Posted on April 9, 2014 by Michael Boik

To Kemi or Not to Kemi – Making your custom printed shipping box graphics stand out!

Escape Monthly.comWe are constantly looking for new ways to help our customers create some of the most attractive shipping boxes being sent. These include how to maximize color as well as layout effectiveness. One of the ways we can help accomplish this is with the use of Kemi white or “white top” boards.

Escape Monthly – always looking to improve!

The team that owns and operates this unique subscription box program is one of our favorites because they never sit still or rest on their laurels. Not only do they offer one of the coolest subscription programs available, (they give away free trips) they also understand the importance and role packaging plays in creating a memorable, positive customer experience.

Most customers would have been quite satisfied by creating one of the best looking boxes but they wanted more “pop”. How can we make this great design and color stand out even more?  The answer was to provide a better printing surface which is what Kemi board does.

Please see the photo below of the before and after Kemi boxes. While it may be difficult to see on your computer screen, the Kemi box on the right is brighter and sharper.

standard on left, Kemi on rightHow to improve flexographic printing

Flexographic direct printing is wonderful because it helps to create great graphics on relatively low quantities, at minimal cost. However, it does have its limitations. Since we are printing with eco-friendly, water based inks directly onto porous corrugated board, the results can vary a great deal. As you can imagine, corrugated board porosity is different on a hot, humid day in July, compared to that on a subzero day in January, so the resulting graphics are likely to vary, sometimes dramatically. Inks will also have a tendency to dry into a flat (dull) finish when printed directly on corrugated board.

The solution is to make that board porosity as consistent as possible, which is what we accomplish by using white top or Kemi board. It has always been widely used on POP (point of purchase) displays and other retail/consumer applications. A better printing surface will always result in better, sharper colors. In addition, it creates a more attractive low luster or satin finish that resists stains and smudging better than standard direct flexographic printing.

Is Kemi Board for everyone?

As you can expect, Kemi board does add some cost and there are sheet size limitations and minimums that come into play, so no, Kemi is not for every customer or application. However, if you are reverse printing on white, or on certain flood coat colors, there is nothing like it. It is as close to a litho label finish as you can get without the incredibly high cost. Consider this a great alternative that helps fill the huge void between standard direct print and expensive litho labels.

Please contact Salazar Packaging contact for a free review of your application and requirements. We have a wide variety of packaging solutions and ideas to help you get your branding message across and Kemi board is just one of them.

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