in Post-Press and Bindery
THE DIE IS CAST|
How HLPS Makes Die-Cut Folders
“Do you guys print pocket folders?” It’s a question we’re often asked. And the answer is a resounding “Yes!”.
This is a process that is rather mysterious to most. Many people envision a pre-formed pocket folder being fed into some sort of printing device, with the finished product emerging out of it. The "Keurig" model might even optionally stuff it with your inserts.
It’s not quite that simple.
Most pocket folders start as large sheets (up to 28 x 40”) of thick cover weight paper/stock. We can print on thicknesses up to 24 points on our large, offset presses. As a point of comparison, this sheet is thicker than 130lb. cover weight stock.
We print whatever text or images that need to be printed on the sheet, whether on one or both sides. We usually recommend a coating (aqueous/varnish) to help avoid rubbing/scuffing during the die-cutting process as well as for the durability of the finished product.
The printed sheets are then die-cut. Our die-cutter is a Johannisberg 104S. The non-straight cuts (pockets/tabs) are executed on this machine. The sheets are then moved to our normal guillotine cutter for the final/straight cuts. These flat/die-cut sheets get glued and assembled as the final step - either by hand (if a complex fold or a very small quantity) or on an automated gluing/folding device.
Because of all these steps, and the fact that the flat sheets need to print on a large press, folders are inherently expensive. Starting budget costs usually approach $1,000, even at small quantities. The good news: there is a dramatic economy of scale as the quantity rises, because of all the set-up costs. The die itself usually involves a one-time cost of $150 to $300, depending on the size and complexity. If the design is standard, we can use an existing die and its associated die line file.
We keep dies indefinitely for future use. It’s not too complicated to craft a custom shape/design. Just work with your Holland Litho rep to come up with something very unique and striking! This process is similar for other die-cut pieces - such as boxes, schedule-holders, etc.