Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging

Industry News and Perspectives

17 Mar 2017 Salazar Packaging Named Best by Fit Small Business.com

Fit Small Business.com Names Salazar Packaging as “Best Custom Box Solution for High Volume & Multi-box Shippers”

Salazar Packaging, best packaging, best e-commerce packagingThis business resource just published an article titled: Where to Buy Custom Boxes – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide. We were very pleased to have been named the best in our class which is essentially custom packaging for subscription and e-commerce.

Please take a moment to read their very informative comparison and if you are looking for a new packaging supplier, I might also suggest the first post listed below in the “related posts” section. We believe we compare very well to the many companies who now choose to dabble in e-commerce packaging while we have been one of the original innovators in that market helping hundreds of large and small companies create a great unboxing experience for their e-commerce customers.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us at 630-551-1700 or email us at Salazar Packaging. One of our “branded packaging advisors” will be glad to help you so you can see why and how we make “packaging that communicates”.

Related posts:  

http://salazarpackaging.com/select-packaging-supplier-e-commerce-subscription-box-application/

http://salazarpackaging.com/sustainability-e-commerce-packaging/

http://salazarpackaging.com/balancing-protection-presentation-e-commerce-subscription-boxes/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/salazar-packaging-globe-guard-products-moved/

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07 Mar 2017 Are Brown Boxes More Eco-friendly Than White Boxes?

kraft box, white box, eco-friendly, Are Brown Boxes More Eco-friendly Than White Boxes?

That is most definitely a FAQ from our green minded customers and the answer is definitely yes, probably, in most cases. If that answer seems vague or non-committal, it is by design. The fact is there are many different ways to look at any packaging product’s greenness, and even more ways we can impact the natural sustainable features of packaging by what we do to it. Allow me to explain.

Green Packaging has always been a matter of perspective

Some people look at packaging strictly from a source perspective. What percentage of it is made of recycled content and what is that source. Post-consumer waste is rated much higher (greener) than post production waste, and that is better than virgin material.

Others are more concerned about packaging in terms of how easily it can be reused or if necessary, how it can be disposed of and/or recycled. As most people know, paper based packaging is typically much easier to recycle compared to plastic based packaging but it varies depending on a number of factors including type, and how it is printed or laminated.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

Making the box look sharp does not always mean making it more expensive or complicated. We apply the KISS principle as much as possible because we know that over designing a shipping box adds cost and in most cases makes it less eco-friendly. Adding costly finishes to any box almost always has a negative impact on how it can be recycled and re-pulped so we prefer to increase the proverbial “WOW factor” by using screens, well printed colors, and last but not least – good substrates. No one can create a great looking print on cheap or substandard board, but it does not have to be expensive; just consistent.

Why we usually suggest brown board for a box exterior

MOST board with a white side in or out, is NOT 100% recycled content. White is typically virgin paper, that does not make it bad, in fact it makes for a great printing surface, but it is definitely not green if the goal is to use as much recycled content as possible.

In addition to the obvious green benefit, brown board is typically 5 to 6% less expensive compared to white board. Darker colors, such as dark blue, brown, and black print beautifully over natural Kraft Board, as do lighter colors like white and most pastels. However, the main reason we usually suggest brown board has nothing to do with relative greenness or material cost.

Simply put – brown boxes arrive looking better. Whether you ship UPS, FedEx or USPS, every box you ship is handled countless times and each time it ends up a little dirtier and beat up. This rough handling is much less obvious on brown board than it is on white board.

eco-friendly shipping box, custom printed boxHowever, the box interior usually arrives in perfect condition!

This is why we have become a leading designer of e-commerce boxes with interior prints. People can’t wait to open a box that just arrived, and we make sure they are greeted with a great looking box that creates the enhanced experience which is the goal of most shippers. That interior inside lid of a die cut mailer is a great printing surface for anything from a brief thank you to product use or assembly instructions, and can be inexpensively printed where they are not going to be missed or lost.

