I am having a go at a business card and a letterhead which is a spin off from designing a logo for a web site. I felt sorry for the web site owner and just said, "I'll do that."
Having never produced stuff for print before I have read a bit about it and just want to give the client an illustrator file that she can upload to a print company and get small quantities as she needs them. I have downloaded templates from a few of these and it seems that a 3mm bleed and a 5mm safety margin is the usual tolerance but I am also getting that printing staionery is not very precise in terms of cuts if you work to those dimensions.
So, I decided to make some elements go way over the edge of the page boundaries rather than try to manage tiny areas of white space around the content.
Does any of that sound like I'm missing the point?
Now, when I saved as .pdf from Illustrator it didn't seem to acknowledge the bleed for one element but it kind of made it fit. I put a simple path at the very edge/bottom of the page and lined it up with the bleed marks but the .pdf file has it all in the page.
Do you think I might have done something wrong there?
I'm plucking up courage to show you what I've done!
Presuming you know the dimensions of the business card (apart from A8 and ID-1, each country (group) has its own size), it depends on a few things, such as:
1) How close to the intended dieline are the crucial parts?
2) Does the card have a solid background colour (possibly none/white)?
If the card has a solid background colour and if the crucial parts are at a safe distance (which they should be in any case), you may just place all the cards on one page close together, upon a sufficiently large rectangle with the background, and set marks to cut the rows and columns of cards, no need for actual setting any (individual) bleed.
Jacob gave you good advice but do not use the the term dieline refer to the the trim size as the trim size and the lines composing the trim size as trim lines.
In some cases a die is used but that is for a special shaped card.
It is no big deal but if yoiu refer to dielines in the U.S, they are going to ask you why you want to use a die to trim the cards?
They will figure it out but the best policy is to use correct term. There are some printers that will flyout the window with instructions.