Helpful Hints

Five Tips for Creating Successful Die Files


Die cutting is an excellent way to make your next project stand out. The shapes, designs and formats that can be created with a die cut are almost limitless. In addition to enhancing design they can also add functionality with pockets, windows, zipper perfs, flaps and more.
The CAD/CAM capabilities at Seidl's Bindery make state-of-the-art die cutting a breeze. Keep the following five die file tips in mind when preparing a die cutting project:
  1. Remove artwork and color information – To create an accurate die, the CAD system requires a file that's devoid of all artwork and color information. This includes any colored lines, which designers often believe will make it easier to identify die lines. Instead, strip the file of everything but solid black lines, which the CAD program will use to create the die.
  2. Avoid halftones – Halftone dots can be either misread or inadvertently skipped altogether by diemakers, so be sure to include only solid black lines for your die files.
  3. Don't oversize or undersize die images – One of the most common mistakes made when creating a die file is outputting the image area at an enlarged or reduced size. This could result in a die that's slightly smaller or larger than the intended image area. While we recommend outputting image files at 100%, please let us know if your file is oversized or undersized.
  4. Send a compatible file format – Save your die file in a compatible document format. Whenever possible, stick with common file formats such as JPEG and PDF files at 300dpi resolution. Check with Seidl's Bindery if you must send an alternative file format.
  5. Include hardcopy proofs and instructions – A printed copy of your die-cut image is worth a thousand words – and perhaps thousands of dollars! Complete instructions and printed samples ensure that the die will properly represent your idea.
By following these guidelines, Seidl's will be able to turn around your die cutting project more quickly and efficiently. If zipping your files for submission, please use WinZip 9.0.
The CAD/CAM Die Making Process
The CAD/CAM computerized die line drawing system allows Seidl's to craft the most accurate dies possible very quickly. The program, which was created specifically for die making, enables us to proof your files for accuracy before generating layouts. An electronic layout plotter then creates a die line sheet that is placed over your press sheet to gauge proper placement of cut lines. Once their accuracy is confirmed, these files are used to create dies. The CAD/CAM system saves time and money because changes can be made before the die is created. Seidl's can also save your die specifications, making future reruns cost-effective and hassle-free.
The Seidls Advantage
Look to Seidl's Bindery for a full range of binding and finishing services. In addition to automatic die cutting services, we offer PUR adhesive binding, mechanical binding (including Wire-O and spiral wire styles), high-speed folding/gluing for packaging and pocket folders, hot embossing, folding, gluing, cutting and much more. Give Seidl's Bindery a call today to begin planning your next project.