We believe this is such a great marketing tool that we have made it easy for companies to add or change an interior print, long after the box is first launched or printed. (see first related post below) It is never too late to make a great and memorable impression.

custom printed boxes, flood coatWhite exteriors for flood coat designs

If a graphic design is going to require edge to edge (flood coat) printing, we will usually recommend that printing is done on a white surface rather than brown. Natural (brown) Kraft varies in color so anything printed over it may also reflect that same shade variance. So the easy way to achieve beautiful solid color is to print it over white board.

That also makes reverse printing much easier, creating white copy that really pops. If you check out some of the boxes in our gallery, they look like they are printed white ink over a solid color but the reality is that they are a solid color ink printed over white board. The end result creates a much sharper two color look using only one color ink and one print plate.

If all this sounds complicated, it is, but not for people who do this day in and day out. We know how to create the best looking package at the lowest possible cost and will help you accomplish whatever your goals might be whether they are about color, cost, sustainability or even weight reduction for minimizing shipping costs.

Contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 to discuss your specific needs.

Related posts:

http://salazarpackaging.com/adding-inside-print-to-an-existing-subscription-or-e-commerce-box/

http://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/

http://salazarpackaging.com/balancing-protection-presentation-e-commerce-subscription-boxes/

http://salazarpackaging.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-custom-printing-boxes-on-white-corrugated-board/

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28 Feb 2017 Sustainability and E-commerce Packaging

e-commerce, sustainable packaging, Salazar Packaging, Sustainability and E-commerce Packaging

The impact e-commerce is having on the environment is a very hot topic and it should be as we all witness the shift from big box/ brick and mortar retail to internet shopping. Highly respected Packaging Digest and Environmental Leader both recently wrote about an excellent white paper published last month by Bob Lilienfeld of Ameripen and Kyla Fisher, founder of Three Peaks Sustainability. (Link below)

http://ameripen.org.s192845.gridserver.com/wp-content/uploads/White-Paper-Optimizing-Packaging-for-an-E-Commerce-World-FINAL-1-18-17.pdf

Whether you are new to e-commerce and just getting started or even if you have been at it for years, it is a white paper definitely worth reading.

After helping to create and launch hundreds of successful e-commerce boxes we offer the following suggestions from a practical rather than technical perspective:

With growth comes responsibility

We have had the pleasure of watching some of our clients grow from shippers of a few hundred orders per month to tens of thousands. It stands to reason that the more product you ship, the more packaging you use that ultimately ends up in the waste stream. For that reason, we will always suggest to do it right the first time or as early as possible in the design process.

Understandably, brand owners are usually very focused on how their e-commerce packaging is going to look. Concerns often include graphics, colors, textures, sheen, etc. What we usually suggest is backing up to less exciting, but we believe to be equally important packaging purpose/function and structural design.

1.Understand the application

It may seem hard to believe but many of the people who decide they want a custom shipping container really don’t have a firm grip on what they are trying to accomplish or a complete understanding of the packaging requirements. For example, is it designed to be returnable? Also, how fragile the product being shipped is and/or how much it weighs can be critical. Balancing protection and presentation can be a huge challenge, especially if sustainability is important to you and your brand and you want to avoid redundant or over packaging.

2. Know the materials being used

All corrugated and packaging papers are not created equally and can vary greatly in terms of recycled content. Also important is disposal and how easily the material being used can be reused or recycled.

Keep in mind that the material should help you satisfy your sustainability objectives as well as the application requirements, and may also be impacted by the graphic design you have in mind. For example, coatings and laminates may add gloss to a print job but have an adverse effect on the recyclability of the material being used. Conversely, if a great finish is desired, the board specs can play a major role in the final appearance.

3. Seek expert advice

Avoid self-diagnosis of your packaging needs and do not hesitate to ask for the assistance of companies who do this day in and day out. Keep an open mind because your design partner may have something to offer that is better and less expensive than what you originally envisoned.

