Think of what you saw the last time you checked your inbox–the emails that come to mind probably contained animations, interactive designs, very personalized information, and links that lead to instant gratification. It can be difficult to imagine how your print campaigns can stand out when you’re competing with this kind of nonstop digital messaging. “Old-fashioned” print and direct mail may sound…well, boring. Ink on paper has its limitations. That’s true. But there are so many techniques available to make your printed pieces stand out and be just as memorable as the cat videos in your inbox. Let’s start with one tried-but-true process with limitless possibilities: the die cut.

It may be one of the most common processes in print manufacturing, but that doesn’t make it ordinary. Die cutting can be used to create everything from distinctive shapes, patterns, or layered effects to interactive pop-ups or perforated peek-a-boo windows. If your designer can think it, we can die cut it. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your project:

  • Spacing is crucial with die cutting. If your prototypes were created with the help of xacto blades, add some extra room in your final file. Accurate spacing for cut lines, score lines, and paper edges are critical.
  • Paper choice can make all the difference. The weight or grain of a sheet can impact your final outcome. Make sure your prototypes are created using the same paper you want to use in production.
  • Mind your ink. Some inks adhere better to specific substrates, and if your ink and paper are a bad match, you may end up with cracking and other issues.
  • Do a gut check. Does the design impact the function of the piece? If your direct mail piece features intricate cuts, what will happen when it’s processed through postal sorting machines? If your catalog sleeve incorporates die cutting, does it hold up to repeated insertion and removal?


If you have an idea for a die-cut project, please contact us. Our team of creative professionals has created all of the die cut samples pictured here. You can provide the design & hand off to our team to create the die cut embellishments, or we can take on all creative aspects of your project.

This post contains some examples of functional yet beautiful die cut pieces we’ve created for our customers.

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What are some pieces incorporating die cuts that have impressed you? Please share in the comments section below.

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