Select Page

A dieline might very well be described as a prototype package. Whenever a company is designing a new product, it is highly essential to choose the right packaging. A lot of people take packaging for granted, just because it isn’t seen as being valuable. However, there is a lot of planning and precise engineering that goes into the making of a product package.

When a company wants to try a new package type, they will often start with a dieline prototype. This will normally be a flattened form of the package printed on cardboard or similar material. All of the necessary cut lines and fold lines are marked so that the package manufacturer can understand what their client wants with no confusion.

Why Do People Use Dielines?

There are several reasons that these prototype packages are common. The biggest reason is the fact that they allow a company to save money. If there is a flaw in your package design, you want to find that flaw…before you have paid for a bunch of faulty packages. By using a single prototype, the company can identify any problems that might need to be addressed. More importantly, they can identify those problems with a minimum of financial risk.

With the way that modern industry works, you pretty much have to use a dieline. No one cuts and folds packages by hand anymore, so a vague design isn’t going to do the job. The computers that control the assembly cannot work with vague details. Every line has to be clearly marked to ensure uniform performance. By using a variety of colors when marking the lines, you can tell the machine whether to cut, fold, or perforate along that line.

The importance of good planning cannot be overestimated, so don’t skimp on this part of the process. Don’t forget the old saying: Proper planning prevents poor performance. If you rush through this process, you might find yourself on the hook. In other words, you might get stuck paying for a whole lot of packages that aren’t adequate.

How Is A Dieline Created?

The creation of a dieline is not particularly hard. Most companies will use a graphic design program such as Adobe Illustrator. There are many options in this department, but you may not have a choice. If you work for a company that makes packaging, you might have to stick with the customer’s preference. For instance, let’s say you prefer Adobe, but the client sends you a design that has been made with Artioscad (another popular graphic design program). It’s easier to use Artioscad than it is to convert the file, so go ahead and change your method.

These diagrams are normally made with vector art. If you don’t know what that is, it’s just a way of saying that you should confine your design to straight lines. The packaging machines will need straight lines with which to work, and a lot of graphics can confuse them. Therefore, don’t worry about putting graphics, illustrations, or special lettering on a dieline. While those things do matter, the dieline is meant to serve as a template for the production of the package itself. The decorations can be printed and added later.

As we said earlier, it is very important to make different kinds of lines in different colors. In this way, the machines will be able to tell if that line should be cut, folded, or perforated. The most important aspect of making a dieline is its proportion. Remember, this thing has to fold together once it has been printed. Any inconsistencies or gaps will make it much harder for the package to do its job. Sometimes, one minor miscalculation might render a package unusable. Even if it isn’t that bad, a shoddily-made package will make your company look bad.

Once a design has been made, it must be brought to those in charge of the company for evaluation. This is a chance for them to correct any issues that might arise. At this point, it might be a good idea to create a hard-copy prototype to go with the dieline. You can do this by taking your first dieline, printing it out, cutting it out, and folding it together. The point here is to find any mistakes before they become catastrophes. Once approved, the design goes to a printer, where many more are created.

Are Dielines Used For All Packaging?

While dielines are not used for every type of packaging, they are used for a huge variety. There are some people out there who still prefer to do things the old-fashioned way. Of course, there is no reason to avoid the use of a dieline, as they offer nothing but advantages and no real disadvantages. These designs are most useful for square or rectangular boxes, especially those made of thin cardboard. Square or rectangular packages are much easier to render with this method and easier to stack. That’s why most manufacturers go with this option. However, there is no reason to limit yourself when choosing package types.


In the end, every new invention requires a prototype. Without this crucial step, there is no way to know if you have created a good package design. The term “dieline” might be used to refer to the entire sheet, but some people may use this term to refer only to the lines on the template. Either way, you should now have a much better understanding of this subject. If you would like to thank us for that, you can start by filling out the contact form below. That will allow us to deliver a lot of useful information straight to your inbox, so it is well worth your time.