Behind the scenes of a box:
from creasing to perforation,
from half-cut to v-cut

Published in Specialist Printing World Wide | Issue 1 2024

In this article published in Specialist Printing, our Sales Manager Matteo Muto explores the box-making process, highlighting the importance of techniques such as perforation, creasing, and special cuts (v-cut and half-cut) to create packaging that not only protects but enhances the contained product. He describes how different materials and cutting methods contribute to creating luxury or promotional packaging, emphasizing innovation and customization in the packaging industry for various sectors, from cosmetics to food


Matteo Muto
Sales & Marketing Manager at Valiani

Just like for a nice shop with windows that instantly showcase their best items, some products also require packaging that must be conceived to immediately show the quality of the object contained. It is no wonder that appearance really matters and that to make a product special you have to start with its package. All packaging must be an invitation to discover the object it contains.

But have you ever lingered upon the way a packaging box is made? Well, of course the cutting and the printing phase (if any) are evident, but there is much more beyond these two techniques. You may wonder how to fold a box and from this assumption you may figure out how this folding is made. What is most common among the packaging experts is the creasing way. Creasing and folding cardboard boxes is an opportunity to boost your business creating custom packaging. This method is generally applied on folding carton and corrugated board and makes use of some specific wheels which vary in the size of the diameter and comes to the aid to handle different board thicknesses.


Packages are generally made of cardboard. The family of cardboards is incredibly wide. Folding carton is highly appreciated in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical field. This material is generally printed digital or offset before being cut. Corrugated cardboard is very common in the food and beverage industry. Then other times, designers resort to grey chipboard to make up their luxury boxes. These boxes are in fact characterized by a particular 45° bevel cut which can be made only by adopting a cutting machine. These boxes are then wrapped and coated with light paper before being commercialized.

Creasing solutions help you create paper displays, packaging, and cardstocks ideal for promotional purposes. Along with creasing option, packaging companies count on perforating solutions to create custom made coupons, tear sheets, and other marketing or product packaging purposes.


If apparently most of the companies are familiar with the creasing and perforation techniques, they might not be that familiar with more sophisticated solutions such as the v-cut and the half-cut. It is fascinating to hear of the innovations and techniques and out-of-the-box thinking used to maximise the appeal of a box and make the business more profitable.

First of all, the media are different. You cannot fold a rigid board with the standard creasing wheels as you would never make it. You therefore need a blade, but not a standard one, a blade allowing to make the box fold on all its sides. The process of V-Grooving cuts away a V-shaped piece of material where the hinge would be, allowing the board to fold at 45 degrees. This cut makes use of a more sharpened blade tip. This gives a clean and sharp look to all of our turned-edge binders as well as seamless edges on all of our boxes and their hinged lids. The V-cut box is made by digging a groove (V-cut) in the core material and bending it, so that the side angles are precisely right-angled. These boxes are used for gift items and brand-name products. Lidded and clamshell boxes, neck-box types, book type with magnetic fastener. 

What all these packs have in common is the raw material, which is a rigid board, ranging from to 2 to 3 mm, which is the combination of a v-cut or half-cut when it comes to the folding, and straight cut-through when it comes to cutting the edges.


Half-cut is opposed to cut-through in the experts’ collective imagination. Instead of passing through the material completely, bypassing the paper/cardboard backing, the half-cut option makes the blade not penetrate the material totally, but it stops some centimetres before. For a cut shape to be removed cleanly, portions to be left not cut out are also cut on the surface by an extremely light pressure. At a pre-set cutting depth, the blade will not cut through the substrate, thus giving a more sophisticated effect on the wings of the box. It is like the blade does not penetrate the entire stack of material, but rather cuts through a precise number of layers, just punctures the surface layer.

Luxury packing

When such methods are applied, we define the packaging as a Premium Box that instinctively gives you a sense of “luxury” the moment you hold it in your hand. The concept of luxury packaging is not limited to important elements such as impeccable execution, the high quality of selected materials and the refined design. It embraces a broader idea of exclusivity: the creation of objects that arouse emotions and stimulate the desire to be preserved over time and put on display, regardless of their practical function.

CAD Solutions

In support of these applications, packaging companies often match these “hardware” jobs with a CAD solution to put into practice what is designed. Packaging software are suitable for graphic designers who want to create dazzling 3D designs of boxes and displays but have no prior experience with CAD software. They can choose among thousands of resizable standards and apply graphics over the 3D structure directly in Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. The software provides an animation of the cutting process, tracing the tool path. This is important as a final verification step before cutting.

It comes not as a surprise that today the marginality is higher on very small runs rather than on long production. Small runs of different batches are highly appreciated and bring profit because of two aspects: timing and, above all, customization. Customization simply means personalizing your ideas and giving shape to it together with the customer, just by following his requirements. In this framework, half-cut and v-cut simply make the difference to create several jobs, each of one is totally different from the other, thus respecting the “personalization” creed.

Thanks to a continuous search for innovation, printing shops has been specializing in the production of packaging aimed at various market sectors. Publishing, with caskets and bookcases; beauty, with fine packaging or counter displays for cosmetics and perfumes; the pharmaceutical sector with specific cases for medicines; food, wine; spirits, with boxes, tubes or caskets for wines, spirits or for the home food sector with glass packaging; fashion with binders for collections or gift boxes for clothing accessories or jewellery.

The graphic design, the high-quality printing, the features of the creasing, the way you fold it, the use of special ad hoc processing of the box are fundamental aspects to which every box-making company should dedicate great care and attention to make your product even more appealing.

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