Posted on June 1, 2023 by Michael Boik

Four Reasons to Upgrade From Unprinted to Printed DTC Packaging

We make it easy to transition from plain to printed packaging. When Osmia Skincare contacted us a few months ago, inquiring about the process, estimated costs and timeline for a possible upgrade to custom printed boxes, we were very excited. They have been a loyal and consistent customer, ordering several sizes of unprinted mailers and RSCs over the years. Below are just a few of the reasons now may be a great time to take the leap into custom printed packaging if you are currently using unprinted boxes, and are thinking of making a change.


Custom Printed Boxes are Still Sustainable and Green

The vast majority of our custom mailers are printed flexographically. This means eco-friendly, water-based inks that make the boxes fully recyclable by you or your customer/end-user. Also, regardless of board color (white or kraft) your printed box will be made from an average of 30-70% recycled content. This is typically the sweet spot in the industry, as using 100% recycled content board will often be inconsistent in appearance, and compromise the ink absorption, making the print less than desirable in terms of quality/color/density. The added benefit of custom printing means communicating to your customers that the box is recyclable. For unprinted boxes, while it may be obvious to you, it may not always be obvious to the end user to recycle the box without a friendly reminder or prompt to do so.


Minimal Added Cost Per Unit

While it is true that unprinted mailers are overall less cost than printed, on a PER UNIT cost, it is a marginal difference, because the production process is essentially the same. From a manufacturing standpoint, we still have to order board, cut the board, and when ink is added, it is done so on the same machine, meaning the only price difference is the cost of the ink and a bit more setup time.

The largest added cost to consider are print plate costs, which on average run about $600-800 per color inside and outside, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are onetime expenses, provided your artwork and/or sizes do not change.


Provide Your Customers With a Memorable Unboxing Experience

We’ve long talked about the importance of the moment when your customers open your packaging and how presentation can do wonders for your brand and products. Printed packaging opens up a dialogue between you and your customer, as you invite them to visit your website with a QR code or URL, ask them to share their feedback or experiences on social media, and truly create a community where people are talking about your packaging AND your products. The unboxing moment is the first experience and first impression your customer will have of you and your products. Make sure it’s memorable!


The Process is Easy, Quick and Seamless

One of the first questions we are asked is, “what will adding print do to the lead times?” This is natural, of course, because it seems natural that a custom box would take more time than an unprinted box. However, every box we sell is technically a custom item. This means that we have to order and cut board. The largest factor in determining lead time from a production standpoint is always how long it takes for board to arrive. So again, this factor remains unchanged whether we are cutting and printing that board, or just cutting it and shipping it unprinted. Print Plate creation and the ink/proof approval process may add a few days, or a week at most to the process. So a 2 week lead time may become 3 weeks on a first-time custom printed box order. But on subsequent reorders, the extra week is no longer needed.

We’ve done this hundreds of times, for over a decade, so we’ve made the proof approval process quite easy and painless, as we are well aware of any potential delays or concerns before they arise, such as machine availability, the lead times of specific board types or grades (double-sided white E Flute board may have longer lead times, for example) and we always try to plan ahead. Trust us! You’re in good hands.

If you want to know more about printed DTC packaging options and pricing, please reach out to us via the contact us links below. If you want to know more about Osmia Skincare and their products, please visit their website here.


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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