The term "bleeding" refers to a print quality problem - when two ink colors run into each other. In printing, the mixing of two dissimilar colors in two adjacent printed dots before they dry and absorb in substrate is referred to as color bleeding. Unless it is done for effect, color bleeding reduces print quality.

The amount of bleeding is affected by numerous factors, including the paper type, paper's characteristics of ink absorption and it's capillary action, ink type and properties (speed of ink drying), printing technology (i.e. nozzle design and spacing with ink jet printers).

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