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Don’t forget the die!

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So I had the interesting experience today of teaching our intern how to create a die-line. He had no idea what a die-line even was! Interns, gotta love em :P.

This brought up a long conversation between several of us about the technical knowledge that many designers seems to lack. While there are tons of classes out there that claim to teach someone how to be a designer, often times they miss some of the most critical (technical) aspects of designing for print. Die Line

A case in point would be pocket folders. To the left is a pocket folder die. A pocket folder is printed on a larger sheet, and then a blade (die) in the shape you see is used to cut the out the folder. Once cut, it is then folded and glued.

Now, in looking at this die, what do you see? The basic shape of a folder, right? Now think about how it will fold… The bottom flaps (with tabs on the outsides) will fold up! So any copy that is going to be on those tabs needs to be “upside down” relative to the rest of the copy to end up “right side up” on the finished product.

Now this is a pretty simple example, but what if you are looking for a ‘pocket folder’ that is a gate fold? Basically a “three-panel” pocket folder (Pockets left right and center!) How would that be setup?

The point that I am poorly attempting to make here, is that while it is not always the designers responsibility to create these a die file, it is their responsibility to know what they are, and how it will effect the finished product.

In those cases where a designer needs to create a die line, PICK UP THE PHONE! Call your printer, find out what the requirements for the die are. Even if they don’t know, they will more than likely be able to find out for you.

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