Die cutting is a way to create unique shapes in material. It’s often used artistically on covers to cut windows into the book or on interior pages to create flaps, pop-up structures or interesting shapes.
A die, in simplest terms, is a set of steel blades forming the shape of your cut. Simple shapes like circles and squares are easy, but if your design needs a unique shape then a new die must be made, which can be costly. Once the die is ready it’s positioned on a wood block and installed into the press. The tech will measure out the placement of paper underneath the die and cut a few trial sheets. The die is then pressed into the material with heavy pressure making the cut.