Die-cutting – the only explanation you need

The first of our “Printing terms made Simple articles”!  Read on for our quick, simple, easy-to-read guide to die-cutting.

Die-cutting is a great way to make your printed piece unique, allowing you to customise your project and make a statement.

Die cutting is a mechanical cutting process with which any shape, or combination of shapes, can be cut out of a material. Put simply, the die is placed onto the material, and then pressed between two plates, “cutting” the design. By using steel blades formed into the specific shape, this cuts through the material to give a crisp, smooth edge for the desired shape. The technique allows specified parts of an image to be emphasised, and also gives a view of the page underneath. Very precise dies can be cut using a computer-controlled laser. Kiss-cutting cuts only part of the way through the material, for example for stickers and tear-off flaps on packaging.

The area underneath the cut-out part must always considered during the design stage. The cut edge always plays a role, because die-cut paper printed with a dark colour will leave a white edge along the cut outline. If the insides of shapes (such as squares, circles or rectangles) are not to fall out, bridges must be defined. Laser cutting is best suited for cutting out finer patterns.

Die-cutting considerations

Vector data : The die-cut line should be allocated to a defined layer and marked as spot colour. The paths must be obscured or overlapping, contours must be closed, and lines defined as solid areas.

Materials : Coated and uncoated paper of any weight can be cut in a die-cutting machine, as well as other materials such as cardboard, foil and metal. Long-fibre papers are the most suitable due to their stability.

Finishing : Depending on the size and shape of the die-cut parts, the material may become less stable – possibly to the point where machine handling (for example folding in a machine) becomes impossible.

Costs : Die cutting is considered expensive for small batches, because a special tool has to be created. The investment in die-cutting pays off for longer runs, where cost per item is less than laser cutting.

 

 

Find out more about our die-cutting product range. Our products are manufactured in Europe and developed for cutting and creasing applications, suitable for use with a wide range of die-cutting equipment.  

Online4Printers can also put you in contact with our network if you are looking for a printer to work alongside you on innovative die-cutting projects. And if you’ve worked on a challenging die-cutting piece, or have a future project planned, then we would love to hear from you!

Are we (really) inkjet ready?

Inkjet Ready and InPrint Milan

First was the Inkjet Ready Virtual Conference, fantastically run and organised by the Printing Industries of America team. The team did a great job preparing and co-ordinating the challenging technical pressure of having to run a 5-hour virtual event!

And second was a visit to the InPrint Show (Industrial Inkjet Print Show’s 5th edition) that took place in Milan last week (20th-22nd Nov).

Those of us involved in the more traditional side of the Printing Industry (Commercial Offset and Flexo Printing, and Finishing Companies) it is apparent that INKJET PRINTING is an area where our attention should also be focused.

Early inkjet presses were limited to transactional work where variable data and print quality only had to be ‘enough’ for those relatively long runs where they became a better solution to toner-based devices. Today, as the print quality of inkjet has improved, new applications emerge combining transactional documents with direct mail, bringing a great deal of new creative jobs to print for the commercial, publication, packaging and label converter sectors.

Inkjet Printing in numbers

According to the Napco Research Study (Nathan Safran, Director of Research):

  • Still around 57% of printing companies do not own an inkjet press.
  • Out of those that have invested, an average of 86% inkjet owners are satisfied with their move to production inkjet.
  • 81% of printers state the production inkjet deployment process was as expected or easier.
  • Work on production inkjet comes from multiple sources: 24% new business, 26% offset migration, 30% toner migration and 20% from other digital devices.
  • Direct mail and marketing collateral are the most frequent new applications printers have deployed.

(Note: Production inkjet refers to continuous feed and cutsheet presses, not wide format.)

Companies, in general, obtain significant business industry insights and information. This can be used by printing companies to develop inkjet-printed pieces that can bring relevance and added value to the target audience. By using variable text and image data, it allows the way to offer more creative and interactive printed products plus cross media marketing initiatives.

Benefits of Inkjet Presses

Inkjet adoption benefits include reduced run times, lower costs, lower downtime, and ease of adoption, BUT there are still areas that make it difficult to compete against traditional offset printing with the most apparent being:

  1. SUBSTRATES. The INKS used in inkjet presses utilise a tough set of requirements to allow the use of a wider range of media and substrates. Inkjet-optimised papers are expensive and there is limited choice of stock available. A lot of future developments are required from inkjet until it is able to print to offset paper stocks.
  2. INK USAGE. This is also an area of great concern. Ink usage in offset and flexo printing is very low (5% approx), and with Inkjet technology it is about 20-40% of the cost per page, making it paramount for the use of good tools to reconcile alongside ink usage estimate reports coupled with job accounting reports, to avoid nasty surprises with return of investment figures.

 

Detailed information from the participating OEMs involved in these two events were shared with all participants/visitors, so look out for further reports sharing more interesting key takeaways.

Are you knowledgeable or experienced in Inkjet Printing? Please feel free to share any information you have to provide traditional printers a realistic look at the production inkjet research, adoption and deployment process.

Social Media Marketing Course

Why should a printing company take this course?

Social media is an area of business printing companies might easily overlook or implement in a basic way only because “other companies are doing it”. But in today’s competitive and fast-paced printing marketplace, you need effective and profitable social marketing strategies, and social media is at the forefront.

Gain the skills and knowledge needed to build your social media presence and discover how data insights and tools can be implemented to match markets to social strategies in order to profitably grow your business.

