New Mexico Sticker Company Inline Logo

sales@nmstickerco.com

CREATING A CUT LINE FOR YOUR STICKER ART

WHAT IS A CUT LINE?

A cut line is used to tell a printer how to cut around your design. Most stickers have a white border around them, and the cut line tells where to cut that border. NM Sticker Company uses a digital die-cutting machine to create your custom sticker and sticker sheets.

 

You can either create a cut line yourself, or we can create it for you and you will see it in your digital proof.

CREATING A CUT LINE FOR YOUR VECTOR ARTWORK

  1. In Adobe Illustrator, if you haven’t already, convert your text to outlines by selecting all of your text and select Type > Create Outlines.
  2. In the Layers window, duplicate your artwork layer by dragging the Artwork Layer down to the Create New Layer icon or by holding down Option on the Mac or Alt on the PC and dragging the artwork layer onto itself.
  3. Lock your Artwork Layer for safety, then click in the copied layer’s name and change it to “Cut Line.”
  4. Make sure you’re in the Cut Line Layer, select everything and use the Pathfinder window to select the Unite icon to unite the layer into a single object.
  5. With the united object still selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path, and check Preview. Set the Offset to at least 5pt, and make sure you are rounding the corners. Adjust the Offset amount until you are satisfied, and press OK.
  6. Select everything on the Cut line layer again, and use the Pathfinder window to Unite once more. If your design makes it so you have two or more Cut Line objects, use the Pen tool to create a shape that overlaps both and combines them smoothly. If you have any holes in the middle of your design, cover the holes with a small shape. Select everything and unite again.
  7. Remove any fill on your Cut Line object and give it a 1pt Stroke with a 100% Magenta color.

CREATING A CUT LINE FOR YOUR RASTER ARTWORK

  1. Open your raster design in Adobe Illustrator. In the Layers window, duplicate your artwork layer by dragging the Artwork Layer down to the Create New Layer icon or by holding down Option on the Mac or Alt on the PC and dragging the artwork layer onto itself.
  2. Lock your Artwork Layer for safety, then click in the copied layer’s name and change it to “Cut Line.”
  3. Make sure you’re in the Cut Line Layer, select everything and use the Image Trace window to convert the copy of your graphic into a vector shape. You can use the Preview checkbox, but don’t worry about the internal details at this point as it is the perimeter that matters. Once you’ve finished Image Trace and with the object still selected, select Object > Expand.
  4. Next you have to remove the bounding box that Illustrator created around the object in your Cut Line layer. Ungroup all (might have to do this more than once), select the bounding box and delete it.
  5. Select everything in your Cut Line Layer and use the Pathfinder window to select the Unite icon to unite the layer into a single object.
  6. With the united object still selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path, and check Preview. Set the Offset to at least 5pt, and make sure you are rounding the corners. Adjust the Offset amount until you are satisfied, and press OK.
  7. Select everything on the Cut line layer again, and use the Pathfinder window to Unite once more. If your design makes it so you have two or more Cut Line objects, use the Pen tool to create a shape that overlaps both and combines them smoothly. If you have any holes in the middle of your design, cover the holes with a small shape. Select everything and unite again.
  8. Remove any fill on your Cut Line object and give it a 1pt Stroke with a 100% Magenta color.