Ultimate Guide to Dieline Design Tips

If you want to touch perfection in your packaging solutions, dieline templates are a must-have. These shall be on the top of your packaging design checklist.

Though it is the department of your layout and design expert, you shall also have perfect know-how about its procedure.

Even if you are new to that field or have never heard about these dieline, here is a complete guideline for starting from scratch.

Don’t have enough knowledge about dieline? You can check our packaging dieline guide or get dieline templates for your box.

1. Document Setup

The first step is to prepare Adobe Illustrator for your document setup. All your files shall be in the CMYK color mode. 

Choose as follows:

File > New 

Set the width and height of your document to the final trim size of the product you will print.

Here we have recommended the first color pattern, but if you have already created the file, then change the color pattern afterward. CMYK is also important because you must apply it for schemes like Pantone and spot colors.

2. Labeling Your Design

Now comes the turn of labeling the design page. You can write anything you want to show on the template afterward, for instance, about the company branding information, inside or outside printing, etc.

3. Embed Images

You will have to embed all images in the document to ensure we have all your image files for production. For that, open Adobe Illustrator and follow the following steps:

  • Click on ‘Window’ in the menu bar and select ‘Links’ to open the ‘Links’ window. 
  • If you have linked files that are not embedded, click on the file to select it. 
  • Click on the top right menu in the ‘Links’ window and select ‘Embed.’ 
  • Repeat until all images are embedded. 
  • If you choose not to embed your images, please send us all image files used in your design. 

Image & Graphic Quality Photos should be at least 300 dpi. Non-photo content such as graphics and text should be vector-based files (e.g., vector AI, PDF, or EPS). JPG and PNG graphics/text are only recommended if they are photos.

We can use this option directly on the control panel.

4. Outline Text Option

Outline all text or vectorize them to ensure we don’t run into issues of missing font files for production. 

For that purpose, follow the following steps in Adobe Illustrator:

  • Select your text box(es). 
  • Click on ‘Type’ in the menu bar and select ‘Create Outlines.’ 
  • Your text should now be outlined and is no longer editable with the Type Tool. 
  • If you choose not to outline your text, please send us all the font files used in your design. (Mentioned in the next step) Text Size The minimum font size should be 4.5pt. 
  • If your desired design includes text that is smaller than that, let us know, and we’ll see if it’s a feasible design.

5. Saving and Sending

Step 1: Select “File-> Package” from the Illustrator menu. 

Step 2: Specify your desired package location and the package’s name in the dialog box. 

Make sure all the checkboxes are turned on.

The package will have all these folders with file information, such as fonts, color codes, linked images, and editable files. Please convert your package folder to a zip or RAR extension and send it to us.

Note: Deline should be in outline, not filled. If a file in an outline is converted to fill, it is sometimes difficult to edit. Please ensure that your dieline will be in outline, not filled.

How To Apply Pantone Color in Adobe Illustrator?

Now let us discuss all the steps involved in this process in detail:

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Adding Pantone Colors

  • Switch to the Swatches panel if it isn’t visible.
  • You can open the Pantone+ Solid Coated swatch library by clicking the Open Swatch Library menu in the Swatches panel. The Pantone+ Solid Coated panel appears.
  • Choose the Small List View from the Pantone Solid Coated panel menu. The Pantone colors are now listed with descriptive text.
  • You can find 300 by typing it into the Find Field. Pantone 300 is highlighted in the list.
  • Select the Group Selection tool (), click on a shape on the artboard, and click on the highlighted Pantone 300 color in the list. The shape is filled with the Pantone color, and the Pantone swatch is automatically added to the Swatches panel.
  • Swatches can be accessed by choosing Window > Swatches.
  • If nothing is selected, select Select > Deselect all or press Shift+Ctrl+A (Windows) or Shift+Command+A (Mac OS).
  • A color of orange can be selected by entering 173 into the Find field.
  • The Pantone 173 C color can be added to your swatches panel without using it. Before you begin, you can set up your entire color palette.
  • You can fill the illustration by selecting any object in the illustration and clicking the Fill button on the Control Panel. A swatch panel will appear. Select Pantone 173.
  • Choose Window > Color to open the Color panel. 
  • Apply different shades of Pantone color to your illustration using the tint slider. 
  • The Pantone 300 color should be applied in the same manner.
  • Save the file, then close it by choosing File > Close. 
  • Keep in mind that if you use spot colors, they are automatically imported and added to the Swatches panel.