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TIPS AND TECHNIQUES AND TEMPLATES AND MORE

Please peruse -- and use -- our ideas and helpful suggestions to help maximize the effectiveness of your finishing project. Of course we'd be happy to walk you through the process of designing the perfect die, and if you are looking to save time and dollars, we have literally thousands of existing dies in our archives. Of course our experts are just a phone call or email away, and ready to help you work out any die-cutting dilemma or foil-stamping fixation.We also direct you to our links section where you can find more details about specialty finishing, dies, and such. Check back here often as we build our knowledge base -- or email us if you have an idea or suggestion to pass on.

DIE CUTTING | EMBOSSING/DEBOSSING | FOIL STAMPING | GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS | LINKS


DIE CUTTING

> Be aware of how stock will respond and react. For example, coated stocks may crack at a score. Contact us in advance for sample dummies and to help determine optimum stocks.

> If gluing is required, be sure to design your project so that no ink appears in the glue areas.
> Glue ears used on pocket folders that are to be machine glued must be 1" wide and extend from the main body of the piece.
> Hand-glued ears should be the opposite -- extending from the pocket flaps.

Artwork Preparation:
> Use .5 pt BLACK lines to indicate die elements in your drawing application (Adobe Illustrator, etc.)
> Always include overall crop/trim marks!
> Solid, unbroken lines indicate cuts
> Dashed lines indicate scores
> Perforations should be indicated by a solid line with the word "PERF" adjacent to it.
> Email HIGH-RESOLUTION PDFs with instructions as needed, along with any relevantcomposite proofs from the printed parts of the project.
> Separate different functions into separate PDFs. For example, if a project has die cutting and embossing send each as separate files since they may go to different vendors. A composite proof is helpful for reference as well

EMBOSSING/DEBOSSING
> Be aware of how stock will respond and react. For example, more textured or pliable stocks allow for deeper embossing. Contact us in advance for sample dummies and to help determine optimum stocks.
> Know the difference between embosing (raised above the surface) and debossing (depressed into the surface).
> There are a variety of embossing depths, styles and bevels: flat, rounded, sculptural, etc. Talk to us in advance to determine how best to specify embossing dies for each project and stock!
> Be aware of how small and tight elements will reproduce. The "halo" effect caused by the die flattening areas adjacent to embossed/debossed element can be minimized on press, but only in areas where there is enough open space from which to remove die material.
> Here's a great reference page on types of embossing.

Artwork preparation:
> Always include overall crop/trim marks!
> Areas to be flat embossed should be solid black, not outlines Ask for guidance on art preparation formulti-level/scupltural emboss dies.
> Email HIGH-RESOLUTION PDFs with instructions as needed, along with any relevantcomposite proofs from the printed parts of the project.
> Separate different functions into separate PDFs. For example, if a project has die cutting and embossing send each as separate files since they may go to different vendors.

FOIL STAMPING
> As with embossing, be aware of how small and tight elements will reproduce.The "halo" effect caused by the die flattening areas adjacent to embossed/debossed element can be minimized on press, but only in areas where there is enough open space from which to remove die material. Very small openings such as the counters in type may tend to plug.
> Do NOT knock out areas to be foil stamped within a larger printed area. Foils are opaque so will cover, plus holding registration in such areas is nearly impossible.
> You can specify laserprinter-safe foils! Give us some warning as they may require a special order.

Artwork preparation:
> Always include overall crop/trim marks!
> Areas to be flat foil-stamped should be solid black, not outlines. Ask for guidance on art preparation for embossed flatfoil-stamping dies.
> Email HIGH-RESOLUTION PDFs with instructions as needed, along with any relevantcomposite proofs from the printed parts of the project.
> Separate different functions into separate PDFs. For example, if a project has die cutting and foil stamping send each as separate files since they may go to different vendors.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
> Allow extra time in your schedule for specialty finishing as it cannot be started until all offset printing is complete!
> Printers -- we need 50 make-ready sheets PER FUNCTION. Under special circumstances, we can sometimes get away with less, but the likelihood of underruns increases.

LINKS TO INFO AND IDEAS
> International Paper Knowledge Center -- A great resource on embossing styles
> Creative Bits Cool Business Card Designs -- Lots of clever ideas
> 8 Print Finishes to Spice Up Your Designs -- A primer on specialty finishing

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