Die cutting refers to a process in which a machine is used to produce cut-out shapes. We can create the same shape, with the exact same dimensions, over and over without using scissors, stencils, or a craft knife. We can even create intricate shapes and score lines (like our pockets).
Die cut shapes look crisp, professional and consistent every time.
At Peterkin we offer two types of die cutting, traditional (using physical wooden and metal dies on our Heidelberg Platens) or digital die cutting using up-to-date computer software on a flat-bed digital die cutter.
Traditional die cutting
Thin, razor sharp steel blades are formed into specific shapes. Ours are mounted into wood which is then carefully fixed into the chase of our press. Each sheet of paper or card is pressed between the die and the platen, punching the shape out with a crisp clean edge. They're similar in effect to cookie cutters!
If you want a die cut shape on double-thick (duplexed), letterpress, hot foil press or embossing jobs you'll need a traditional die made.
Traditional die cutting is also required for larger runs, and if you're frequently reusing the dieline then investing in a traditional die might be your best option.
Digital die cutting
Is performed by converting your vector (Illustrator) die line into a format our digital die cutting machine recognises. Once we've converted, checked and tested; we save your file to be called upon the next time you require a digital die cut of your design. We charge a once-off set up charge for this process. Note! if you've paid for a dieline setup for say a 120x180mm, you'll need to create another one for a different size as it's a completely different set up.
Once we've printed your artwork and uploaded your dieline, our digital die cutting machine has a camera that finds a printed mark on each page that helps us achieve 'magic' registration. It then cuts and scores according to your die line using lots of special cutting and creasing tools.
This method is excellent for short runs and intricate cutting lines - as well as one-off samples.
Custom die cut shapes
Custom die if you have an idea - the options are endless...
- To order custom die cut shapes, click here.
- To find out how to add die cutting to your printing order, check out this article.
- To find out how to order blank die cut shapes, click here.
- To see what standard shapes we have on offer in The Printery, click here.
You can find our larger shapes here.
A little bit of history for you (and we love this, because, well... it’s about SHOES!)
Die cutting was invented in the mid-1800s to help streamline the shoemaking industry.
Since cutting the soles of shoes was formerly done by hand and typically out of leather, the process was time-consuming, laborious, and expensive. The invention of the die cutting machine revolutionized work for cobblers and made shoes much more consistent as shapes were always cut the same size, the same way. This meant that shoes could now be given standard sizing.