If you belong to the packaging and printing industry, it’s needless to say that you’d be aware of the term dieline. However, it’s a new term, and generally, new designers aren’t aware of dieline and what it’s all about. So, if you want to make it big in the dieline department, we are sharing how you can design the dielines for printing and packaging purposes. Are you ready to get blown away?

Focus On The Details


This is your first consideration whenever you are designing the custom boxes wholesale. This is because you have to design the dieline according to the custom packaging sizes according to product dimensions. For the most part, the packaging needs to have a minimum size of product to ensure safe and comfortable packaging. The dielines are printed and designed on sheets that meet the standard sizing needs. For this reason, you need to ensure that the packaging size for printing isn’t too big. This is because the printers won’t be able to manage the dieline in the sheet size.


Whenever you are designing the dieline, make sure that you consider the product weight. This is because heavyweight products need thick packaging material, such as corrugated cardboard. That’s because such materials can protect and hold the products sufficiently, which eventually impacts the type of dieline you choose and use.


Packaging always has various purposes, and the purpose depends on the industry. For instance, you have to consider if you are designing packaging for an eCommerce business, shipping, or a retail business. This is because every industry needs a different sort of packaging (yes, just like retail products need to have a longer shelf life). So, once you have determined the purpose, the dieline design will be impacted. On the other hand, if you are running an eCommerce business, it’s best to choose a thick stock, such as corrugated material, for protecting the products during shipping and transit.

If you opt for thick cardstock, you have to be extremely particular about the dimensions because the structural design will shrink the available space. In addition, you must consider how the packaging will be delivered to the customers and what circumstances it will face during shipping and transit. So, it is crucial to consider the dielines that align with the structural design of the packaging, so you can add the tabs and flaps to provide more support and cushioning.

On the contrary, retail businesses can opt for rigid boxes and folding cartons for packing lightweight products, eliminating the need for flaps and tabs. In simpler words, when you understand how the packaging will be used in a specific industry, you will have a clear idea about how the dielines will be used, hence a better outcome.

Making The Dielines

Now that you have enough information about the application, packaging needs, and dimensions, you can now start converting that information into the die-cutting machine and printer. Keep in mind that these will be the technical details that have to be understood when you are preparing the dielines, which means they will be difficult to understand. For the most part, the dielines are provided by the packaging manufacturers to ensure the packaging’s structural integrity provides enough support.

For this purpose, you need to position the artwork and make sure the colors are wisely chosen for printing purposes. You can use software like Adobe Illustrator to unassembled the dieline and place the artwork. Generally, the vector file is used. In addition, the dieline will have various colored lines that comply with the instructions of die-cutting systems. Moreover, you have to understand the purpose of these lines, such as;

Fold lines – these lines are generally marked in the red color and show where the packaging has to be folded. These lines are dotted to ensure easier construction

Cut lines – these lines are marked in black color and the most important part of the dieline. They show where the dieline has to be constructed

Bleed lines – these lines are marked in green color and are responsible for separating different spaces that can be used for artwork designs. These lines help obscure the artwork and ensure the packaging design isn’t changed. In addition, it is added outside the cutline to eliminate the formation of white border

Glue tabs – these tabs are generally shown in the form of green crisscross to show where the glue has to be applied for constructing the packaging. In addition, various packaging structures are designed with auto-lock bottom which doesn’t use glue tab because they can be constructed without tape or glue

Safe zone – this zone is marked with a dotted line in green color and shows which areas will be shown on the custom boxes. These lines will basically help printers promise alignment and ensure that artwork is properly placed and nothing is unnecessarily printed on the boxes

Adding The Artwork

Now that you’ve understood the dielines, you can start adding the artwork. For preparing the artwork, you need to determine where is the bottom, top, interior, and sides of the boxes. To be honest, this can be a tricky part because you have to determine what parts of box will be shown and which are simply tucked away. This will help you mark specific packaging sections that needs to be printed before you move on to the placement of artwork design.

When it comes down to the placement of artwork, it can be directly applied on the dieline with the help of Adobe Illustrator. For this purpose, you must ensure that the bleed lines are considered whenever you are placing the artwork. Also, if there is a white border on the packaging, you must ensure that the artwork doesn’t elongate the cut lines. The next step is to place the text, such as instructions, brand name, ingredients, and name of the product. Also, when you designing the dieline file, make sure that the text is properly outlined. Last but not least, just select the suitable printing method.