3 Custom packaging tips: Printing methods, costs and materials

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3 Custom packaging tips: Printing methods, costs and materials

So you've read about why custom packaging is important, and you definitely want your packaging to stand out from the crowd. Now it's time to explore the different options available for custom printing, and weigh the costs and benefits associated with different material and printing methods.

Here are a few things to consider:

Protip #1: You get what you pay for

Sometimes paying a little extra is worth it. If you use rigid gift or jewelry boxes for your packaging and want your logo design to pop, foil printing is a great option. This form of printing applies a metallic or pigmented foil onto a solid surface, ensuring that even the simplest fonts or patterns catch your customer’s eye. It’s professional simplicity with glam and can be affordable at low quantity orders. Because it’s a dry treatment, it’s also an environmentally friendly process, and totally recyclable.

Protip #2: Method matters

Different types of printing can involve different costs, or require different order quantities. You decide what is best for your brand. Here, we made you a chart:

Print types What it is Pros Cons
Flexographic Printing
  • The most common method
  • Known as relief printing. Think of a giant stamp transferring your design on to a solid surface
  • Ideal for plain text and 1-2 colored images
  • Economic value, and good for large volumes 
  • Not recommended for detailed graphics or texts
  • Different colors/ designs require making new die plates aka ‘stamps’. This means you can be charged per color and can pay upto 2x more.
Silkscreen Printing
  • You see this type of packaging for products next to the checkout counter (point of sale displays)
  • Squeegee printing. Think of applying paint through a mesh screen that holds your design stencil
  • High quality, good for odd-shaped packaging like tin cans and bottles
  • Better for smaller-medium volumes
  • More expensive than Flexo
Litho-lamination
  • You see this in retail packaging and displays
  • Offset printing. Think of printing your design and then mounting that onto the surface
  • Great for detailed, high resolution images
  • Gives you the most flexibility with design, detail and number of colors
  • The most expensive of the three
 Protip #3: Material matters

Different types of boards are meant for different things. Your packaging has a purpose - what is it? Are you considering packaging for a retail or display environment or will you be shipping your product to your customer?

If you're looking for retail packaging, then you want to look good while avoiding taking up too much shelf space. A great option for you would be 16pt card stock or paperboard packaging.

If you're mailing out for your online or e-commerce business, corrugated mailer boxes are a popular option, as they provide a strong, protective shell for your product. We picked the most common types and made you another chart:

(Remember, sometimes less is more. And other times, less is just less! Cater to your product. If your product needs more protective cushioning, such as glass jars, bottles, etc., then consider a double-wall corrugated board.)

Corrugated Box Flute Type 

(grades of board reinforcement)

Pros Cons

E-flute 

(Super thin)

  • Lighter packaging
  • Good for warehousing and transportation (packaged good takes up less volume)
  • Best printing quality
  • Not recommended for delicate or heavy objects that require cushioning

B-flute 

(Think of a pizza box)

  • Good printing surface, since it's more closely compacted
  • Better stacking strength
  • Superior rigidity
  • Appears thinner, so reduces cushioning properties
  • Less widely manufactured

C-flute

(Thicker than B-flute, more popularly used)

  • Ideal for packaging products that need more support
  • Good crushing resistance via more cushioning
  •  Not recommended for high graphic printing

 

Great packaging begins with selecting the right design elements, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach to take here. Pick a print style and packaging material that will do the most justice for your product and brand. It's up to you to create your own 'custom' blend, and balance quality, utility, performance and of course, cost.

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1 Response

kyle
kyle

May 30, 2017

Reading this article has taught me a lot about custom packaging. It was interesting to learn that this type of packaging can help you to stand out from the crowd. I can imagine how helpful these services can be when it comes to making a lasting impression on others. http://www.boxbiz.com.au/custom-made-boxes

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