I'm designing some signage that will be printed and cut with a CNC machine. What would be the best color swatch to use for the lines that should be cut?

2 Answers 2


The industry standard for die-cut lines on laser cutting machines are as follows:

  • Red stroke: RGB (255,0,0)
  • Stroke weight: to 0.01mm / 0.25 pt

That being said, it's always a good idea to double check with the company you're planning on sending the vector files to just to make sure they use the same standards.


File Setup GUIDELINES: CUT LINES - (red)

Drawing Resources: Adobe Illustrator CS® - Laser cutting lines

How to set a dieline (Keyline, die-cut) to spot colour?: FOLD/SCORE LINES

  • Thanks, does the same generally apply when its a mechanical knife/saw?
    – papirtiger
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 15:49
  • 1
    It's possible depending on the software the cutter is using. You're best bet would be to contact the company just to be 100% certain. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 15:55

This may be an outdated method considering almost all production facilities have the programs to access and export the final art files as they like, but I was taught to:

  1. create a spot color named "die-line"
  2. export as postscript "seperation host-based" (include spot color "die-line")
  3. export as postscript "composite"
  4. convert to PDF using acrobat distiller
  5. send to production

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