Die Cutting

You can transform the physical shape of your print into unique shapes and sizes. It's a great way to add a dynamic quality to your design. The possibilities of die cutting include adding creative edge profiles, functional hinges, and cut-out windows. It's done in-register on the press, so you can design precise printing and cutting combinations with any of the other processes we offer.

It’s kind of like making cookies.

Die cutting starts by building a steel-rule die according to your die lines, which you can supply in the form of vector line-art. This “cookie cutter” is tapped into a custom-cut plywood die board that’s designed to lock up into our letterpress machines. The rollers are removed, and a stainless steel jacket is added to protect the press. The paper is carefully lined up to the die, and a test print is made. The steel rule uses a combination of sharpness and pressure to precisely cut the paper into the desired shape. When correctly configured, we will produce consistent results as many times as needed.

How can you use it?

The most common use of die cutting is to cut paper into custom shapes. For example, you could create a for a hang tag that simultaneously punches a hole for stringing. Another technique is to create a folding piece. You could even design a die to cut and crease a folding card in one pass on the press, saving time and adding precision. Or, add a window to reveal artwork or a photo inside.

Are there limitations?

Die cutting is very versatile, and our creativity can be the biggest limiting factor. But, standard steel rule is 2pt thick, so it can only bend so far. For smaller, complicated cuts, it may be necessary to use the process of laser cutting. Die cutting has the advantage of being the most affordable way to create custom shapes and objects out of paper. If you have a die cutting idea, we will gladly evaluate your die lines for compatibility with our process.