Posted on February 21, 2019 by Michael Boik

Low-Cost Color and Branding Options

For branded packaging, balancing simplicity with consistency is often a recipe for success. Design consistency is important for brand recognition, but also in minimizing total packaging costs. Constantly changing sizes and/or designs can get expensive fast. Many brands evolve over time, and this is especially true in a company’s early stages. Establishing a brand, logo, tagline and social media presence may all be important for your business prior to purchasing printed packaging. That logo you love now may not be the same logo you’ll have six months after launching.

We often try to deter customers from jumping the gun and having to change their design months down the line to accommodate the changes their business has made to their brand. After all, print plates are often an investment of $400-600 on average for each color printed inside and outside of the box. While this is often a one-time expense for most companies, it’s important to remember that any change in the existing design copy (moving, resizing, adding or removing words, logos, URLS, etc.) will result in needing a new print plate. However, this does not mean that your branding needs to look exactly the same from run to run. Sometimes change is essential and beneficial, especially to stand out or improve on a design that is already established and successful. Thankfully, there are several low-cost options available to keep your packaging from becoming redundant or outdated.


Low Cost Color and Branding OptionsLow-Cost Color or Board Changes

As long as the design is not changing in any other way, you can change any existing color on your mailer for little to no cost at all. We see this most often when a customer is doing a one-time “themed” run for a specific sale, promotion, holiday, seasonal or other marketing event. There is typically no added cost for a color change, and we can even swap colors during the production run. For example, printing half of your order in blue and the other half in red, instead of all in one color. This is especially useful in cases where your branding is color coordinated according to each product you sell.

You also always have the option of changing board colors. While this is not as common of a change, it can be done to add variety or present a different look to your customers. Any combination of white or kraft (brown) inside and outside is possible. However, it is important to remember that white board is a little more expensive (typically 6% inside and/or outside) and also that certain inks will naturally print better on a specific board color. Your existing ink color may look great on white but not as good on kraft. Any time a board or ink change occurs, we will always provide a physical color swatch sample for you to review and approve the change.


Adding Inside Print to Enhance the Unboxing Experience

For startup ecommerce and subscription businesses who are first starting out with branded packaging, we always try to communicate that you can start simple and add to your branding over time. A one color outside print is the least expensive option for printed boxes. However, inside print can be added to any existing box with the purchase of an additional print plate. This will also mean an increased per box cost (typically about 30%) for the added production process, but the value of inside print for the customer’s “unboxing experience” is substantial in today’s social media-driven marketplace.


Please Contact Us Today

Want to know more about low cost color and branding options? 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


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