What are bleeds in printing?
"Bleed" is the term used when the printed image (type, graphics, background colour) goes right to the edge of the paper. Printed pieces that have a white border or white around the edges, DO NOT bleed.
If your job 'BLEEDS' then you must supply your artwork oversize in order for us to be able to cut your job properly. We create bleeds by actually cutting through the enlarged image/background.
Card does not bleed
How to Create Bleeds
To create bleeds your artwork must be setup so that the graphics extend beyond the final CUT SIZE of your printed piece. In general we prefer the bleed amount to be .125" however we can work with a bleed amount of .062" if your graphics are not large enough.
When creating bleeds in Photoshop you must make your Canvas Size to incorporate the bleed amount. For example a business card (2" x 3.5" finished size) would be setup with a Canvas Size of 2.25" x 3.75" assuming you are allowing for .125" bleeds on all sides. Draw guides .125" in from all edges to show yourself the finished CUT SIZE of the piece.
Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, etc
When working with these applications we generally recommend setting up yoru document size to the CUT SIZE of your job. When placing graphics position them so that they extend beyond the edge of the artboard (by .125" preferably) thus creating the bleed. Do not have your graphic stop right at the edge of the artboard.
If you choose to Save or Export to PDF then be sure to set your bleed setting to .125" and to "Include Bleeds" and Crop marks.