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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.
I'm sure you're not surprised to know that adding embossing to a job adds to the complexity of the job. And it also adds to the complexity of planning for the job. So, if you're entertaining the notion of adding embossing to a project, when should you start the planning? You know, right about now might be a good time. Here are some questions to ask the printer or finisher. And I put both terms there, because most often you're going to deal with the printer. And if the printer doesn't perform his own embossing, he's going to pass that job off to the finisher to do the embossing. Sometimes you'll deal directly with the finishing company. So these questions still apply either way.
You want to determine early on what the appropriate stock is for a project. And given that stock, how deep can the embossing be? How deep should it be? Even though you're not going to create the die, it may be helpful for you to know what kind of edge is best. A beveled die? A rounded die? Because that can have some impact on your design. Especially how you handle text and small art components. You need to know what the safe live area is. In other words how far away from folds and trims should you stay as you plan deciding where your embossed area is going to be. And to some extent, the press that the job's going to print on and the embossing machine could have some determination of those capabilities. Of course you need to know the press schedule on any print job and you need to make sure that you submit your files in time for that, but now you have a second schedule to consider, and that's the finishing schedule. Again if you're dealing with a printer directly they're going to try and keep you on track for both what they need and what the finishing company needs. So, when is the die artwork due? Well, that's something that's going to be determined by that schedule and you need to make sure that they tell you if they have any special instructions for artwork.
In other words, how would they like for you to indicate the depth levels if you're creating a multi-level die? And any specs for minimum size of type or other art details. Oh, and one more thing, beat your deadlines. If you do that, your printer and your finisher will love you.
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