Why are safe zones so important?

The importance of having a safe zone.

Safe zones are one of these crucial elements  when designing for print that is sometimes overlooked or deemed “not that important.” However, they play a significant role in ensuring that your final print is produced as expected, leaving you with a professional-looking print every time. 

What is a safe zone? 

For most small-format printing jobs, designs are arranged on a single sheet of paper alongside other designs called a tile-up/gang. After printing, the sheet is trimmed down to the final print size, during which slight movements in the guillotine can occasionally result in cuts into the body of the design, affecting elements positioned too close to the edges such as page numbers or text.

To reduce this risk, a safe zone is created around the perimeter of your design. The safe zone is an area inside the design layout where you avoid putting important elements like text and images. This zone acts like a protective barrier/buffer during the trimming process, making sure crucial elements aren’t accidentally cut off and maintaining an even finish around the design.


  • Page numbers could potentially be cut off. 
  • The edges of a text box could be trimmed. 
  • Logos or graphics could be cut into. 
  • Uneven borders. 


Artwork with a safe zone.

Artwork without a safe zone.

What should my safe zone be? 

The ideal safe zone varies depending on the type of product. For small format prints like leaflets, flyers, and stickers, which undergo more precise guillotining, we typically recommend a minimum safe zone of 3mm, although we strongly advise a 5mm safe zone for best results. For larger prints such as roller banners and rigid boards, the thickness of the safe zone is determined by the size of the print. 

If you are still uncertain as to what your safe zone should be in your design, don’t worry. Our products have a free downloadable design template that you can use to help create your artwork. WIthin the template, the safe zone has been displayed for that specific product. We alsways advice to customers to use our templates to help create your artwork.


Just to be safe, I want you to check my artwork.

No worries. Tradeprint has a Pre Press team that specialise in ensure that your artwork has been set up for print. If you would like our team to check your artwork, choose from either our File Check, File Assist or Design artwork services and we will let you know if we encounter any issues with your safe zone.

For more information on our artwork services, please see here – Artwork Services.

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