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Design Setup and Orientation on a Dieline

April 25, 2022 08:27am

If you prefer to work in 2D to create your box design in Adobe Illustrator (or another tool outside of our website), we recommend using a dieline template. You can request your free template on our dieline request page.

For help with orientation of artwork on each panel, you can use one of our handy Box Models to ensure that your artwork will be right-side-up when it's printed and assembled.

The dieline template you receive from us has three important color-coded guide lines (these colors are subject to change in order to contrast with your artwork):

  1. Green lines are bleed lines. Any art (such as your background color) that should print all the way to the edge of the material should extend at least to these lines. It's okay if it extends beyond them, because nothing past the green line will print.
  2. Black lines are cut lines. Important artwork (especially text) should be placed at least 1/8 (.125) from all cut lines, as boxes can shift slightly during the cutting process. Keeping artwork away from these edges ensures that it won't accidentally be cropped during Production.
  3. Red lines are fold or crease lines. Important artwork components (especially text) should be placed at least 1/8 (.125) from crease lines. Maintaining this distance from these lines ensures that it won't unintentionally end up on a fold line after Production.

*Please note: Dielines will not print onto final artwork, they are for design reference and production purposes.

Dieline File Requirements & Tips

If you see a pop-up upon opening the dieline such as this one, you can click do not show again and OK. This plug-in is not necessary for your artwork setup.

Please review your dieline artwork file against the following checklist to ensure it is set up correctly:

  • Files should be in CMYK mode only, not RGB. Click herefor more information on color codes.
  • Pantone or spot colors may drop out or shift unexpectedly when processed in Prepress. Convert all spot colors to CMYK prior to sending it to us.
  • Black text or linework should have a CMYK value of 0-0-0-100 (black ink only), not a combined or black value.
  • Large areas of solid gray are also best built as a black ink only CMYK (no cyan, magenta, or yellow values).
  • Large areas of solid black, such as a black background, are best set to our black value (CMYK 60-40-40-100) to avoid banding in the final print.
  • Expand all fonts and text to shapes (vectors). Avoid any live text in the document.
  • Flatten ALL transparencies for printing. Transparencies that have not been flattened may print incorrectly.
  • Ensure that none of your type is smaller than the minimum recommended size for the type of box material you're ordering. We recommend choosing fonts that are a bit bolder and avoiding thin lines and scrollwork-type fonts.
  • Embed all images in the document or send the links for the artwork source files. This will ensure that there isn't a missing link when it goes to press.
  • Include at least a 0.25-inch bleed in areas where graphics extend past the dieline.
  • Dieline template components should be on a separate layer from your artwork so they are visible to Prepress for set up.
  • Please do not remove or make any changes to the template layers or their contents. If they are distracting while you are working on or proofing the file, you can turn off their visibility by using the eye icon in the Layers palette.
  • Save the file(s) in a format that is readable in Adobe Illustrator CC, preferably as an .AI or layered .PDF file.
  • If you are including interior printing, please provide two separate files: each with inside or outside included in the naming convention.
  • If you are including interior printing, please carefully consider artwork orientation and contact us with any questions to ensure your design appears as you intend. Using our handy Box Model Visual Aids can help determine the correct orientation of panels for both the inside and outside.
  • Upload the finished file(s) on our Dieline Upload Page and our team will send you a quote and checkout link via email for your order.