Whether you are promoting your commercial printing, your packaging or graphic design services, by harnessing social media tools and platforms to design, manage, and optimise your social campaigns, learn how to promote growth and position your printing business beyond the local and global marketplace.

Select or combine from courses outlined below:

  1. What is social?
  2. The importance of listening
  3. Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies
  4. Content, Advertising & Social IMC
  5. The Business of Social
  6. Social Marketing Capstone Project

 

Social Marketing capstone project

 

Course synopsisYour markets are on social media and so do you. Social strategy needs to be based on the business metrics which define your success, and this project within a course will put methodologies, tools, and insights to the test as you create a multifaceted plan to assure effective social marketing is an integral part of your business strategy. Whether your company has a sophisticated Engagement Strategy or you are a new start-up, you will learn to harness the full power of social marketing to grow provable market share and build stronger relationships with your high value markets. For success in today’s digital world, you must have a plan to integrate your social and mobile marketing strategies into your business strategy.

Level: Beginner

Duration: 5 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week

Social Marketing Capstone Project is part of the Social Media Marketing course. Complete your knowledge from courses outlined below:

  1. What is social?
  2. The importance of listening
  3. Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies
  4. Content, Advertising & Social IMC
  5. The Business of Social
  6. Social Marketing Capstone Project

The Importance of Listening

Course synopsis: This course examines the data of social and gain a more complete picture of what can be learned from interactions on social sites. Learn how much information can be extracted from a single post, picture, or video. Discover the full range of analytics tools and options available to you and how data is transformed into actionable insights for your social marketing programs.

Level: Beginner

Duration: 4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week

The importance of listening is part of the Social Media Marketing course. Complete your knowledge from courses outlined below:

  1. What is social?
  2. The importance of listening
  3. Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies
  4. Content, Advertising & Social IMC
  5. The Business of Social
  6. Social Marketing Capstone Project

Content, Advertising, & Social IMC

Course synopsis: Determine how a thoughtful, integrated approach makes content that stands out in our increasingly oversaturated world. Learn how marketers are successfully navigating today’s media landscape and how developing engaging content for your audience is an essential component in effective social marketing. This course also includes an overview of the integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy for social and how it is being deployed around the globe, as well as tips to keep your audiences coming back for more. In addition, you will learn the secrets to advertising on Facebook and other social platforms.

Level: Beginner

Duration: 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week

Content, Advertising & Social IMC is part of the Social Media Marketing course. Complete your knowledge from courses outlined below:

  1. What is social?
  2. The importance of listening
  3. Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies
  4. Content, Advertising & Social IMC
  5. The Business of Social
  6. Social Marketing Capstone Project

Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies

Course synopsis: In this course, discover effective social strategies used by organisations today. You’ll see real-world best practice examples and learn what metrics they use to gauge success. You will also learn the importance of infographics and the impact a well-designed landing page can have on your bottom line. By creating a multimedia filter and focus blog, you will demonstrate how social can enable real-time marketing results. After this, develop a plan to reach your target consumer markets and know when it is best to either use or avoid specific social marketing strategies.

Level: Beginner

Duration: 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week

Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies is part of the Social Media Marketing course. Complete your knowledge from courses outlined below:

  1. What is social?
  2. The importance of listening
  3. Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies
  4. Content, Advertising & Social IMC
  5. The Business of Social
  6. Social Marketing Capstone Project

What is Social?

Course synopsis: Learn how to grow your social strategy using effective, proven methodologies. This course has been designed to give you the tools, insights, knowledge, and skills to immediately impact your organisation. We are currently living in a period of massive disruption with new technologies changing the way people engage with each other and with the organisations that interest them. This course will start you on the path to growing your own social strategy using effective, proven methodologies.

Level: Beginner

Duration: 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week

What is social? is part of the Social Media Marketing course. Complete your knowledge from courses outlined below:

  1. What is social?
  2. The importance of listening
  3. Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies
  4. Content, Advertising & Social IMC
  5. The Business of Social
  6. Social Marketing Capstone Project

The Business of Social

Course synopsis: This means strategies which not only grow your company’s social footprint but link to your sales and marketing systems. With this critical linkage, your social and mobile strategies will provide you with the ability to engage consumers at a 1-to-1 level and measure your social investments in terms of costs, revenues, profits and ROI. “The Business of Social” – you will learn how to transform your organization’s social marketing from an untracked investment to an integral part of your company’s marketing strategy. You will learn the legal considerations involved as well as proven performance metrics and management tactics for success.

Level: Beginner

Duration: 4 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week

The Business of Social is part of the Social Media Marketing course. Complete your knowledge from courses outlined below:

  1. What is social?
  2. The importance of listening
  3. Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies
  4. Content, Advertising & Social IMC
  5. The Business of Social
  6. Social Marketing Capstone Project

Only One Week Left for Graphics of the Americas 2017

The 2017 edition of Graphics of The Americas is almost here! The first print trade show of the year will be held at the Broward County Convention Center between February 16th and 18th in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The featured processes at this so-called “buyers’ exhibition” will be Commercial Printing, Flexography, Digital, Screen, Signage and Textile. Also, the trade fair will be co-locating with the NBM – National Business Media – Show.

Events such as Packaging School, 3D Printing (February, 16), INKON couture (February, 17) and Career Fair (February, 18) are offered to both visitors and exhibitors to give an extra boost of dynamism, already guaranteed by the 20,000 pre-registered attendees coming from 72 countries, at least.

From the Americas, a 60% of the attendees will be coming from North America, and a 40% from the Caribbean and Central and South America. Moreover, the vast majority of the attendees are commercial printers. Pricing can be found here.