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Adding a die cut or emboss to your print job can make a striking visual impact; it's a way of sculpturing and increasing a reader's engagement with your work. Learn about the various types of embossing and die cutting as well as the proper ways to set up your documents to achieve consistent results. Author Claudia McCue covers manufacturing concerns like cost, time, choosing the appropriate paper stock, and file formatting; preparing your artwork for embossing and stamping; and then designing your die-cut project in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign.
When you start contemplating a project that's going to involve embossing, you have to sort of look down the line at your final deadline. And you have to keep in mind that the more complexity involved in your embossing is going to result in higher cost and of course, it's going to extent the time required to accomplish all this. If you're using simple, single-level dies, those can be photo-etched, and you could anticipate maybe a one to three day production for those. The cost is going to vary with the size of the die that's going to be created and the complexity of the detail of the die.
And that production schedule again is going to depend on the job load at the die maker. When you start considering multi-level dies or sculptural dies, or combination dies, which perform both embossing and foil stamping simultaneously. Those require brass. And that's more expensive. But it can hold finer detail. It's harder, it's better for longer runs. But it also requires handwork. And handwork is time consuming and it's expensive. So you should anticipate at least a three to five day production cycle for a complex die like this, and it could be even longer depending on the work load at the die maker.
The cost, again, is going to vary with the size and the complexity of the embossing die. If you're going to be embossing printed work. That printed sheet has to be dry before it can be embossed, so that adds to the lead time right there, and if you require tight registration between the embossing and the printed sheet, that's going to require brass dies. They can hold that tight detail. They're going to cost a little bit more, and they're going to take longer to prepare. If there are any problems, that's going to require a reprint or it could require a new die or it could be both. If there's a problem trying to get that brass die to align with the printed piece, if you're asking too much of that combination of die and print and stock, you may have to back up and rethink some of the components. So this is why you want to plan far ahead.
You want to consult with the printer, consult with the die maker. Make sure that your choice of stock is appropriate for what you trying to accomplish. And make sure that you have a realistic notion of the deadlines involved and the anticipation of the result. So, the job planning involves at least the printer. And most printers don't create their own dies. They certainly don't usually create complex dies. So, then you're talking about job planning in both companies, the printer and the finishing supplier. So as soon as possible, when you're planning a job like this, try to get them both involved.
Because you can coordinate your schedules and they can educate you about things that you might need to change as you prepare to send this job for production. And keeping in mind that those schedules have to all be synchronized. There's a lot to think about. And that's one reason there's no such thing as too much time. A job involving embossing is not something you want to rush.
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