Case Study – Quinta properties brochure with Die Cut cover

Incorporating a die cut area into the cover of this 20th Anniversary brochure, is a great design feature.

The new Quinta Properties brochure has the unusual feature of a die cut cover to celebrate 20 years as an independent property specialist and the effect works very well to create a unique look for the cover.


property brochure with a die cut cover primted by Bristol Printer, Apple Colour

Die cut brochure cover with spot uv showing through the cover.

The spec is a 280 x 230mm, 100 page brochure printed in 5 colours (4 colours plus a special blue). The cover is printed in 5 colours onto a 350gsm Novatech Matt with an antiscuff matt laminate applied to the outside cover only. The text is printed in 5 colours onto 200gsm Novatech matt and there is a spot uv applied to some of the pages throughout the brochure, including the inside front cover and page 1 which is visible through the die cut cover.The brochure is PUR bound to give it extra strength over perfect binding.

die cut forme for bristol printer, Apple Colour

The die cut forme used for punching ’20’ out of the cover.

What is die cutting?

Die cutting is the process of using a die forme/cutter made of metal to cut through the paper either on the edge, to create a shape or punch out an aperture inside the paper. It is achieved by feeding flat sheets into a creasing machine which then pushes the cutter down onto the paper to punch the shape. The application of the pressure is very important to ensure the paper is not damaged and the process does not blunt the blade.


In order to achieve any die cutting in the print whether it be the cover or text pages,  the artwork has to be supplied with a cutter guide showing the area that needs to be punched out.  In this case it is the number ’20’.

The cutter guide is then used to rout out a cutter plate in plywood and then the strips of metal are bent to create the template.  The shaped metal is tapped into the plywood board to keep it in position and foam placed around the blade for protection. (this is the pink you can see in the above image)

Once the die has been created it is then positioned on the creasing machine where the pressure is set up to ensure that the forme cuts through the paper without blunting the blade or damaging the paper.  The final adjustments to the pressure are done by positioning layers of very thin tape, until the pressure is exactly right.

The cover has been printed litho and the flat sheets are loaded into the machine, similar to how a litho machine would feed in the paper for printing.  The paper is fed into the machine, sheet by sheet and the form is lowered from above and cuts through the paper.  The paper is then fed along to an area where the loose piece is removed from the sheet and sucked away for disposal. This is done by small needles which protrude through the bed of the press, which are positioned below the loose area only and when they come up through the bed they lift the die cut shape and sweep it away to the vacuum.

die cut cover in the property brochure by Bristol Printer, Apple Colour

Die cut cover with the spot uv visible from the inside page

Dependant on the number of pages, whether there are any throw-outs and the pagination (running order of the pages), the imposition of a brochure of this size can be quite complex. This 100 page brochure contained sections which were 8pp, 4pp and 2pp due to the positioning of a throw out page in the brochure (a throwout page is where an extra page folds out of the brochure ) which means that when prepress prepare how the job will run and which pages print next to each other on a printed sheet (imposition), that there is a lot to consider, as the sections are different numbers of pages.

Throw out page in the property brochure by Bristol Printer, Apple Colour

Throw out page in the brochure

The PUR binding gives extra strength to the spine as this brochure is likely to be referenced over and over again as people search for their dream apartment.

The view from that villa in Vale Do Lobo looks a lot better than the one out of the window at this Bristol Printer.

Want to know more about die cutting? Call us on 0117 972 8900


PUR binding to the property brochure by Apple Colour, Bristol Printer

PUR binding to the spine