I need to create cutter guides for a business card insert in a brochure.

I know how to technically create a new layer called cutter guides and use my pen tool to create the lines, but I am inexperienced in understanding where to place the guides, what size they should be, and how to position them accurately.

I know they need to be diagonal cuts across to opposing corners. I don't know how long the cuts should be. The cards are 85mm x 55mm.

Current Method

I draw a square, line it up inside one corner. I guess the size, but usually about 1cm, I rotate it 45 degrees. That gives me my diagonal line (creates a corner).

Then I draw across the diagonal with my pen tool. Then I use alt, ctrl and drag the corner to expand it equally in both directions past the edges of the card, giving another half a cm each side.

Is that a good way of doing it? Is there a better way? Googling it just provided me tutorials on die cut business cards, am I using the wrong terminology?

How can I work out the right size of the cut, and the best position for it?

  • 1
    Are you doing something special with your business cards like a die cut type of deal? Otherwise you might just be using the wrong term and mean Trim Marks which InDesign can do automatically for you.
    – Ryan
    Mar 4, 2016 at 13:39
  • I'll be honest I don't know the right term. I'm making a brochure with slits to insert a business card. The business cards are about as standard as they could be, rectangular, no curved corners.
    – Eoin
    Mar 7, 2016 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


I've done a project similar to this recently. What you describe will work fine.

You just need to clearly explain to your printer what you're trying to do. They'll want those lines on a separate die line layer.

Half a cm on each side wider than your cards corner should also work fine, depending on the stock. If its very thick stock expect that the slit will not open as easily and therefore should be wider.

  • Mucho gracias. I think they are 300 gsm, maybe 350 gsm, certainly not any more than that. Do you think my measurements are ok?
    – Eoin
    Mar 7, 2016 at 10:15
  • Sorry for the late reply - I'm thinking that should be fine, but always better safe than sorry - if you can get a proof first thats great, if not - make it a couple mm wider.
    – Adam Frank
    Mar 9, 2016 at 17:11
  • Sent to the printer, I asked them to check. Should be ok, crossed fingers and toes :| Thanks for the advice mucho gracias
    – Eoin
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.