A die cutting forme is essentially like a template that stamps out the shape of your cardboard packaging. In a plain analogy, a forme cutting works in a similar way to a cookie cutter: it is the plate that presses out the dough in to its correct shape!. The ‘die forme’ in reference to cardboard packaging is made on a wooden backing with a thick foam sheet covering all but the areas where the shaped blade is mounted. The blade outlines the required box shape as per the Keyline design so when the cardboard is pressed very firmly into the foam, the parts that are pressed into this blade are cut out; as mentioned before, it is very much like a cookie cutter!

Here’s a step by step process of a forme

1 – Keyline is created from from graphic designer

2 – Keyline design file is sent to our laser cutting machine. The laser machine cuts out the Forme board and marks which areas need to be cut, perforated or creased)

3 – Our forme maker adds the knives and foam to the board to complete the forme

4 – Forme is ready to be used in a die cutting machine!

By altering the depth of where the blade lies inside the foam, you can achieve more than just cutting. It may seem like a simple process but forme making for the most part is hand made , time consuming and is quite a laborious skill! We have full time forme maker on hand to create , fix and adjust formes for our customers. Just have a look at some of our handiwork below. Some customers find out that making 50 boxes may be very similar in price to 1000 boxes. The reason is that regardless if it is a large or small run, a forme must be made for both cases.


Laser machine cutting forme

-Laser machine cutting out and marking a forme

Forme board

-Metal knives and foams are manipulated to fit in to the lasered areas.

-Completed forme, ready to be used on a die cutter!