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Design Tutorials

How to Create a Digital Die Cut POP Display

Add some flair to your retail environment with a digital die cut POP display. POP, or point of purchase, is a perfect way to showcase new products, or display other important information. We all know the feeling of impulse buying when we are in the checkout lane. Need a candy bar to hold you off to dinner? Those point of purchase displays are placed at a “most convenient” location making it easy to grab one!

POP displays can be produced in many sizes and shapes, so use your imagination. The more unique, the better. Remember to use easy to read messaging and a compelling design to draw attention.

POP Display Files

It takes some planning to create a file. First, it’s important to decide on a style. Often these resemble open boxes because they hold a product. Product branding should be included, so making sure this appears in the most prominent place is best.


Certain technologies are needed when creating this type of product. Die cutting is an absolute necessity because of all the flaps and unique shapes. Folding is also required and to get a perfect fold, scoring is recommended.

File Setup Tips

Die Cutting and Crease Instructions

Digital die cutting requires some special setup. It is necessary to follow these instructions to ensure the right lines are die cut. It is crucial to the product that all of these are correct.


Here are some instructions that are easy to follow:

  • Create a new layer for the laser cutting in your design. A descriptive name like “Laser Cut” is helpful.
  • Once this layer is in place, select the lines that represent where the laser cutting will be. These lines should be a set color, so create a new color swatch. Go to Window > Color > Swatches. The Swatch Palette will appear.
  • Select “New Swatch.”
  • Change the Swatch Name to match the desired line type. For diecutting, it should be “Dieline”.
  • Use the Color Type drop-down menu to select “Spot.”
  • Make sure the color mode for this layer is “RGB” and adjust the values to match the desired line type (see Digital Laser Cutting RGB Guide). For a dieline, the values are R:0, G:255, B:255.

Does the project have a bleed? If so, be sure to include a .125″ bleed to allow for the cutting tolerance.


As you can see, the outside is the blue color, which is the normal Dieline. There is a red color that maps out where the Crease will be. This is the scoring. The scoring will help with folding of the packaging on both the sides and flaps.

This example below really illustrates the intricate folds and creases and how they should be colored to ensure correct printing:


POP displays are the perfect balance between artistic and functional. The possibilities are endless and there is a lot of creative freedom. Following the technical guidelines will ensure the project turns out exactly as planned.

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