How to prepare and save a print ready file in illustrator:

For example if you are creating a business card from scratch, Go to the top menu of illustrator and select "File" then click on "New" (as shown below)

You will now see a new window called "New Document", select a name if you want, Choose in the "Units" box drop-down "Inches" then specify width and height as shown below, Click ok.

Here is an example using three lines of color to help understand the process Green = (safe area) Red = (cut line) Yellow = (bleed) So say you want your background to be all black, in this example notice that the black goes all the way to the "yellow line" this makes sure that when it is printed that you will have a completely black edge when it is cut.

Once you have your logo in the position that you want, then start adding text, example below. After you have finished your layout then save a copy of your document in its original format .AI.

To save as a .PDF follow these instructions: In the Illustrator top menu, go to File > Save As. Select a destination for your file, then choose PDF for the format at the bottom of the window dialogue. Click Save.

The Save Adobe PDF window will pop-up, Choose "[Press Quality]" from the drop down menu, then in the compatibility drop-down choose "Acrobat 5 (PDF 1.4)"

Click on "Save PDF" and your done. After exporting your PDF and before uploading, you should open the PDF to ensure everything has come out as you have expected.