What it looks like: Like laser-cutting, a die-cut can add a decorative element or a functional component to a design.

How it's done: Die-cutting is a process used to cut a paper into a specific shape using a steel cutting die.  It can be used to punch out a decorative shape or pattern to incorporate within a larger piece, or it can be used to create the main shape of an object by cutting the entire sheet of paper in an distinct way. 

Paper pointers: Though die-cutting can produce unique results, it’s not for every print job.  This is why it’s not very commonly used, and why it can be so distinctive. There are many possibilities for die-cutting, but the medium has limitations.  

Ink tips: For stationery or invitations, creating a die-cut silhouette for your suite may add interest and a vintage feel.  Using a small punch-out within the invitation as a motif can be a nice touch (in this case, a modern feel).  A functional die-cut might be something like a half-moon thumb hole on an open ended envelope, or a notch system in a folded piece.  

Turnaround time: Die-cutting process usually takes a week or two to complete.