How To Prepare Your Art Files For A Specific Cut
Preparing your art files that contains a specific shape (anything other than a square or rectangle) is important to the Pre-Press part of production.
Below are the step by step instructions on how to first Add your Cut Line and then how to Add your Bleed.  

Part 1: Adding the Cut Line (Adobe Illustrator)

1. Create your Die Line and set the Stroke to 2pt thickness with NO Fill Color.
2. Change the Color to either Red, Pink or Green (any bright, visible color that is not the same as the color of your artwork will do)
3. Select the Stroke color in your ‘Swatch’ library and then click on ‘New Swatch’ (See ‘image A & B’)
4. Change the ‘Swatch Name’ to CUT (See ‘image C’)
5. Change the ‘Color Type’ to SPOT COLOR (See ‘image C’)
6. Make sure the ‘Color Mode’ is set to CMYK and Press OK (See ‘image C’)

Part 2: Adding the Bleed

1. Start with Part 1 artwork that contains your cut line.
2. Duplicate the background. This will work if your background artwork is a solid color like the example shown.
3. Add a stroke to the duplicated background layer. Example stroke is shown in blue to better see the thickness of stroke.
4. Select that piece and go to Object > Expand. Make sure your settings are set on ‘Stroke’ and Press OK.
5. Once the stroke has been expanded go to Pathfinder > Unite. Once this unites the expanded parts, make sure the final piece color is your background color
6. Align the duplicated background piece with the original cut piece and Send to Back.