How is die cutting used in printing?

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How is die cutting used in printing creatively

How is die cutting used in printing creatively

Custom die cutting is used in all sorts of printed materials. This technique produces clean cutouts of messages, images, borders and shapes that are then layered over other cutouts or paper to create an intricate design. The beauty of this method is that it looks complex, but it?s actually easy to do.

Our digital world still relies on tangible materials to leave a lasting impression. Many types of businesses and professionals want to know how is die cutting used in printing. The answer is any way you can imagine. Depending on the scale of your project, the process is one you can order from a printer or do yourself. 

To go the DIY route, you?ll need die cutting supplies. In the professional world, it doesn?t pay to skimp on quality. Choose sturdy paper and invest time and resources into a design that represents you. For crafters, give yourself time to practice the technique on scrap materials before diving into a big project.

Finalize your design and visualize it in 3 dimensions. Decide whether part of the design will be negative space or if the item will be cut in a distinct shape – an ice cream cone-shaped menu for a creamery, for instance.  Make a sample. Does the cutout element enhance the design? 


There are so many answers to how is die cutting used in printing. From clever to functional and subtle, check out a few examples for inspiration.


Use an identifiable shape to build excitement for your next party or event. Just about any party theme or occasion has at least a few distinct, universal associations. Here are a few examples:

  • Baby shower invitation: teddy bear, baby bottle, onesie or stork 
  • Birthday party: cake, candle, streamers or balloons
  • Destination event: city?s skyline, palm tree, mountain, wave, airplane, iconic bridge  


Marketing materials like brochures do not come cheap, so you may as well hand out something people are less likely to throw away. Cutouts turn a flat boring piece of paper into a 3D object people will form a sensory connection to. 

For example, travel brochures may use the window in a room as a cutout showing a slither of ocean, enticing the viewer to open the brochure and find out what the offer is. This is a dynamic way for a business to introduce the viewer to the look, mood and message of its brand.

Business cards

Make stand out business cards with a custom die cut element. It lends a unique look and memorable feel. The negative space tells your target exactly where to look, so this technique can be used to emphasize a logo or signature product.

Sweet silhouettes

Die cutting opens a world of design options for those who want to steer clear of scissors, especially when you need uniform copies. If you like the classic look of paper cutouts, create a silhouette for your cover design. Couples sending out save-the-dates for a wedding could feature the silhouette of a couple embracing, dancing, holding hands or riding a tandem bike.

Text only

Text only designs stand out for simplicity. There are two main ways to approach this. Have only the name of your business or website cutout in a bold, clear typography. Go one step further by shaping the name of the company into the form of your product, as in the name of a brewery printed in the shape of a pint glass. The other option is to have the name or a brand word cut out with a pattern behind it.

See! How is die cutting used in printing has no wrong answer as long as you use a thoughtful design.