Paper Cutting practices

I’ve been looking for what people say about the best way to set up crop marks for cutting multiple prints that are all on the same sheet of paper.

Studio on fire sets up their crop marks as so (see image), spaced apart from one another, and I’ve followed this example so far. I’m wondering why not butt each piece against each other to save time and effort on cutting (and paper too)?

Is there a major reason for this? Just curious before I try and risk learning something the hard way.

image: studio_on_fire.jpg


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Freshtildeath, In the example you posted there is a bleed in the swirled print, so a space would be required between pieces, If there are no bleeds then a chop cut(common cut) is possible. Some paper stock will leave a”fuzz” on the side of the paper on the beveled side of the knife blade, on these I leave space between trim lines to allow “backtrimming”( final cuts all on the back or straight side of the blade) on all finish cuts, this eliminates most of the fuzz. I think the finished job is cleaner that way. It also cuts down on trash in the ink when printing.
Hope this helps.

yep, you definitely want to leave space in between for back cutting, otherwise your paper edges will not be clean. this is especially true with cotton and softer stocks.

Another practical reason for space between images (gutters) is to give yourself room if you have to but images with tight borders (say a 3 pt whitespace all around). If this is run as a work and turn and there is anything wrong with the register then you will either have to undercut the job or lose half of it.

Being able to face trim is another nice feature of having gutters and frankly, split cuts should be reserved for lesser jobs that don’t require the highest degree of finish, otherwise provide the additional bit of stock (usually not a problem if working from parent sheets (23 x 35, etc) or undersize the art just enough to allow a minimal trim all around.

Hey great! “chop cuts”, “gutters”, “final cuts”… Thanks so much for the info, guys.

If a take a finished print that is laid out like the one above to a local print shop, will they likely be able to cut these right on the crop lines? multiple sheets at once?

Sure, any printshop not run out of the back of a van has some sort of hydraulic or hand-powered guillotine cutter. Bigger printshops will have programmable cutters that are very easy to be extremely precise with.

Cutter tips
If you are taking your printed work out to another shop to cut here are a few pointers
Your work should be square at front lays as few shops like to offset their backgauge to trim crooked prints.
Mark the front lay and side guide.
If you have rejects that are in register send them as set ups.
Make sure all instructions are clear many shops will not let their own clients into their production areas let alone another printer(because of what other jobs are in progress,insurance or secret methods).
The best thing to have is a local shop that will work with you and trade for services.Like an offset shop that has you print their invitations for things like stock, ink etc.

different layouts are required for different jobs i.e. i run business 4 up 3.5x8.5 or 12 up 8.5x11