The person who created your logo for your web site might be an incredibly talented graphic designer but in most cases they lack packaging and structural design experience. Graphic designers rightly are focused on how packaging is going to look. A good structural designer is also focused on how it will ship, how it will store, how it will be assembled, how long it will take to pack and seal, shipping weight, and even the prepress cost such as required cutting dies.

Remember that the easiest and most effective way to reduce your costs and make your packaging as sustainable as possible is to simply use less of it. A good structural designer can prove invaluable in that effort.

To discuss the branding or rebranding of your subscription box or e-commerce packaging, please contact Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a no cost, no obligation review of your project.

Related posts:

http://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/

http://salazarpackaging.com/design-options-e-commerce-subscription-boxes/

http://salazarpackaging.com/e-commerce-boxes-that-sparkle-and-shine/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/custom-printed-die-cut-corrugated-mailer-boxes-in-five-easy-steps/

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15 Feb 2017 ALL Unpadded Stock Paper Mailer Envelopes on Sale PLUS Free Plates for Custom Prints!

Stock Unpadded Paper Mailer EnvelopesOne of our customers’ favorite alternatives to a shipping box is our unpadded, paper mailer envelopes.   This product has proven to be a winner, especially when shipping clothing and apparel.  A few of the reasons these have worked so well are:

  • They are relatively low cost
  • Custom printing is easy, with a low one-case minimum
  • They are easily stored and take up very little space
  • They can reduce outbound shipping costs compared to mailer and RSC boxes
  • They are available white or brown (kraft)
  • Wide selection of sizes including flat and gusseted
  • They are considered a green packaging product with 50% recycled content and they are also 100% recyclable with any paper waste

Stock Mailer Unprinted Envelopes on Sale through April 30, 2017

Every size, white or Kraft, UNPRINTED gusseted or flat, is on sale through the end of April with a savings of at least 10% on every SKU. You can see the complete selection on our Globe Guard Products green packaging store web site.


Free print plates for five or more cases until 4-30-2017Custom Printing Also Discounted and FREE PRINT PLATES!

We have already mentioned the low one case minimum for custom printing, but another first time hurdle can be the cost of print plates. They are typically priced low (compared to plates for boxes) and are a onetime expense, but that initial cost can add up, especially if you need more than one size mailer. Until April 30th, all print plates are free for orders for five or more cases, PER SIZE.

Most print plates cost between $75 and $125 dollars per color and per size so the potential savings is substantial and there is no better time to make the move to custom printed mailer envelopes. Even “low cost” labels can cost more per envelope, require labor and will never look as good as finished, branded mailer envelopes.

Please contact us at 815-609-3600 if you have any questions or email us at Salazar Packaging. With a full selection of mailer and shipping options, we are sure to provide you with the best solution for your specific needs.  Keep in mind the sale on unprinted mailers ends on 4/30/17 as does the free plates for the purchase of five or more cases.

Related posts:

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/mailers-envelopes/custom-branded-shipper-envelopes-in-five-easy-steps/

http://salazarpackaging.com/buyers-guide-branded-e-commerce-packaging-clothing/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/custom-printed-packaging-options-for-shipping-apparel/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/shipping-clothing-dilemma-branding-custom-printed-boxes-custom-printed-mailer-envelopes/

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06 Feb 2017 How to Select a Packaging Supplier for your E-Commerce or Subscription Box Application

e-commerce, custom printing, Salazar PackagingIn case you have not noticed, (we certainly have) there are a lot of people dabbling in packaging for e-commerce, and specifically branded packaging. As part of an extensive New Year market analysis we reviewed many of our competitors and compared our list of products and services to theirs.

