Printing Trend of the Year: Laser Diecutting
When I saw the first piece a few years ago I was in awe...still am for that matter. But in the last few months, I have seen the technique used more and more often, especially on invitations. Designers and printers are pushing the proverbial envelope with laser diecutting, realizing breathtaking results in the process.
Is this really a trend? To find out I did what we all do these days—I Googled it. 254 million results later, I was none the wiser. Still, after browsing my worldwide resources, talking to designers and drooling over the pieces we’ve received for our online print gallery at an increasing rate, the top print trend this year appears to be laser diecutting.
While diecutting as such is still fun and always will have a place for specific projects, the fine laser beam—steered by a computer—cuts through hundreds of sheets with perfect precision, achieving intricate shapes that were unattainable just a few years ago. The resulting shapes and dots are so fine they make your head spin, and every print lover swoon.
Not all Lasers are Created Equal
Before you rush out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on a laser diecutter, cheap michael kors consider your options and your clients’ needs, as well as the likelihood of your using this technique frequently enough to make it pay.
1. You can always outsource the laser diecutting
We have outsourced everything from binding to foil stamping, so create an affiliation with the owner of one of those fun machines in your area.
2. Get your own laser diecutter
The small versions start at about $10,000, and while they are not the fastest tool in the shed, they do a good job.
If you find your clients’ demands are greater and you feel the overall need for speed, Motioncutter and Highcon offer larger versions that deliver extraordinary results.
Due to the nature of the laser beam that burns through the paper, you usually see a light burn mark on the back of the sheet. Darker papers hide this quite nicely and the higher-end machines—especially the Highcon—include air and suction tools that make it hard to detect those burn marks.
Beyond diecutting, these tools are also fabulous for laser engraving—the laser cutting depth is set lower for this purpose and the results are astounding.
As the laser is a versatile tool you can cut or engrave more than just paper—think wood, acrylic...
If you decide to partner with another provider, buy your own, or just want to sit on the sidelines for a bit and watch the developments, make sure to talk to your clients about this trend. Show them samples and reaffirm your position as their go-to service provider.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.