Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Steps to Designing & Ordering Custom-Printed Boxes

Before you start looking at custom box examples and letting your imagination run wild with the possibilities, it’s important to understand the process of designing and ordering custom-printed boxes to ship your products to customers and/or retailers in. There are a lot of options, and they differ quite a bit. Once you know what your budget and time frame allows for, then you can start designing and ordering. Here are some basic steps you will want to follow:

Choose Your Printing Option
First of all, know that you can choose from basic flexographic printing (1-3 colors printed directly on box), digital printing (full-color images printed directly on box), and litho laminating (high-resolution graphics printed on paper then applied to outside of box). The price will go up accordingly, but even with the most expensive options, you’re essentially only adding pennies to the dollar.

Litho Printed Box

If you have it in your budget, the branding opportunity may be worth the cost. Keep in mind, the whole process shouldn’t take more than a week or so.

See What Else is Out There
Once you understand your options, the associated costs and how long each of these options will take to produce, then you can start taking a look at what else is out there. Comparison shopping will help you feel good about the option you end up going with, and you will be confident that you are getting your money’s worth. At this point, when you look at various custom box examples, you will have a realistic sense of what each example would entail should you choose a similar option. You can also contact your box printer if you have any questions. They will often give you advice and help steer you in the right direction based on their understanding of your needs.

Design Your Artwork
The artwork you choose to print on your shipping boxes or product packaging may depend on the printing option that you have chosen. If you already have a fully designed logo that you want to use, then it’s just a matter of getting the size and colors right. If you are designing new artwork from scratch, make sure to contact your box printer to see what specific guidelines they have before moving forward with the project. Again, most will help you in the process, so be sure to contact them for any guidance.

Begin the Prepress Process
Once you have finalized the logo or artwork that will be printed on your custom boxes, then you will need to upload the files so the prepress technicians will be able to determine if it’s ready or if any changes or modifications will need to be made to meet your desired specifications. Then, once the final version is approved, you should receive notification of the timeframe for completion. Most projects take just 3-5 business days once the logo or artwork is approved.

With these steps in mind, you should be ready to make packaging and shipping magic happen.

Everything You Need to Know About Custom Printed Boxes

Custom printed boxes may be more expensive, as they are more complicated to produce, but when you choose to ship in a unique, high-quality box emblazoned with stunning, multi-color graphics, your customers will certainly notice the difference. If you’re still not sure whether a custom box with high-end, multi-color printing is a better choice than a plain, brown, cardboard box, there are a few things you should consider. In a nutshell, here’s everything you need to know about custom printed boxes to help you make up your mind.

Custom Printed Box

Why Companies Choose Custom Boxes w/Logos
First of all, it’s important to understand some of the reasons why retailers prefer custom packaging and box logos to the plain, brown options. Aside from the obvious, here are some of the most common reasons retailers decide to spend the extra dollars on branding a box for their products:

  • You make it easy for consumers to visually differentiate your products from your competition.
  • You can easily and efficiently display technical information on the outside of the box, which could be a determining factor in a shopper choosing your product over that of a competitor’s.
  • You can display re-order or supplemental information on the outside of box, making it easier for your buyer to know exactly what to expect from your product.
  • You make it easier for retailers to stock shelves in a consistent manner.
  • You are essentially promoting your brand image every time someone sees your box.

Custom Printing Techniques
If you go with custom printing on high-quality boxes, you have several printing techniques to choose from. Depending on your needs and goals, one of these options may be more appropriate for you:

  • Digital Printing: A cost-effective custom printing option, consisting of full color prints directly applied to a corrugated box.
  • Flexographic Printing: A more basic form of custom box printing, consisting of 1-3 colors on shipping boxes. Ideal for simple graphics, images or logos.
  • Litho Laminating: The most high-quality of custom printing options, consisting of high-resolution and photorealistic graphics applied directly to the paper which is then mounted to the box.

Considering the Costs and Time Frame
If you’re simply adding one-color printing directly to a corrugated box, it may only increase the cost by 10%, although this cost will go up incrementally for each additional color added. While a high-end box with litho-laminated printing will be the most expensive, consider the fact that it only adds pennies to the dollar. This should put the cost in perspective.

As far as time frame goes, you may be surprised to learn that it’s not uncommon for custom printing orders to be completed in less than five business days. Extremely complicated orders may take longer, but you should never have to wait weeks upon weeks for a custom printed box shipment. In-fact, the most time-consuming task might be designing the logo or artwork on your end. The rest is really quite simple.

