Die cutting is not a printing finish in the true sense of the word. Free forms of printed products can be very eye-catching though: round, die-cut business cards or letterheads with perforations. A more every-day use is the die cutting of folders and other printed packaging.
Normally, a tool is used called a “steel rule die”. Sharp blades are bent into the required shape using bending technology and set into a wooden form. This technique has its limits as regards the sharpness of the contours. We are not particularly happy with that situation, so we use precision-engineered and CNC sharpened AI dies to solve the problem. For more unusual projects, paper and card can be cut using lasers or water.
Die cutting vs blind embossing
We would like to make a side comment here: we are often asked for a die cut although blind embossing is what is really meant. In the world of printing, die cutting is generally understood to mean removing part of the printing substrate, not forming it by embossing etc. Unfortunately, this is not in line with the dictionary definition.