Among the many types of plastic card printing that I’ve managed during my 30 years in this industry, I think die-cut cards are among the most interesting from a visual perspective. Whatever shape or design you can dream up, there’s a printer out there who can make that dream come true.
This printing technology is used for many applications (and I will talk about more of them in my next blog post), but die-cut business cards are probably the most common. After all, everyone wants to make a memorable first impression while networking and building professional relationships, and a business card with a unique look certainly can help. In addition, the diecut business card doesn’t require the functionality of a gift card or smart card. No magnetic stripes or barcodes needed. So, when it comes to design, the sky truly is the limit! Here are some examples:
Are Die-cut Business Cards Affordable?
Yes, custom die-cut cards are affordable, but they certainly aren’t cheap, as a die must be cast in order to print them. That’s where you’ll find the major cost with this process.
There are two ways to make a die – with steel roll and with hard tool. The latter is extravagant and takes six to 12 weeks to create. That’s why the vast majority of dies for plastic cards are made with steel roll.
You can further minimize the expense of die-cut business cards by choosing a template. Most printers have a variety of existing dies that you can use. Or, if you’re going to print large quanities of cards over a period of time, then you can probably justify the cost of a custom die that’s all your own.
Things to Keep in Mind When Printing Die-cut Cards
With diecuts, you can choose any combination of colors for your design. Go ahead – make them sparkly or metallic! It doesn’t matter, as die-cutting occurs after the cards are printed and laminated.
Two notes of caution… First, you do not want to choose a plastic any thicker than 30 mil. That would definitely push the limits of what your printer can do. Second, don’t expect an overnight turnaround. Because of the custom nature of die cutting, you need to factor in a longer lead time, typically three to seven days.
If you need some help figuring out if die-cut business cards are right for you, feel free to ask me some questions in the comments below, or contact us at Plastek Cards.