Exercise 01.01: Contour Cutting and Die Lines


The goal of this exer­cise is to develop the proper tech­nique for cre­at­ing a con­tour cut or die cut sticker.


The objec­tive of this exer­cise is design and pre­pare a solu­tion for print­ing and cutting.

Background Reading

Health and Safety Notice

  • Do not oper­ate equip­ment with­out instruc­tor supervision
  • Safety Pro­to­cols are in affect.
  • Equip­ment Man­u­als pro­vide warnings.
  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Index


Con­tour cuts are usu­ally used on short term dig­i­tal print­ing and cut­ting on a vinyl cut­ter. Die lies are often used for paper and card­board, as well as vinyl, and oper­ate sim­i­lar to a cookie cut­ter. Set­ting up a dig­i­tal file for either is sim­ply done in a vec­tor based pro­gram by cre­at­ing a sim­ple com­plete path.

Part One

Choose a sim­ple icon, type as image, shape or illus­tra­tion to serve as the basis of the sticker. Please use the fol­low­ing guidelines:

  1. Full color, all spots will be con­verted to CMYK
  2. Mix of inter­nal and exter­nal curves or angles
  3. No geo­met­ric shapes exclu­sively (ie only cir­cle, square, etc)
  4. Text sizes should be no smaller than 10 points
  5. Avoid bla­tant copy­right violations
  6. Adhere to ORU’s Honor Code
  7. Final size, includ­ing out­side cut, must be less than 3 in x 3 in

Part Two

Using the pro­vided tem­plate, cre­ate a work­ing file. Do any cre­ative work else­where and place a final ver­sion of the art­work appro­pri­ate layer. Flat­ten as nec­es­sary and gen­er­ate an off­set path or series of paths to cre­ate the nec­es­sary out­line between 18 to 14 inch. Place the con­tour path on the appro­pri­ate layer. Out­line any fonts. Save the file replac­ing “xyz” with stu­dent initials.

Zip the par­ent folder of file, and any nec­es­sary sup­port­ing images, and sub­mit to the appro­pri­ate D2L dropbox.


  • The fol­low­ing rubric posted on D2L will deter­mine exer­cise score: Exer­cise Grading


Pathfinder tools, off­set path, layer control


print­able vinyl, large for­mat printer, vinyl cutter


As defined by cor­re­spond­ing cal­en­dar item, drop­box, dis­cus­sion or con­tent topic description.