I designed a package for a client. I did the design under a dieline. This means that there are still red lines around the design. Should I send this file to my client or should I clear the dieline before sending the file?

5 Answers 5


Your dieline should go on its own layer, called DIELINE. (In the shop where I worked for a long time, it was called DIELINE — DO NOT PRINT.) Then the client can turn it on or off as needed.

  • 1
    You forgot to mention that the dieline should be set to overprint if possible. Jan 10, 2018 at 14:43
  • @LateralTerminal good idea! I didn't work in the prepress department, so I didn't know that. Jan 10, 2018 at 17:59

If you are going to be the middle-man between your client and the printer I would consult with the printer on what they prefer. If you are going to be giving the designs to the client I would give them a .pdf file with the option of turning on and off the DIELINE Layer. So you will be giving them a final .pdf file with no less than two layers, 1st Layer the design and the 2nd layer the DIELINE.. NEVER give them the raw files!

If I were you I would have asked this upfront and asked the client where they intended to get the package design printed so you could possibly consult with them on what protocol is for delivering files.

Some printers do not want them with the supplied design because they are adding their own or have a preflight standard in place before it goes to the printer.

  • Why shouldn't you let a client have the raw files? Jul 1, 2014 at 22:46
  • @StuartP.Bentley A client with raw files has the capacity to screw up the files and make them unprintable, or to alter the design radically so it looks bad and damages the designer's reputation. It depends on the client and the contract. Jul 2, 2014 at 0:14
  • 1
    I usually use a spot colour with overprints rather then the two layer PDF. In my experience there are still some prepress guys who don't like dual layered PDFs. Check with your printer, bottom line. Jul 2, 2014 at 1:59

If your client loses orientation without dielines. Leave them in.

If your client can get the bigger picture without it, leave them out.


It is normal to provide graphics without any guides.

The dieline is usually placed into the graphic file as a separate layer for sizing and orientation purposes. A dieline is usually not printed on the final piece but is used to determine correct layout.


If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating a separate layer and included the dieline (also cutter trace or cutter guide), then leaving it in really isn’t an issue (on the contrary).

There can sometimes be some confusion if it’s all in a single layer and made up from CMYK rather than being isolated via a separate spot – this does require the designer/repro to remove the trace by selecting and deleting what can often be a series of unjoined lines. Hence the possibility that elements can be left in inadvertently.

As package producers, we have a series of internal checks for this and various possible issues – and we rarely pass artwork back if we can help – it’s our job after all. But sometimes it’s easier to revert to the original artwork and request that the trace is removed before re-submitting just to be sure.

Even if we’ve supplied the trace, we still remove it and re-apply the approved manufacturing version to ensure nothing has happened to the artwork in terms of scaling, etc., and that we’re working to the correct version of the approved sample. And if it’s a structural design which has been submitted by a customer, we still totally re-draw the file to ensure it’s correctly specified for the die maker and works for our machines.

So ultimately it helps to have it removed, but we try to do our best however the artwork arrives.

  • 2
    Please don't 'sign' your posts with a link to your company--self-promotion is what your profile page is for. We have had a lot of spam attacks lately, and the community cracks down hard on anything looking remotely like spam. Please have a look at how to not be a spammer to get some tips to avoid downvotes and spam flags on your answers. Thanks for understanding.
    – Vincent
    Jan 9, 2018 at 17:00

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