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How to add artwork to a dieline

This is how you design a dieline in Adobe Illustrator and prepare it for production.


Dielines are your way of communicating every detail of your packaging design. With the details from your dieline, we'll send you an accurate quote for your packaging and then move it along to production.

1 Get a blank dieline

There are several ways to get a blank dieline:

  • Common sizes: Free dielines are available for common sizes on many of the products in the Catalog. You can find them all in one place on the Dielines page.
  • Custom sizes: You can request dielines for custom sizes, or work with our Packaging Engineering service to get completely unique dielines engineered for your product.
  • Bring your own dieline: You can use a pre-existing dieline from a different packaging supplier, or third-party structural engineering agency. Our prepress team will work with you to ensure it is ready for production if you decide to move forward.

2 Open the dieline in Illustrator

Open the Lumi dieline in Adobe Illustrator and get acquainted with the different types of guide lines. Each type of line reflects capabilities and constraints of real tooling that will be custom made for your packaging.

  • Cut lines: Cut lines show the actual outline of the cutting die that will be made to cut out your packaging.
  • Fold lines: This is where your packaging will be folded, either in production or in fulfillment. On a cutting die, fold lines are scored with a dull edge.
  • Pressed edges: If your packaging has a pressed edge, it's probably a pouch or a padded mailer. The pressed edge is a heat sealed seam along the sides of your packaging.
  • Printable areas: This is the area your printing plate will cover.
  • Non-printable areas: Designs cannot be printed in these areas because this specific part of the packaging is uneven or needs to be used for adhesive.

3 Add your artwork

  1. Add a new layer for your artwork in the Illustrator file.
  2. Create your design on this new artwork layer. If you're bringing in artwork (logos, patterns, etc.) that you've already created, just drag it onto the artwork layer and click Embed in the Control Panel at the top. When your artwork is embedded, it actually lives in dieline file, rather than being linked as a separate file from another location.

Tip: Font legibility varies depending on the product and printing process, but it's safe to keep your smallest positive print font at 8pt, and reverse print at 10pt. If you have specific questions about the legibility of your fonts on your packaging design, let us know!

Tip: If you add raster artwork to your dieline (any artwork that wasn't created in Adobe Illustrator) you'll need to vectorize it. Read our guide about it, Vectorizing Your Artwork.

4 Outline fonts

All of your text should be outlined so that when we open your dieline, it looks just how you designed it.

  1. With the Selection Tool, select all the text on your dieline.
  2. With your text selected, transform it to outlines from the toolbar: Text › Create Outlines

Boom — you did it!

Tip: Want to speed things up? After your text is selected, use this shortcut to outline it:

Mac: Cmd+Shift+O
PC: Ctrl+Shift+O

Tip: We like to use the View Outlines tool to see all of the objects and fonts outlined and ensure that everything is in ship shape. To view outlines, follow this path from the toolbar: View › Outline

Or, just try this shortcut to switch the view:

Mac: Cmd+Y
PC: Ctrl+Y

5 Request a quote

Yay! Now you're all ready to send us your dieline. We can't wait to see it! Send us your design by requesting a quote so we can get started on your packaging. Request a quote →