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Die-Cutting Essentials for Innovative Packaging

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The Importance of Packaging for Your Business

As the owner of TPS Printing, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many businesses, and I’ve seen how the right packaging can make a significant difference in success. Your commitment to delivering quality products deserves to be matched by packaging that truly stands out. Did you know that 72% of Americans say packaging design influences their purchasing decisions, and 67% consider the materials used in the packaging? These numbers highlight the importance of your packaging decisions.


In this blog, my goal is to empower you with the knowledge to make your packaging as exceptional as the products you offer. We’ll explore the transformative power of die-cutting, a technique that can elevate your packaging, product boxes and labeling to new heights. From the basics of die-cutting to the various methods available and practical design tips, I’ll provide you with the insights needed to create packaging that not only captures attention but also drives your business forward. Let’s embark on this journey together and unlock the potential of your packaging to captivate your customers and boost your brand.

Die-Cutting Essentials for Leveling Up Your Packaging

Whether you’re new to die-cutting or seeking to expand your knowledge, this guide covers three key aspects of the process.


1. Understanding Die-Cutting

Die-cutting is a widely used technique in the printing and packaging industry. It involves using a die, which acts like a sharp-edged mold, to cut specific shapes from raw material. This method is favored for its precision and accuracy, making it ideal for product packaging.


Die-cut machines can be set to cut materials to specific dimensions consistently, allowing for the rapid production of large quantities. This precision ensures that commercial materials, such as labels and packaging, are uniform and professional in appearance.


2. Die-Cutting Techniques

There are various die-cutting methods, each tailored to different project requirements. Some common techniques include:

  • Blanking: Cuts material from the edge to create flat, uniform pieces.
  • Forming: Wraps the design around cylindrical parts using a curved surface.
  • Drawing: Feeds material through the machine to cut it to a specific length, ideal for thin or elongated products.
  • Broaching: Uses multiple rows of “teeth” to cut through thicker materials that traditional dies cannot handle.
  • Coining: Punches tiny holes in the material through applied pressure and force.

In addition to these methods, there are two primary die-cutting services:

  • Flatbed/Steel Rule Die-Cutting: Utilizes custom-made dies on a flatbed-style press, suitable for thicker materials or smaller production volumes.
  • Rotary Die-Cutting: Employs cylindrical dies for producing larger quantities of products with flexible materials, ensuring high accuracy.

3. Tips for Designing Die-Cut Labels and Packaging

Incorporating die-cutting into your labels and packaging offers numerous benefits and possibilities. Here are some tips to optimize your designs:

  • Include a Bleed Area: Extend your artwork by at least 1/16″ beyond the label’s edges to avoid unintended white spaces.
  • Add an Outline Overlay: Include a cut shape outline in your digital design file to ensure your design’s edges are not cut off or obscured.
  • Avoid Sharp Corners: Designs with acute angles or sharp corners can tear when the matrix is removed after die-cutting.
  • Be Creative: Experiment with unique shapes and visuals to make your packaging and labels stand out.

Reach out to us today for expert assistance in creating high-quality die-cut printed products or to fulfill any other printing needs! Contact us here or by phone 858.625.4111

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