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December 2001
This Month's Tip:

While most jobs go through our shop without a hitch, we occasionally get a phone call asking “What are these marks, and why are they on my piece?” after a client gets back a finished job. The nicks they’re referring to are a necessary aspect of all die cutting, and many variables exist that cause them to vary in size, location and quantity. But through proper planning and consultation with Diecrafters, most nicks can be hidden. Keep the following tips in mind when you design your next job:

Place the tail of the piece at the lead edge of the press sheet. A typical pocket folder layout calls for the tightest register to be placed at the lead, or gripper edge of the sheet. However, nicks at the gripper need to be more substantial than at the trailing edge in order to carry the sheet through the press. To compensate for unsightly nicks on the face of a piece, a finisher will often make them smaller, resulting in increased spoilage and slower turnaround. One way to solve this problem is to reverse the layout and place the pocket at the gripper, where the nicks can be hidden.

Plan for nicks on glue flaps and scores. These are the least conspicuous spots on a piece after converting, making them ideal for nicks. Consult with Diecrafters early in the design process to ensure that nicks are ideally located.

Give your finisher plenty of details. Don’t forget to include information such as ink coverage, grain direction, type of paper and coating. Also, keep different stocks separate from one another and clearly marked. All of these can cause delays during the diecutting process. But, if your finisher is aware of every detail before it gets to his hands, additional charges can be averted, turning your customers’ complaints into compliments!

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December 2001 Helpful Tip: Nicks .pdf File


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