Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up Art Files for Dielines

At Delta Print Group, we know that setting up dielines correctly is the secret sauce to any flawless print project. We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide to setting up art files for dielines. Think of this guide as your go-to blueprint for ensuring your designs are trimmed and folded with precision and perfection.


A dieline is a layer within your art file that shows where your artwork should be trimmed, folded, or perforated. It’s essentially the map for your print project, guiding the cutting and folding process so every detail is perfectly aligned and ready for production.


1. Choose the Right Software

Dielines are typically created using vector-based software like Adobe Illustrator. Vector files ensure precision and scalability, which are essential for accurate cutting. Trust us, your print project will thank you.

2. Define Your Cut and Fold Lines

Use distinct colors to differentiate between cut lines and fold lines. For example, use a magenta line for cuts and a cyan line for folds. This way, you’ll avoid any “oops” moments during printing.

3. Create a Separate Layer for Dielines

Keep your dielines on a separate layer from your artwork. Label this layer clearly (e.g., “Dielines”) so it’s easily identifiable. This separation makes editing a breeze and ensures the dielines can be toggled on and off as needed.

4. Use Spot Colors for Clarity

Assign spot colors to your dielines to make them stand out. Spot colors are non-printing colors used specifically to define areas that will be cut or folded. This helps our pre-press team and the printer understand exactly where the cuts and folds should occur.

5. Ensure Precision with Vector Paths

Create dielines using vector paths to ensure mathematical precision. Vector paths provide the exact coordinates for cutting and folding, reducing the risk of errors. Avoid using raster images for dielines, as they lack the necessary accuracy.

6. Include Safety Margins and Bleeds

Ensure your design includes safety margins and bleeds:

  • Safety Margins: Keep important elements (text, logos, etc.) away from the dieline to prevent them from being cut off.
  • Bleeds: Extend your background colors and images beyond the dieline to avoid white edges after trimming. Typically, a bleed of 1/8 inch (3mm) is recommended.

7. Double-Check Your Measurements

Accurate measurements are critical. Double-check that all dielines match the specified dimensions of your final product. Verify that the spacing for folds and cuts is precise to avoid misalignment.

8. Set Dielines as Non-Printing

Configure your dieline layer as non-printing to ensure it doesn’t appear on the final product. In Adobe Illustrator, you can select the dieline layer and set it as a template layer, which will show the dielines in your file without printing them.

why dielines are important

Dielines are essential for ensuring your print project is produced accurately. They act as guides for cutting and folding, preventing costly mistakes and ensuring everything aligns perfectly. A well-prepared dieline saves time, money, and headaches by minimizing errors and ensuring your final product looks exactly as you envisioned.


Setting up dielines properly is a fundamental step in the print production process. Following these guidelines ensures your designs are cut and folded precisely, resulting in a professional and polished final product. If you have any questions about dielines or need assistance with your print projects, our team at Delta Print Group is here to help. We’re the experts, so you don’t have to be.