Posted on April 12, 2023 by Michael Boik

Ink Color FAQs for Custom Flexographic DTC Mailer Boxes

If you’ve spent any time on this site or our blog on our main website, you probably know by now that there are many ways you can print a box, including digital printing, or litho label printing. For the purposes of this post, we are focusing on flexographic printing, which is by far the most cost-effective printing process, and our most common printing method. Additionally, it is also our most eco-friendly printing method, allowing us to print with sustainable, water based inks. As such, we have years of experience with ink colors and combinations and what works for the best possible results. Below are some of our most commonly asked questions about ink and the answers based on our nearly two decades of experience.


What Colors Print Well on Kraft (Brown) Board?

Typically, darker colors (Blues, Black, Dark Brown) print the best on kraft board. You almost always want to avoid light or pastel colors. We recently had a customer inquire about printing yellow on kraft and while we can technically do it, we don’t recommend it unless it is a dark yellow, and even then it likely won’t be the look you are going for. Keep in mind that ANY ink color will look different on kraft board then it will on white board. The color of the kraft board will vary from run to run, meaning the ink may also vary slightly as well from one run to the next. This is much easier to control on white board, or again, by printing with darker ink colors.

Can you Print White Ink on Kraft?

Absolutely. Many of our customers came to us for this very reason. Not only are we one of the only companies that can do it, but we probably do it better than anyone. This is because we’ve formulated our white ink over years of practice to get a nice, crisp, clean white ink that really pops on kraft. See the examples below. Of course, we also have the ability to do a more faded or toned down white as well (Commonly called white-washed), if that is what you desire.

Do you Offer any Spot Coatings/Varnishes?

The short answer is yes! We typically do varnish coatings on flood coat and heavy ink prints to ensure the ink ruboff risk is minimal. But we’ve written rather extensively on a variety of varnish and coating topics which you can read about more here.


Can you Match my Specific Color?

We will usually work with a Pantone Matching System (PMS) color number when working with inks, but if you have a custom color you need us to match, if you send us a brochure, pamphlet, or other paper-based item with your preferred color scheme we can typically generate an ink swatch for you to review and validate that is a good match.

Is it Expensive to Change Ink Colors?

If you are keeping with the same design, but simply want to change the ink color from one run to the next, you would likely not have any added cost to do so. If you want to change the ink color in the middle of a production run (Have half of your boxes be pink, and the other half be blue, for example) then this would require an ink change fee, as the equipment must be washed out thoroughly in order to change out the ink.

Ink is one of our most-commonly covered topics. As such, we encourage you to visit any of the below links to read more, or reach out to us via the contact links below to begin a one on one discussion with one of our packaging advisors today!



Please Contact Us Today

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 options? Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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