making contact with the document border. This ensures that if there is any element it goes outside the border and gets cropped before final printing takes place. When you are printing a brochure, you supply the printer with a somewhat larger piece of paper so that it is cropped and comes out in corrected size. Bleed thus gives room for error that might be encountered during printing such as expansion or contraction of paper, cropping machine not set up properly or by any mistake of the person operating the machine.
Bleed can be full or partial. When elements are running off document on all four sides of the document, it is labeled as full bleed while partial bleed is when there are just a few elements running off document.
What is Slug?
Slug is similar to bleed but is confined to non printing information such as title and date. This information is used to identify a document and is, therefore, important for a vendor or the buyer. Sometimes the document is edited or revised, and this information is contained in the slug. Slug is removed before final printing version is produced.
What is the difference between Slug and Bleed?
• Bleed can be intentional at times while slug is a component that has to be removed before final printing version is produced.
• Slug is always text information such as date and title of the document whereas bleed can be text as well as objects.
• Slug is intended to provide information to buyers and vendors.