How to Choose the Right Shipping Box Styles for Your Holiday Sales

With the holidays fast approaching, retailers new to the online market may be mystified by the multitude of different shipping box styles and all the design possibilities for their upcoming shipments to customers. If you haven’t already figured out which box styles and printing options are best for your products and your marketing and branding goals, it’s time to decide. Here is a simple guide to the basic choices in boxes and printing options so you can better choose what’s right for your wants and needs. The box is the first impression a new customer gets from you – and we all know what they say about first impressions!

Plain Cardboard Boxes
If budget is your primary concern, plain boxes with no printing are always a perfectly valid choice. The most important thing is what’s inside the box, right? So let your products shine and make sure they reach your customers safely in a plain, brown box. You can be sure to not go over-budget, which will allow you to concentrate more on your product development and the way your products are displayed online. If you’re committed to branding your box somehow, consider a high quality printed label or sticker. This is a cost-effective, easy way to add some flair to your box while still keeping the overall cost reasonable.

Boxes with One-Color Direct Printing
If you want to display a logo, holiday emblem or other simple design on the outside of your shipping boxes, this is a suitable option to get your point across beautifully without any unnecessary frills. Typically, one-color printing consists of starting with a white or brown box, and then adding text and/or images printed in a single, bold color, such as black, red, or blue.

Boxes with Two-Color Direct Printing
2 Color Printed Box

If a single color won’t do, two-color direct printing may allow you to add your logo without the added costs of high-end printing. Like the other options on this list, this type of printing is available on a wide variety of shipping box styles, and can be customized to perfectly represent your brand image in an unforgettable way.

Boxes with High-End Printing
If you are interested in a unique design such as the specialty die-cut boxes, or your packaging design and printing specifications are simply too complex for the other options, then nothing aside from boxes with high-end printing will do. Premium boxes with high-quality, visually stunning ink graphics using multiple colors and hues will leave a long and lasting impression on your customers long after the initial unpackaging experience.

As you can see, there is a wide range of options to choose from in the world of shipping boxes. A package can be much more than just a box to hold a product in – it is part of the consumer experience – so make sure to choose wisely.

4 Trends Causing the Corrugated Box Industry to Grow

Corrugated box styles and design have come a long way since 1856, when the patent was approved for the first known corrugated material, used in England as sweatband lining for men’s tall hats. Since then, corrugated materials have been through a rapid evolution. In 1871 unlined corrugated was first used to package glass and kerosene lamp chimneys, and the material was first cut and slotted to fold into boxes in 1894.

1-Color Reverse Out Print on White Die Cut Auto-Lock 071

Manufacturers began using corrugated boxes to ship multitudes of products, and throughout the 20th century, development of rubber printing plates, flexographic printing, flexo folder-glue, preprinted linerboard, anilox technology, and edge crushing brought us to the corrugated boxes we know today. Here are four of the latest trends that continue keeping the corrugated box industry moving forward.

As Lightweight As Possible
Corrugated box producers are constantly striving to reduce the weight of their products, and they continue to achieve great results. Companies that ship their products long distances often need to keep their overall packaging weight to a minimum in a concerted effort to remain within budget of their targeted operational costs. One way to achieve this is by continually developing more lightweight corrugated boxes. Today’s lightweight containerboards can handle surprising capacities and weights. The durability and strength of shipping materials ensures products are packaged and shipped safely, allowing for secure delivery of products that remain in tact throughout the shipping experience.

Boxes for the Online Shopping Craze
There is no end in sight to the popularity of online shopping. It’s unbelievably convenient, there is a virtually unlimited selection of products and comparison shopping generally makes it possible for consumers to save big money. Oftentimes, retailers can simplify the box designs for their online sales because the purchase is made long before the consumer sees the box. There is still plenty of room for innovative designs, graphics and brand recognition with the shipping boxes for online orders, though.

Environmentally-Friendly Corrugated Boxes
New developments in technology that reduce the amount of paper used in corrugated box manufacturing, combined with more innovative designs and greater recycling possibilities, have made it possible for the development of much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly corrugated boxes. Not only do “green” consumers enjoy seeing the mark of sustainability; these sustainable practices are also often more efficient and cost-effective for businesses, making it a win on both sides.

Rapid Advances in Printing
While simple and environmentally-friendly packaging is on the rise, the demand for point-of-sale displays, merchandising units and retail-ready packaging has also increased. This has spurred advances in printing that enable photorealistic images on displays and boxes, with smart marketing to go along with it. A little branding goes a long way in your brand imaging efforts. It’s well worth looking into the potential of taking advantage of the new technological capabilities for printing and packaging.

Advances are still being made to change the face of the important innovations in packing and shipping. Keep your eye out for more of the latest trends in corrugated box styles and design.