Die-Cutting Custom Labels
by lauren | Aug 31st, 2010 | Leave a comment

If you have ever peeled a label off a roll in a clean and easy manner, the label was probably die cut.  The labels you purchase at an office supply store on sheets that neatly peel off are die cut.  In fact, most custom labels are die cut.  Die cutting is one of the most important, and often overlooked, aspect to custom label printing.

A die is essentially a sharp metal tool built to a customer’s specification based on the label size and shape.  Additionally, dies can be built for efficiency, making it possible to run more labels across a roll at one time, resulting in faster production and reduced cost.  The key to any label printing die is to make sure there is enough force to cut through the face of the label stock, but not too much so it cuts the liner, making it almost impossible to easily removed the labels from the roll.

In addition to ensure the cut through the label is correct, we also have to be extra careful that the die doesn’t shift too much during production.  Generally, there is very little room to move, and most small shifts will go unnoticed, but if there is a border around the label or part of the design bleeds, even the slightest shift could be noticeable.

In terms of making dies, most label printing companies have a large library of available dies, in a variety of shapes and sizes.  In some cases, a job may require a new die because the custom requires a specific shape or size.  In these cases, the label printer will need to build a new die, which often requires a one-time die charge.  Once a die is made, the customer will enjoy having their labels printed to their exact specifications.

There is much more to label printing then creating artwork and turning on the press.  The whole process has various steps which must be executed near perfection.  If done right, the end result will be beautiful!


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