Learn how die cutters cut shapes from printed designs

  1. Make your print stand out with an interesting die cut
  2. What does cutting mean?
  3. Common use for die cutting
  4. Prepare a digital file for Die Lines

Make your print stand out with an interesting die cut

In commercial printing, die-cutting is a process of cutting cuts or shapes from a printed project. The cutting is done after the design is printed, but before it is folded, matched, or glued. The die cut can be as simple as small diagonal lines to hold a business card or circle, and a slot to hang the printed piece from a doorknob. Large cutting dies cut out the shape of an entire folder bag and prepare it for folding and gluing. Cutout can also be purely decorative or eye-catching, cutting shapes into a print job to make it more attractive or eye-catching.

What does cutting mean?

Die-cutting is part of the finishing process. The die-cutting is done after the print job has gone through the press and is ready to be cut and finished in whatever way the part requires.

The Matrix is ​​a thin, razor-sharp metal blade that is formed, attached to a base and attached to a printing press. The printed sheets are then put through a press and the dies stamp each sheet individually to cut into the desired shape.

Printers usually have standard stamps for commonly used abbreviations. Custom stamps can be made, but they increase the cost of the printing project and add additional time to the production process. Because the dies are made of metal that needs to be bent into a cut shape, complex shapes may not work.

Common use for die cutting

Cutouts in a printed brochure allow text or part of an image to be seen from the inside after it has been folded. Punch can be used to create rounded corners, flaps, holes, windows or complex popups. The whole piece can be cut into a unique shape.

On a sheet of decorative labels, a die is used to cut shapes such as circles, rectangles, stars or other standard shapes into the label stock without piercing the back, a process known as kiss-cut. Contour cutting weakly or closely follows the shape of the image.

That pocket map along the perimeter of the slit, including collapsible pockets and glued pull tabs to hold the pockets in place. Pockets often contain pockets for business cards. In addition, a die-cut line, a graphic file that illustrates where the cut is located, can contain dotted lines to indicate where the design is folded. These dotted lines are not included in the metal matrix.

Prepare a digital file for Die Lines

Before creating your own stamp design, contact your commercial printer to find out how the stamp should appear on the digital file. Take your design sketch to a meeting to see if it works as planned.

A commercial printer may have a catalog of standard stamps, in which case you don’t need to cut a die at all – just include it on the printout of the digital file.

When creating custom stamps, printers typically request a solid, brightly colored 1-point line on a separate layer of the digital print file that outlines the cutout of the image and indicates its position on the final printed sheet. As for the artwork itself, any elements that lie along the cut line must pass through the cut line as usual, 1/8 inch.

Use a drawing program that has a vector pen tool (or that creates straight lines and curves) to draw the line. Draw the stamp line in the same software that contains the print project. In this way, you can overlay a stamp line over a printed document for precise positioning. Complex page layout programs have tools and pen layers. If you use Adobe InDesign or another popular layout program, draw the line for your design in a page layout file layer.

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