Posted on June 5, 2019 by Michael Boik

Exterior Print Subscription Boxes

We’ve covered a lot of ground on the subject of inside printing over the years, explaining to customers the many benefits of inside print and the all-important “Unboxing Experience” it provides to the end-user/consumer. But we’ve noticed an increasing amount of people who want to know pricing on inside print only, neglecting any exterior print. This is a somewhat newer trend among businesses. The reasons typically include:

  • Avoiding added cost
  • Prevention of drawing unwanted attention to their brand/packaging
  • Increasing the Effectiveness of Inside Print
  • Allowing space for the shipping label

While there is certainly some aspect of truth to each of these points, I think there may be a lot of confusion and misinformation as well.

How Does Outside Print Affect Cost?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that printing inside only will save you a small fortune. A lot of the confusion is likely caused by the understanding that adding inside print increases a per box price by about 20-30%. It’s natural to assume that printing inside only will save you that same percentage—after all, you are only printing one side—but this is a lack of understanding about how boxes are printed.

The board will always run right-side up during the die-cutting process, which means that there really is very little added time or cost on our end to print the outside of the box. Typically the difference between inside only print and printing both outside and inside is pennies on a per box cost. The only other added expense is a one-time print plate cost, which averages $400-600, but will vary depending on your artwork.


Where Will I Put My Shipping Label?

The short answer: anywhere you like. Typically, if the box is larger, there is enough space for both a design and shipping label to share on the outside. Many companies will even include a label locator mark, or a “target” space for the shipping label to go in their design. On smaller boxes, the label can be applied across multiple sides of the box (see photo right), but there will likely still be enough room for a logo or your company name/URL on another side.


Will My Logo/Brand Draw Unwanted Attention?

Our President, Dennis Salazar, has a saying as it applies to the branding on the exterior of boxes: “You never know who’s looking.” While there is certainly something to be said for anonymity when it comes to expensive brands and products that you don’t want to draw attention to while a package is sitting on someone’s front door stoop, you also don’t want to miss the opportunity for your logo/brand/URL/social media tags to be seen by your next major customer or promotional resource. Printing the outside of the box does not have to include flashy images or pictures of the jewelry, handbag or expensive clothing you are shipping, but well-placed, subtle branding is smart and effective in ensuring you are getting the most out of your custom packaging, and sending the right message to the right people . . . whoever may be looking.


Does Outside Print Take Away From the “Unboxing Experience?”

Don’t misunderstand this post as being anti-inside print. We strongly suggest the bulk of your design be catered to the interior of the box. But adding a simple logo or tagline on the outside as a one color print on kraft will do wonders to compliment a beautiful 1 or 2 color design on white inside.

We’ve sold millions of boxes to thousands of customers, and we know a thing or two about what makes a message pop on packaging. We will never make the decisions for you, but we certainly will share our advice to guide you in the process to delivering the best of your branding.



Please Contact Us Today

Want to know more about custom boxes with exterior print? We’re happy to walk you through an initial consultation and find a custom packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging? Please call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


Related Posts: