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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 want to take your printed project beyond the plain old rectangular, then you enter the world of die cutting. Even if you're creating something as seemingly simple as tabbed dividers. We see them all the time. But how do they get that shape? Well, they're die cut. And that means that a die has to be created and the job has to be planned with that in mind. And of course novelty shapes. Pretty much any shape you can think of can be die cut. There are some limitations. Some small details can be hard to hold. But you can see from looking at these pieces, they're very different, all of them, from the simple rounded rectangle on the little cards, to the paintbrush, to the motorcyclist, to the sandwich. Great variety.
And something that you immediately notice. That's something that you sort of pick out of the pack. Stands apart from all the dull old rectangular pieces. And if you really want to hold fine detail, we're seeing more and more laser die cutting. Now, there's no actual die created. It really is a laser vaporizing the paper. And that means that you can hold very small detail. There's some limitations. It's a slow process in the sense that you can only do one piece at a time, but you can do something with this that you really couldn't do with a conventional metal die. So you can see there's a wide, wonderful variety of possibilities with die cutting. It takes some planning.
You should talk to your printer, and if you're dealing directly with the finishing company, of course, you want to consult with them early in the process. But when you see things like this, I hope it inspires you to go beyond the plain old rectangle.
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