What is die-cutting?

Spend any time reading about the wide world of printing and you’re sure to encounter the term “die-cut”. But what is die-cutting? And just where does it fit into the printing process?

Die-cutting has nothing to do with rolling dice; it’s actually a process for efficiently cutting paper into easily replicable shapes. If you see a piece of printing, from packaging to labels, in a non-rectangular shape, die-cutting was likely involved. Die-cutting is not limited to just printing, and can be applied to cloth, leather, or other materials as well. A die, in this case, refers to a thin, sharp piece of metal molded into a particular shape. These dies are then uniformly applied to sheets of paper, separating out the desired shape from the rest of the paper, much like a cookie cutter. 

Die-cutting is an extremely versatile process, able to shape the edges of a piece as well as cutting out holes from within the middle of a sheet of paper. Even further, perforated die-cutting can leave a sheet of paper largely intact, while allowing for shapes to be cleanly and easily removed by users later on, ideal for coupons or crafts.   

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.