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Setting up for die cutting

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Setting up for die cutting

Sometimes simple straight edges just aren't enough. If you want to create a piece with interesting shapes, then you've to start planning for die cutting. Now it could be something simple, like this flat piece, but it looks really interesting, doesn't it? Well, I'm sure you've seen lots of pocket folders. So here is a fairly standard pocket folder. Now this one has two pockets inside. But you have got to keep in mind that anytime you're creating anything more complex than something like these pocket folders or simple flat die cuts, it becomes sort of a special reasoning exercise.

Setting up for die cutting

Sometimes simple straight edges just aren't enough. If you want to create a piece with interesting shapes, then you've to start planning for die cutting. Now it could be something simple, like this flat piece, but it looks really interesting, doesn't it? Well, I'm sure you've seen lots of pocket folders. So here is a fairly standard pocket folder. Now this one has two pockets inside. But you have got to keep in mind that anytime you're creating anything more complex than something like these pocket folders or simple flat die cuts, it becomes sort of a special reasoning exercise.

For example, something as complex as a little perfume box. Here's the flat version of it, and you can see the little fold-in white panels, those you're going to fold inside the box. These little flaps that are hanging out, those are where glue is going to be applied. So there can't be any ink there. No artwork can print on those little flaps. Otherwise, the glue won't adhere. So let's look at what this looks like. Fold it up. There is the bottom and then the top, if I can do this correctly, turns into a little flower. Now if you think it's tough to fold this up by hand, think what's involved in engineering for binder equipment that can score this and fold it up and create a finished piece like that.

It's really pretty impressive. So part of what happens is that a die is used to crease the paper and to cut out that shape. So before you ever start creating something like this, you need to obtain die line art from your printer. Or if you're building something complex like this package, you may have to commission that die to be created by somebody who specializes in such work. So the die line is something you use as guidance on screen. But what is the die itself? It's actually very complex arrangement of blades that crease and blades that cut paper or paperboard, and there are specialized craftsman that create them.

They're very complex to design. They have to allow for the kind of stock they are going work on. Sometimes they are mounted on the cylinder, sometimes they're on wooden base. But that's actually the shape of the piece that's going to get cut out. Now when you start designing, if you're designing something like that pocket folder, you have to consider that you're probably going to have art on both sides of the piece. For something like that little carton it's just going print on the outside. And here is a little project that we're working on, and this is a little mock-up of the potential pocket folder. So here is what we think it's going to look like when it's finished.

There is the outside, there is a front cover, and there is the back, and then we have some artwork come the inside and then the little folded up pocket. So as we design this we have to keep in mind that folding up later. So front cover, back cover, and then inside we have some artwork, and then there's the inside of a little pocket. You can notice that it's not printed. And then when you look at the little flap, remember I said you can't have any artwork where there is going to be glue. That's blank so that the glue will adhere.

If you're thinking about working on something like this, see if you can find a similar piece and then take it apart. That will show you how glue is applied, you get an idea how the little panels interlock, and hold the piece together. In fact, taking apart a cereal box can really be sort of an education. When you find yourself moving beyond flat pieces, your planning does become more complex. But the results can really be stunning. So it's well worth the extra effort, and your client will be impressed, and guess what. Your printer will be thrilled when you submit such a well-prepared job.

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This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 24073 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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