What we found are a lot of good companies who do just a few things well and that is probably a wise approach for them, especially if they are relatively new to the industry. At our company, our principals have over sixty years of combined experience, our company is on the verge of celebrating our tenth anniversary and we are proud to say we are one of the pioneers in ecofriendly, custom printed e-commerce packaging. We are considered a market innovator, enhancing consumers unboxing experience before it became trendy or the WOW factor was labeled as such.

A Checklist to Help you Make a Good, Long-term Choice

Here are the specifics we suggest you compare and consider when searching for a new supplier to satisfy your e-commerce packaging needs:

  • Does the potential supplier offer a selection of green, eco-friendly packaging options?
  • Does the company offer a variety of branded packaging solutions such as mailer envelopes, and other styles/types of custom boxes such as rigid wall and folding paperboard?.
  • In corrugated, do they have a variety of design options such as FOL, RSC, die cuts or book folds?
  • Does the company have a variety of printing process options such as digital, flexographic or offset?
  • Can they help guide you in terms of graphic design to maximize the impact and minimize prepress (plate/art) charges?
  • Do they have the ability to create custom designs and sizes?
  • Can they create custom internal packaging solutions for protection and presentation such as molded pulp, foam, die cut corrugated, etc?
  • Have they helped create hundreds of successful, attractive e-commerce boxes? (Please see our web site gallery for examples)

All of the Above?

Few companies can claim a positive answer to all of the questions listed above but without hesitation we can. In this age when there are so many “specialists” focused on one thing, a broader and more experienced perspective can save you valuable time and money.

Will branded RSC boxes or mailer envelopes cost less to implement? How can you reduce your labor or shipping cost? What is the best way to cushion and protect your product? How can you best print your five color logo? Is digital the best print option for my graphic design?

Putting ink on a box is easy. Printing a great looking box is considerably more difficult and developing a perfect packaging solution or strategy is not something that everyone is equipped to do.

For “packaging that communicates” please feel free to contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700* for a no cost, no obligation review of your specific needs.

*Please note our new number    

Related posts:

http://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/e-commerce-subscription-boxes-make-great-impression-unique-inside-prints/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/want-launch-subscription-box/

http://salazarpackaging.com/e-commerce-boxes-that-sparkle-and-shine/

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27 Jan 2017 Akamai Selects Salazar Packaging For New Line of Natural Personal Care Products.

Akamai box exterior, Salazar Packaging, custom printing, e-commerce, subscription packagingAkamai Selects Salazar Packaging For New Line of Natural Personal Care Products.

Akamai is a Hawaiian word meaning wise or intelligent and it perfectly describes this new company’s approach to some of the most personal care products you and I use. You can learn a lot more about this unique company and product line at their website: www.akamaibasics.com

The Akamai Approach to Packaging

The words “wise” and “intelligent” also apply to their packaging which we were selected to make for them. The photos included in this post show a basic one color on Kraft exterior and an eye catching one color print inside.

The graphics are simple, yet effective, and they prove once again that you do not have to use a variety of colors or a lot of ink coverage to create a positive unboxing experience for your customers.

branding, custom printing, Salazar PackagingInside Print Makes a Big Difference

Subscription box and E-commerce companies have learned that an outside print is good. This Akamai box would still be a nice box even if the inside print was eliminated. However, we remind people that outside print is often dominated by the shipping label, especially on a small box like this.

The inside of the box will always arrive clean and is a great place to reinforce your brand and deliver the message you want. Anything from a simple thank you or a sales pitch for additional products can be easily and inexpensively added to the inside of any shipping box. Keep in mind if you are not ready for inside print, it can be added at a future date. (See first related post below).

If you want to try some great new personal care products, check out our friends at Akami. If you want help to create a great looking, inexpensive package for your product line, please contact Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700.

Related posts:

http://salazarpackaging.com/adding-inside-print-to-an-existing-subscription-or-e-commerce-box/

http://salazarpackaging.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-custom-printing-boxes-on-white-corrugated-board/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/flexo-friendly-art-design-for-subscription-and-e-commerce-boxes/

http://salazarpackaging.com/drives-e-commerce-subscription-box-redesign-rebranding/ *

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24 Jan 2017 Salazar Packaging and Globe Guard Products have a new home!

