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Design Setup and Orientation on a Dieline

If you use Adobe Illustrator and prefer to work in 2D to create your box design, we recommend using a dieline template. Request your free template on our dieline request page.


You can use one of our handy Box Models to ensure that your artwork will be right-side-up when it's printed and assembled. 


The dieline template you receive from us has three important color-coded indicators (these colors are subject to change in order to contrast with your artwork):

  1. Green lines are bleed lines. Any art (such as your background color) that should print all the way to the edge of the material should extend at least to these lines. It's okay if it extends beyond them, because nothing past the green line will print.
  2. Black lines are cut lines. Important artwork (especially text) should be placed at least 1/8" (.125") from all cut lines, as boxes can shift slightly during the cutting process. Keeping artwork away from these edges ensures that it won't accidentally be cropped during Production.
  3. Red lines are fold or crease lines. Important artwork components (especially text) should be placed at least 1/8" (.125") from crease lines. Maintaining this distance from these lines ensures that it won't unintentionally end up on a fold line after Production.


*Please note: Dielines will not print onto final artwork, they are for design reference and production purposes. 


Please review your dieline artwork file against the following checklist to ensure it is set up correctly:

  • Files should be in CMYK mode only, not RGB. Click here for more information on color codes. 
  • Pantone or spot colors may drop out or shift unexpectedly when processed in Prepress. Convert all spot colors to CMYK prior to sending it to us.
  • When preparing files for printing onto corrugate, areas of black should have the CMYK value 0-0-0-100, not a combined or "rich" black value. Likewise, shades of gray are best specified as CMYK.
  • Expand all fonts and text to shapes (vectors). Avoid any live text in the document.
  • Flatten ALL transparencies for printing. Transparencies that have not been flattened may print incorrectly.
  • Ensure that none of your type is smaller than the minimum recommended size for the type of box material you're ordering. We recommend choosing fonts that are a bit bolder and avoiding thin lines and scrollwork-type fonts.
  • Embed all images in the document or send the links for the artwork source files. This will ensure that there isn't a missing link when it goes to press.
  • Include at least a 0.25-inch bleed in areas where graphics extend past the dieline.
  • Dieline template components should be on a separate layer from your artwork so they are visible to Prepress for set up. Please do not remove or make any changes to the template layers or their contents. If they are distracting while you are working on or proofing the file, you can turn off their visibility by using the "eye" icon in the Layers palette.
  • Save the file(s) in a format that is readable in Adobe Illustrator CC, preferably as an .AI or layered .PDF file. 
  • If you are including interior printing, please provide two separate files: each with "inside" or "outside" included in the naming convention.
  • If you are including interior printing, please carefully consider artwork orientation and contact us with any questions to ensure your design appears as you intend. Using our handy Box Model Visual Aids can help determine the correct orientation of panels for both the inside and outside.
  • Send the finished file(s) to contact@packlane.com as an email attachment (or as a share link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder if the file is too large to attach). We will review the file and send you back a custom checkout link that attaches it to an order.


Questions? Please feel free to ask away using our online contact form, or email us at contact@packlane.com. We'll be happy to help!

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