PREPARING CUT FILES




How To Prepare Your Art Files For A Specific Cut 


Preparing your art files that contains a specific shape (anything other than a square or rectangle) is hugely important to the Pre-Press part of production. Preparing your art files is a two-part process: Cut Line and Bleed. Below are the step by step instructions on how to first Add your Cut Line and then how to Add your Bleed.

Circle Cut 


The Circle Cut option allows us to cut your artwork in the shape of a ‘circle’. Creating these cut lines will be identical to creating them for Oval and Special Cuts.

(Adobe Illustrator)


Part 1: Adding the Cut Line 


1. Create your Die Line and set the Stroke to 2pt thickness with NO Fill Color.
2. Change the Color to either Red, Pink or Green (any bright, visible color that is not the same as the color of your artwork will do)
3. Select the Stroke color in your ‘Swatch’ library and then click on ‘New Swatch’ (See ‘image A & B’)
4. Change the ‘Swatch Name’ to CUT (See ‘image C’)
5. Change the ‘Color Type’ to SPOT COLOR (See ‘image C’)
6. Make sure the ‘Color Mode’ is set to CMYK and Press OK (See ‘image C’)

how to set up circle cut files

(Adobe Illustrator)


Part 2: Adding the Bleed 


1. Start with Part 1 artwork that contains your cut line.
2. Duplicate the background. This will work if your background artwork is a solid color like the example shown.
3. Add a stroke to the duplicated background layer. Example stroke is shown in blue to better see the thickness of stroke.
4. Select that piece and go to Object > Expand. Make sure your settings are set on ‘Stroke’ and Press OK.
5. Once the stroke has been expanded go to Pathfinder > Unite. Once this unites the expanded parts, make sure the final piece color is your background color
6. Align the duplicated background piece with the original cut piece and Send To Back.

how to set up circle cutfiles part 2

Oval Cut

The Oval Cut option allows us to cut your artwork in the shape of an 'oval'.

(Adobe Illustrator)


Part 1: Adding the Cut Line


1. Create your Die Line and set the Stroke to 2pt thickness with NO Fill Color.
2. Change the Color to either Red, Pink or Green (any bright, visible color that is not the same as the color of your artwork will do)
3. Select the Stroke color in your ‘Swatch’ library and then click on ‘New Swatch’ (See ‘image A & B’)
4. Change the ‘Swatch Name’ to CUT (See ‘image C’)
5. Change the ‘Color Type’ to SPOT COLOR (See ‘image C’)
6. Make sure the ‘Color Mode’ is set to CMYK and Press OK (See ‘image C’)

how to sut up oval cut part 1

(Adobe Illustrator)


Part 2: Adding the Bleed 


1. Start with Part 1 artwork that contains your cut line.
2. Duplicate the background. This will work if your background artwork is a solid color like the example shown.
3. Add a stroke to the duplicated background layer. Example stroke is shown in blue to better see the thickness of stroke.
4. Select that piece and go to Object > Expand. Make sure your settings are set on ‘Stroke’ and Press OK.
5. Once the stroke has been expanded go to Pathfinder > Unite. Once this unites the expanded parts, make sure the final piece color is your background color
6. Align the duplicated background piece with the original cut piece and Send To Back.


how to set up oval cut part 2

Special Cut 

Special Cut is any shape other than a square, rectangle, circle and oval. With this option, we'll cut along the perimeter or outline shape of this special cut shape.

(Adobe Illustrator)


Part 1: Adding the Cut Line
 


1. Create your Die Line and set the Stroke to 2pt thickness with NO Fill Color.
2. Change the Color to either Red, Pink or Green (any bright color that is not the same as the color of your artwork)
3. Select the Stroke color in your ‘Swatch’ library and then click on ‘New Swatch’ (See ‘image A & B’)
4. Change the ‘Swatch Name’ to CUT (See ‘image C’)
5. Change the ‘Color Type’ to SPOT COLOR (See ‘image C’)
6. Make sure the ‘Color Mode’ is set to CMYK and Press OK (See ‘image C’) 


how to set up special cut files

(Adobe Illustrator)


Part 2: Adding the Bleed 


1. Start with Part 1 artwork that contains your cut line.
2. Duplicate the background. This will work if your background artwork is a solid color like the example shown.
3. Add a stroke to the duplicated background layer. Example stroke is shown in blue to better see the thickness of stroke.
4. Select that piece and go to Object > Expand. Make sure your settings are set on ‘Stroke’ and not ‘Fill’. Press OK.
5. Once the stroke has been expanded go to Pathfinder > Unite. Once this unites the expanded parts, make sure the final piece color is your background color
6. Align the duplicated background piece with the original cut piece and Send To Back. 

how to set up special cut files