Salazar Packaging, new location, change of addressWe are very pleased to announce that thanks to our terrific branded packaging and ecofriendly packaging customers, we have completed our move to a bigger and better facility.

More to come on our new location but for now, please change your records to reflect our new phone number and address.

New phone number: 630-551-1700

New Fax number: 630-551-1701

New Address: 434 Treasure Drive, Oswego, IL 60543

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16 Jan 2017 Balancing Protection and Presentation on E-commerce and Subscription Boxes

e-commerce, shipping, subscription, mailers, shipping inserts, corrugated mailersThe worst possible customer experience is for an eagerly awaited product to arrive damaged or broken. In addition to having a very disappointed customer, you also have to deal with product replacement, which can make a profitable order very unprofitable, very quickly.

At the same time, most clients want high product visibility and a great experience for their customers when their package is opened. No one is eager to unwrap yards of foam or bubble cushioning material, wads of packing paper, or to sift through a box of foam packing peanuts or other loose fill cushioning product.

More Than a Pretty Shipping Box

We have learned that a great graphic design and print job is quickly overlooked when the glass jar of salsa being shipped, shatters. That is not the type of presentation anyone had in mind.

We are very proud of the printing work we do and a tour through our photo gallery will show great colors, creative designs, and boxes obviously designed to impress. However, properly protecting the product being shipped should always be a key consideration when the true, overall cost of a damaged shipment is factored in. We are especially careful with fragile products or anything in a glass container including sauces, candles, e-juice, and even liquor.

eco-friendly shipping, food shipping, e-commerceE-commerce packaging Solutions That Help Protect Without Sacrificing Appearance   

Few organizations deliver the WOW factor as often or as consistently as we do, but unlike companies who only print boxes, we create total packaging solutions that are customer and product specific. We fully understand what happens when a package is dropped and effect that impact and shock has on the packaging and product being shipped.

When it comes to internal/protective packaging, there are no “standard” or one size fits all answers, so we have gathered some of the best protective and green packaging products available, and more importantly, our experienced people know how to use them to help you deliver a great looking package at the lowest possible cost.

Here are a few examples of the type of protective, cushioning products we offer:

Die Cut Corrugated Designs – Typically a custom cutting die is required but these are by far the most popular because they have a low 1,000 MOQ, are relatively low cost, and extremely eco-friendly. Customers appreciate the high recycled content and the fact that they are easily recycled and re-pulped.

Corrugated and Paperboard dividers and partitions – Usually they do not require any type of tooling or cutting die. They are not designed to provide any cushioning but sometimes all that is really needed is product isolation and/or separation.

Die cut or molded foams – We have a dozen foam formulations available ranging from very soft and cushioning to very rigid and strong. Different foams for different applications makes this the most versatile option available.

Inflatable packaging products – If the volume is higher, 400 to 500 shipments per day, it is possible the best solution for you is an inflatable packaging system able to make pillows or even bubble on demand.

Molded Pulp – Usually the minimum and the necessary mold/tooling costs are higher but for some applications there is no greener or less labor intensive solution. Usually molded pulp is a great solution for the same size and shape product being shipped in volume. Example – cell phones.

No cost, no obligation application review

What is the best product and packaging process for you? As you may have gathered, there are a number of potential options and many factors we consider when helping you develop the appropriate packaging strategy.

The best way to find out is to contact us at Salazar Packaging via email or call us at 630-551-1700 for a confidential and free analysis of your requirements and objectives.

Related posts:

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/protective-packaging/the-difference-between-partitions-and-molded-pulp-for-protective-packaging-applications/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/save-big-money-on-sustainable-packaging-with-custom-inserts-for-stock-mailer-boxes/

http://salazarpackaging.com/buyers-guide-partitions-dividers-die-cut-inserts-e-commerce-subscription-boxes/

http://salazarpackaging.com/enhance-your-consumers-experience-with-scored-pad-dividers/

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30 Dec 2016 Paperboard Folding Cartons Are Now Available and On Sale!

