Custom Printed Boxes

Custom Printed Boxes

Custom Printed Boxes

Custom Printed Boxes add appeal to any packaging project. Without a basic understanding of box making practices and methods most buyers assume that printing graphics or a logo on a box is a simple procedure. We can send a man to the moon so what is so hard about getting 50 or so boxes in a specific size with our logo and graphic printed on it. Don’t misunderstand every box maker wants to service their customer and give the customer exactly what they want. However for box manufacturers there are fixed governing principles that cannot be compromised if box facilities are going to have success within their organizations.

First lets look at purchasing printed packaging from the perspective of the end user. Most end users assume that printing on packaging is as easy as 1, 2, 3…not so! In the USA the corrugated box and paperboard folding carton industry is a niche industry. Box making production plants across North America are organized and setup with different processes, machinery and core competencies. Each facility has evolved over time to focus and determine what their particular niche and demographic demands are. For example, one plant may be very good at only printing boxes in large runs, where another plant only has capacity to service small batches and specific size boxes and packages. Of course economies of scale play a big part in the corrugated and folding carton industries. With 480 minutes in a working shift a box making plant has to run lean and efficient and make use of every minute of the day to keep their doors open. The pricing of a printed box is in large determined by the number of boxes ordered by the end user or buyer. Change over, setup and transition from one project to the next takes time and labor. Most facilities that run custom printed boxes have minimums in order to meet their overhead and nut. If a buyer only needs 100 printed boxes the likelihood of getting best in class pricing is not very good. Why? Because the labor and the opportunity loss is greater for a small run batch.  The box facilities goal is to keep the machinery running at capacity throughout the shift and maintaining focus on their competencies. Because the economies of the box plant are determined by the cost of each package you can see how just ordering a few hundred boxes will carry a much higher price tag than an order of a few thousand boxes.

Information required to receive an accurate quote for Custom Printed Boxes

For a buyer or end user to receive an accurate quotation for the cost of a printed box their are many factors that need to be determined. Gathering the following information will expedite and speed up the quoting process!

  • Initial order quantity and the number of boxes and packages required. Quotations for printed boxes usually will be prepared showing minimum quantities and 3 or 4 price breaks for larger quantities.
  • Inside dimensions of the box. Ninety percent of all packages and containers are quoted with inside dimensions. Usually as, Length x Width x Depth. Height and Depth are the synonymous or the same.
  • Box Type. Corrugated Boxes are made to protect products and commodities during the shipping process and storage. Paperboard Boxes or Folding Cartons are for smaller retail products and perhaps smaller products that require a detailed explanation of use. Customer determines if the boxes will be corrugated boxes or paperboard (folding cartons) boxes.
  • Box Style is determined by how the box closes and assembles. RSC is the common style for a standard shipping box that has 4 flaps on the top of the box and the bottom of the box. Whereas an RETT box which rolls on the ends and tucks in the top is a die-cut box that folds together without tape or glue. More guidance can be given at time of order to help the customer understand the style of box that will best suit their purpose.
  • The grade and weight of material is mostly determined by how heavy the product and contents going into the container. Guidance and direction on what weight of liner and medium used will be best for each application. Edge Crush Test or Burst Test liners cater to different handling methods. Usually if the container is being shipped as a single parcel a burst strength box would be recommended over an edge crush strength material grade. Will the container and box be kraft or white material.
  • If the package or box requires printed graphics an artfile in PDF, EPS or Adobe Illustrator will be required. This artwork is laid out in a die-line for the buyer to see how the graphics will look on the container. A few things that need to be considered are: How many total colors? Will the colors be PMS or CMYK? Is the print a direct print or will the box be fully labeled with a litho laminated print. How many panels and sides of the container will be printed. Also the print area and size of the print on each quadrant of the box.
  • Last but not least is the buyer or end users ship to address? What address is the final destination of the packaging. Because each box plant has different core competencies the goal is to run the boxes as close to the final destination as possible.


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