This is one of the first questions we ask any new inquiry about custom printed packaging and potential customer because that answer helps us determine everything from print plate cost to of course, container price. Occasionally a caller will question the need for all of our questions but as I remind people, you are no longer buying “off the rack”, and ordering a box that is already made and sitting in someone’s inventory. Since we print corrugated board, BEFORE it is converted to boxes, we can essentially make your box to your exact specifications. That gives you complete control and flexibility. There are many variations, but here are a few of the most popular options.
Custom Printed Packaging Container Types
- RSC shipping boxes – the typical shipping container that has four flaps on top and four flaps on the bottom requiring a tape closure at top and bottom.
Advantages – the lowest cost per box option and requires no tooling or cutting die. Print plates for this type of box are usually less expensive compared to other container options.
Disadvantages – this style tends to look rather industrial and does not create the presentation or image that is often desired by some customers.
- FOL (Full Over Lap) Boxes – unlike the above RSC style boxes where the top and bottom flaps meet in the middle of the box, on a FOL box the flaps completely overlap each other.
Advantages – the overlapping flaps make the box much stronger because it essentially creates a double wall on two ends. Depending on the dimensions of the box, it can also be less expensive because the multiple large over lapping (RSC) flaps are eliminated. Typically it uses less corrugated board.
Disadvantages – Even though you have the option of an end load (opens at short ends of the box) or side load (opens at the long ends of the box) it can be difficult to load some types of products. For example, it is great for KD furniture, back packs and purses but not ideal for soft goods and clothing.
- Die Cut Mailers – This lid or top is hinged at the back, enabling the box to open like a cigar box, delivering more of the presentation look most e-commerce and subscription programs want. They are available in several different designs, with a variety of features.
Advantages – Aside from appearance, this style of box is easier to open, reducing the risk of customer damage of the product. The inside lid panel provides a great billboard for custom printing your logo, message or simply a thank you. There are also many variations and designs for die cut mailers so you can get the exact style and size you want and need.
Disadvantages – Unless you can use a size that we already have a cutting die for (and we have many) you may have to make a one time investment in a cutting die, but then the box can be exactly as you want it. No off the rack for you. Print plates for a die cut mailer may be slightly more expensive compared to an RSC style box, but inside print is an option that is usually not practical for an RSC box.
- Mailer envelopes – There are times when the best box for a product is not a box at all. We will usually recommend a paper or plastic mailer envelope for items that do not require the protection provided by a corrugated box. Typical applications are soft goods ranging from high fashion clothing to tee shirts.
Advantages – lower cost and less waste disposal for your customers. Most mailer envelopes also have the convenient peel and seal adhesive strip, saving time and eliminating the need for tape closures. They also take up less space to ship and store and usually result in lower shipping weights. Unpadded paper mailers also can be custom printed in a low, one case minimum and print plates are also comparatively very low in cost.
Disadvantages – Product can arrive a little crumpled and wrinkled so it may not create the upscale image you are attempting to create.
This may all sound overwhelming and confusing but it really is not. We help customers every day determine the best packaging solution for their very specific needs, and we have the variety of products as well as the expertise to help you accomplish your custom printed packaging goals at the lowest possible price. Please contact us at Salazar Packaging for a no cost, no obligation, and confidential review of your needs.