Paperboard cartons, custom printing, branding, eco-friendly shippingWe recently added this popular product to our store and the response has been terrific. So we are pleased to announce that all twenty of the new stock sizes are on sale until February 28th, 2017.

White and Kraft are both Eco-Friendly!

Both colors are 100% recyclable, biodegradable and can be re-pulped into new board and packaging.

White boxes are 100% recycled content including 35% post-consumer waste.

Kraft cartons are 100% recycled content including 90% post-consumer waste.

paperboard folding carton, white paperboard, kraft paperboard, recycledCustom sizes available with low 2,500 MOQ

If none of the twenty sizes shown on our store are what you need, please contact us and ask. Chances are, the size you need is available but has not been added to the store, yet.

If not, we can create any size and design you need for a low minimum of 2,500 cartons. Your unique size may require a onetime purchase of a cutting die, but the fit will be perfect for your product and application. .

Custom Printing is always an available option at Salazar Packaging

Almost every product we offer is available custom printed and branded, and this applies to our paperboard cartons too! The minimum is a very low 2,500 cartons and the initial art/plate charges are minimal.

Contact us today for a no charge consultation with one of our branded packaging experts. We are committed to helping you determine what packaging product is best for you and your application. Call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at Salazar Packaging.

Related posts:

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/paperboard-folding-cartons-now-available-globe-guard-products-com-green-packaging-store/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/custom-printed-stayflat-mailers/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/boxes/branded-packaging-options/

http://salazarpackaging.com/green-packaging-paperboard-versus-corrugated/

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05 Dec 2016 Owl Crate Jr. Delivers the WOW factor to an Even Younger Children’s Book Market

Owlcrate, flexographic printing, custom printing, e-commerce, subscription packagingWhoever said the digital media explosion would result in the ultimate demise of printed paper books obviously did not realize the only thing that is really changing is the way books are purchased and delivered. I admit I have been surprised by the number of subscription book boxes that we have helped launch successfully. Books for different demographics, different ages, and different genres are all unique and growing in popularity.

Owl Crate Now Serves 8-12 year old readers   

One of our favorite book selling customers is Owl Crate and we have been grateful to produce their standard black on Kraft “young adult” printed boxes. When they decided to launch a program aimed at 8-12 year olds, they wisely decided that their new box not only had to be different dimensionally, it should also have a little more “pop” in graphics while still maintaining their brand identity.

Owl Crate Jr.e-commerce, custom printed shipping boxes, subscription packaing is born

As I have often written, we are not graphic artists, but after printing hundreds and hundreds of boxes, we certainly know what works and what will not. We also know how to get the most for your money, minimizing box and pre-press costs like cutting dies and print plates.

Surprisingly, this experienced, knowledgeable graphics guidance we offer is free to you and your graphic artist. BTW if you don’t have one, we can refer you to one that understands the advantages and limitations of a good graphic design for flexographic corrugated printing.

We worked with our friends at Owl Crate and helped them come up with a great, flexographic printable design that is one color flood coat over white board inside and blue and white ink over Kraft board on the outside. The end result is a beautiful, eye catching print with only three print plates.

If you need a holiday gift idea for that young book worm on your gift list, check out their holiday offering at: http://owlcrate.com/ocjr. If you want to talk to someone about creating a wonderful customer experience with your e-commerce packaging, contact us via email at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700.

Related posts:

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/flexo-friendly-art-design-for-subscription-and-e-commerce-boxes/

http://salazarpackaging.com/white-printing-kraft-brown-corrugated-boxes/

http://www.greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/want-launch-subscription-box/

http://salazarpackaging.com/design-options-e-commerce-subscription-boxes/

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