Areal perforation

Also Fractal Card ®

This special die-cutting-perforation method is exclusively offered by König Konzept and is called Fractal Card. It’s a new way of transparency. This method causes a full areal perforation in terms of an areal raster, which can only be made by an especially developed precision machine.

Technical background

The perforation is formed by cutting dies and their hollow counter pieces which are set in rows, they usually have a round section with a diameter of about 1,0…2,5 mm. The individual tools are not selectable, so you have to remove the tools at the punch-free areas.  

The tools enable punches free of burrs on paper, paperboard, cardboard, leather, plastic and wooden veneer. It’s possible to perforate sheets and reels (max. 100cm width).  

The material is wielded beneath the cutting die and the waste is getting sucked off. The tools are set in one to 4 rows, but you can only die-cut multiple layers if the cuttings dies are set in one row. Depending on tools and material it’s possible to perforate 80…1000 g/m². Thicker material causes a decrease in lifetime and requires a more and more frequently resharpening.  

Due to machine construction it’s not possible to have perfectly parallel puncture lines in relation to the sheet edges.


Special effects can be created by highlighting perforated areas with contrasty or reflective materials or a second perforated sheet to cause a holographic effect. Areal perforated sheets persuade via ease, technical friskiness and the effect of light and shadows. In combination with printing it’s recommended to use the same motive on the following sheet of the perforated one. But avoid small fonts.

Application possibilities

All-over perforated sheets are especially used for brochure covers, portfolios, displays and packaging. The unusual effect gains attention and no further printing or other finishing is needed. It also changes the feeling of the surface. In general it is recommended to first print and then perforate the sheets. Hot foil stamping is also possible, the foil will neatly tear away in the holes.


Areal perforation requires to pay attention to the special technique already during the creative process. Especially isolated un-perforated areas are not possible. There is no congruence in a fully perforated stack of sheets between the single sheets. A subsequently automatic processing can be impossible or very hard to do, if you work with vacuum for transport or separation. For subsequently die-cutting it’s recommended to work with a platen. If you perforate during the offset printing process and it’s a small edition, you should consider to uses spoilage for every second sheet to clean the offset blanket. In general it’s better to print first and perforate afterwards.


The tool expenses are extremely high for new punching plates and only useful for high editions. With already existing punching plates costs consist of the perforation price per sheet and the adaption of the machine. Spoilage is very slim. Relevant for calculation is the amount of time the machine is used. Since working width is 100cm it’s recommended to use 100cm wide sheets, because smaller sheets also require the same amount of working time. The perforated surface has already a very strong effect, so there is no need for extra printing or expensive finishes, also cheap materials are enhanced by perforation.

Sources and additional literature

[1] Hille, Frauke Helene: Veredlungsmöglichkeiten und

Spezialeffekte für Bücher und Broschuren; Diplomarbeit, Hochschule für Technik,

Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig (FH), Fachbereich Medien, Studiengang

Verlagsherstellung, 2008

[2] Webseite König Konzept