What is Die Cutting?

Cutting techniques can make or break a project budget. That is why it is important you learn when to use which machine or you could be losing unnecessary money. We will look at what die cutting is and when you should use it!

Simple Answer:

In its simplest form die cutting is essentially just a large cookie cutter for your design. It’s meant to pump out parts fast and precisely. Similar to screen printing, the setup for die-cutting takes longer, but is faster on the production end. It’s sweet spot is large quantities with substrates less than .5” thick. If you have a thicker substrate or smaller quantities that’s okay! There are plenty of other cutting options and we have even die cut foam up to 3” thick! That is why it’s important to have a printer with the knowledge and alternate cutting capabilities in house.

A die cutting project has 3 elements.

1. The Die Line

The die line is essentially the guide for us to make the cuts or creases. These die lines can be very tricky to read, but it is imperative that they are correct.

2. The Cutting Die / The Die

A die can either be curved or flat. We typically used a curved die (aka a rotary die) when the parts are small and there is a dramatically higher volume (think sticker size). Every cutting die has a base with blades sticking out of it. Some of those blades are sharper to cut straight through and some are duller to score the material in case you need it to fold or bend. The rubber pieces are to help the blades cut evenly.

3. Die-Cutting Machine

There are 3 major die cutting machines- roll fed die cutting, sheet fed die cutting and rotary. Typically, a die-cutting machine is 4 feet wide so you would want the dimensions of die-cut part to be less than 22” x 32”. We don’t believe in being held back and is why we have some of the largest format die-cutting machines in the US.

The more you are under budget, the more revenue you produce. It is important that you are using the most efficient method based on your project specs and not constrained by machine capabilities. Otherwise, it can limit your budget and weigh down your bottom line. Shameless plug: If you want to know if your project is as efficient as it could be, we would be happy to give you a 2nd opinion! Our scope of equipment ensures that you are using the best method for your project.

Top 3 Ways to Cut Down Shipping Costs on Your Print/Converting Project

At Modernistic, we often get asked by our customers “how are you able to cut our shipping times down by so much?” That is why I want to go over the top 3 ways you can cut down shipping costs on your print/converting project. This is more important than ever now as the supply chain gets more bottlenecked and more unreliable. Let’s jump right into it.

The first way is also the first step in the process. Design! We design our products to ship efficiently, that way you start with a healthy foundation right from the start. Just like in a house, if you start with a healthy foundation the rest will be set up for success. A lot of shipping costs can be reduced by engineering the design with shipping in mind.


For example, A large fashion retail brand came to us with this huge fixed box display. The first thing we noticed is that it could be easily redesigned in a couple minutes to be more efficient. This affected how it broke down, was able to ship flat, etc. It cut the shipping cost by 50%, saving thousands of dollars, just through a couple simple steps.


The second way to reduce shipping costs is efficient kitting. I can’t stress enough how often we see extremely inefficient kitting setups. We always use precise and lean kitting techniques because we know they are proven to help reduce costs.


Another example, one of the tools we utilize is a custom box maker. This helps us maximize the purpose of every inch of space in a kit. Whether we are shipping to one location or 1,000 we are able to quickly create custom kits to exact specifications so every inch is utilized. Eliminating any extra space, size, and weight. It also indirectly makes the contents more secure because of
everything more tight.


The third way to reduce shipping cost is location. Having a neutral location is extremely helpful in reducing the ship time and cost. Our location in the midwest situates us perfectly to keep fast, affordable, and reliable shipping lanes for anywhere in the US. This can be make or break for a project and can’t be overlooked.


These are just a couple examples of how small, efficient steps can affect so much of the overall project cost. It even affects sustainability, you are using less fuel, less box inventory/waste, and less bubble or microfoam. (Side note: if you are still using bubble wrap, you should look into switching to sustainable packaging material). This is just the start of how we are able to reduce cost, minimize waste and maximize value, quality, and speed.


Let us know if you have any questions or want help on your next project by contacting us.