Die-Cutting and Shaping

19th November 2016

Sometimes a rectangular or square leaflet or mailer just won’t do. If you want to stand out, the best option can be to produce your print item in the shape of your product, or something relating to it. This is where die-cutting comes into its own.

Die-cutting makes use of a cutting forme – something like an industrial pastry cutter – to cut through, perforate, and/ or crease a sheet of paper into almost any shape. At DMP, we use a Heidelberg cylinder to apply pressure to the forme in order to create the finished piece.

The piece to the left is in the shape of a Christmas stocking with money coming out of the top. The red outline shows the shape of the piece while the green line indicates a perforation.

This piece is a 4-page leaflet in the shape of a Christmas present. When folded in half, the shape at the top is the bow of the ribbon tying the box closed.

The final piece is a Christmas decoration, mounted on an A5 sheet. Small notches are cut into the form to leave ties which keep the shape from falling out of the sheet until removed by the recipient. This method means that it is far simpler to machine enclose the piece than it would be if it was cut to the final shape. A hole for hanging the decoration is also produced.


Die-cutting is also used to create nets – flat pieces that, when folded and glued or slotted together, form a 3D shape. Our most common requests are for capacity folders – usually A4 or A5 booklets or folders designed to hold other leaflets in an inside pocket.

In this example, the curved panel at the bottom folds up and is glued to the tab along the right edge to create a pocket. The addition of wide spines to this would produce a capacity folder.


Die-cutting can add an extra dimension to your mailings making your messages stand out from the crowd. When used in combination with data personalisation you can have a marketing piece that will impress your recipient and increase response.