With your layer selected, set the fill to none and select a color from your swatches panel for the outline. Double click on your swatch to create a spot color. This step is the most important part in creating your die line.
If you don’t select overprint stroke, the sticker will be printed with a fine white line where the dieline knocks out, in other words a space would be left for that line.
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Go over to your layers menu & select the layer with the grouped art. Drag that punk down to the ‘new layer’ icon to create a duplicate.
Set offset to 3mm or .25in and Join to round (this will keep things neat, without jagged edges).
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In this article, we’ll help you create a die cut sticker from start to finish to ensure you and your clients have everything needed to send it to print!
As you can see the border limits have been enlarged by 3mm. Select this layer and place it under your original artwork and name it bleed.
Everyone loves a cool sticker, especially when you can let your imagination run wild with a custom made design. But instead of using the standard square or rectangle shapes, why not create a unique die cut sticker shape to make your work shine?
Don’t forget to set up bleeds (object > path > offset path) Your trim line/die line needs to be in a spot colour on a separate layer, name it die line – do not print so your printer knows exactly what needs to be done.
Check overprint stroke in attributes to make sure the colours below are printed Have you created a die cut sticker? Share your work in the comments below!
In the color type box, we must select spot color. This will take this particular color and make it its own plate for the printing process later on. This will be the line the printer will know to use as the die cut, it serves as an imaginary line that won’t be printed.
NOTE: Step 5 may not be necessary if you haven’t applied any effects (or live paint, etc) to the artwork. If ‘Expand Appearance’ is not available – skip this step and move to Step 6.
Once you’ve made a copy, join all the elements together in one compound shape by going to Pathfinder and selecting Unite.
NOTE: Moving layers with clipping masks is like crossing the streams. It would be bad. Soooooo – to avoid this, expand those layers before this step, silly.
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Now select the duplicate layer only. Click the little circle icon to the left of the layer to make sure all is selected.
So… You use Adobe Illustrator and Wanna make easy Die-Cut Custom Shapes for your stickers… Who doesn’t !?
Now, reselect the layer with the circle icon and Repeat Step 7 & 8.
Let’s go back to our original file and make another copy. We’ll need to place it on a new layer. We need to let the printer know this is not a printable layer, so we’ll name it “DIE LINE – DO NOT PRINT”.
Take a break and stretch. Go surf the net for funny pics or play some candy crush.
“Die cut” simply means cutting material – in this case adhesive paper – into a specific shape using a metal die, either by cutting out shapes or forming the actual shape of the artwork.
In the final step we need to open up the attributes panel – by going to Window > Attributes.
Left: Cut out business cards (via Evolve Already); Right: Letterpress and die cut business cards (via Pressing Letters)
With the layer contents selected- go under ‘Objects > Expand Appearance‘. This is a ‘for good measure’ step in case you have strokes that are important to the shape.
Select your compound shape and head over to Object > Path > Offset Path to create your bleed area.
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We need to select Overprint stroke, the reason being we want the colours of sticker design to print underneath the die line.
Seeing as the design requires edge to edge printing, we need to set up a 3mm bleed line around the entire shape of the sticker. The easiest way to do this is to first select everything and create a copy, placed directly on top of the existing design.
Sticker Tutorial: Making Die Cut Shapes in Adobe Illustrator By Zombie Yeti Jan 14th Die Cut Stickers Comments
Now reselect again with the circle icon and locate the Pathfinder tool. (Window>Pathfinder) And use the ‘Merge‘ command.
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For this tut we will be creating a gigantic 11″ tall die cut sticker. First things first… group all of your sticker art into one layer. This will be our target to get our die cut shaping from, so ignore background elements, etc.
This is a mini tutorial for those of you that may not be Illustrator experts – but are versed enough to be dangerous…
When creating any new document for print, settings must be made in CMYK mode and 300dpi, the size will depend on what your creating and how big you need it to be.
Below you will find the historic first Sticker Robot video tutorial!. We suggest watching the video (and subscribing to get more) and then diving into the text below, which compliments with some additional snarky explanation (but not too much…)
You can simply select all and “Object > Group” or in the layers menu with layers highlighted select ‘Collect In New Layer’. The choice is yours.
You can double check that everything looks right by opening the separations preview (Window > Separations Preview). You will see plates for CMYK and your spot colour die line.
Spot colors refer to printing colors in which each color is printed with its own ink, whereas process color printing uses four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to produce all other colors.
And that’s all there is to it – you’ve created a custom made die line for your design.
The basic principles for die cut designs apply to any type of work, whether you’re working on a business card, custom made invitations, or any other printing job.
Now with the result selected, use the pathfinder ‘Unite‘ command.
Now to get the die cut shaping you simple use the selected shape and go to ‘Object > Path > Offset Path‘ and make your offset ‘.125’ (that’s the 1/8″ we need) and click OK.
NOTE: If you set the ‘joins’ to round you can avoid some of the sharp extrusions. I, however, am a rebel and forgo such simplifications to send a message to the powers that be to show they can’t control me!
Once you’ve completed your design ( in this case a simple sticker design based on a cool kitten) you will need to create bleed and trim lines for your custom shape.
You should now have a pretty decent die cut shape so remove the fill and stroke it with the appropriate color (which I did not) – but depending on the artwork it may need some tweaking. You can fine tune it point by point or use the pencil tool from here just to soften some areas up to your liking.
As you can see creating a custom shape and die lines takes very little time, so why not try something unusual in 99designs’ new Sticker contest category.
So what do you think of this mini tutorial? Something else you want to learn in a minified tutorial? Leave a comment below and we’ll make all of your dreams come true!*
Now that you have your bleed area, it’s time to set up the trim line using spot colors.
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Reselect with that little circle icon in the layer menu and go to ‘Object > Expand‘ as a secondary ‘for good measure’ step.