Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Commercial Printing: Keeping Diecutting Costs Down

My fiancee and I just installed a standee for 300: Rise of an Empire. It was large, complex, and surprisingly reminiscent of another large format print standee we had recently installed for The Hobbit. Not that the graphics were in any way similar. Rather, it was the structure of the standee that gave me a deja vu.

I looked up the photos for the two standees in our iPhoto database. Both consisted of side-by-side graphic panels of movie characters. In the case of both 300: Rise of an Empire and The Hobbit, there was a central panel, then two panels (one on either side) set back about a foot, then two more panels (one on either side) set back another foot.

Working from the center outward to the left and right, both standees were symmetrical. In each case, the left and right panel for each tier was set back an equal distance, creating a staircase effect, with the center panel closest to the viewer and the rest of the panels recessed further and further back.

Why Is This Relevant?

Right away I saw that the structure of the 300: Rise of an Empire standee was exactly the same as that of The Hobbit standee. I surmised that the film studio had designed the standees in such a way as to use one set of diecutting dies for both in order to save money.

I have mentioned before that making a cutting die for custom pocket folders or any other diecutting job is expensive. In fact, I just gave a print brokering client of mine an estimate for 1,000 8.5” x 11” print booklet covers (front and back cover sets). The job requires two separate dies that will cost more than half the total printing price (about $550.00 of the approximately $900.00 total).

Saving money by reusing dies is smart. My guess is that even though The Hobbit has seven panels and 300: Rise of an Empire has only five, the five panels that the two standees have in common may well have been cut using the same dies. I’m not absolutely sure. All I know is that it would have been a great way to save money.

But what about the sixth and seventh panel of The Hobbit, which were not included in 300: Rise of an Empire (which was only a five-panel standee)? (Keep in mind that I’m only speaking of the background elements—top, bottom, left, right, and back panels that go together to create boxes supporting the flat graphic panel for each level.) Well, at least it would have been cheaper to create dies for two additional panels (plus the five panels both standees have in common) than to create all twelve from scratch with all different dies.

Applying This Diecutting Concept to Your Work

If this seems unduly complex, let’s simplify it and apply it to custom pocket folders. On the simplest level, if you choose a standard format, you will use a pre-made die that the printer keeps on hand for such jobs, and you will save $300.00 to $500.00 on your project. This is a significant savings.

Granted, you will need to choose a standard size, standard pocket shape, standard placement for business cards, etc. But this need not be a problem if you create sufficiently distinctive artwork to set your custom pocket folders apart from everyone else’s.

Nevertheless, in some cases, depending on your intended use, this won’t be practical. Maybe you will need a “build” in one pocket so the folder can hold a larger number of inserts than usual. In this case, you would need to pay for the printer to create a custom die. At least this would be yours to use again for subsequent jobs.

To expand upon this concept a bit, let’s say you were to diecut the cards you plan to insert in the pockets of the folder. In this case it would save you money to approach the design as a unit and perhaps create a diecut pattern that could be repeated for the various step-down cards. You might ask the printer to reposition the same metal cutting die as needed to diecut the cards. If you use the same general outline, you can make one die and just move it as needed. Again, this would save money.

General Rules of the Diecutting Trade

Printing companies that produce a lot of custom pocket folders will probably have a variety of standard dies from which you can choose. You’re essentially using someone else’s die in this case, or, more specifically, you’re using one die from the printer’s common pool of dies.

If someone else has a custom die made for their project, however, you cannot use it for your job. Conversely, although the steel cutting die that was custom made for your project will remain at your printer’s place of business, he cannot use it for anything but your work.

Conclusion: Plan Ahead for Diecuts

So the smartest thing you can do is plan ahead, group die cutting tasks together to minimize the number of dies needed, and use standard dies where possible. If you can use the same die the following year for the updated version of your annual project, even better. Forethought will save you a lot of money.

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved