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Bleed question for interior margin of interior pages in InDesign

I've been creating books with bleeds for years using InDesign with traditional printers. With Lulu, I'm not sure why I need to add a bleed to the interior margin, ESPECIALLY because my artwork has nothing bleeding to that margin. My pages only bleed top, bottom and outer margins.  What will happen if I set it to 0 bleed for the inner and .125" for the other three sides?


  • In theory you're correct, there shouldn't be a need to apply bleed for the inner-margin.
    But in practice the issue is the page size uniformity. When the pages are trimmed to fit, the "live" area would be off.
    For example, a 6 x 9 book with bleed margins applied to three sides would be 6.125 x 9.25. When we cut the 6 x 9 page from this, the page wouldn't have the proper locations for the bleed because the printers expect a 6.25 x 9.25 page. You would end up with white margins on the inner edge, potentially shifting other content or causing a spread to be misaligned.
    If we were printing large runs offset, sure it would be simple to adjust the expected page size for the print run. But our printers run off hundreds of different books at different sizes each hour. So we have to create a standardized page size to keep their work efficient.
  • Got it, thank you! It is hard to mentally shift from custom work over to mass production, but that makes sense, and my first test run seems to have transferred accurately.
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