custom packaging Tag

21 Apr 2017 Buyer’s Guide for Mailer Envelopes for E-Commerce and Subscription Applications

mailing envelopes for e-commerceEven though we are best known for our beautifully printed and incredibly functional mailer boxes, we also custom print and brand a variety of mailer envelopes. As we often say, even a subscription “box” does not really have to be a box. So if you determine a mailer envelope will satisfy your shipping needs, the question becomes – which one?

There are many styles and combinations to choose from, most are good, but a few are bad. To some extent the decision is influenced by the following three factors:

  1. The amount of protection the product being shipped requires. Cushioned or non- cushioned?
  2. The type of graphic design and printing you want. How many ink colors?
  3. How many you are prepared to order? Every type has a different minimum.

Material Options for Mailer Envelopes

We can most easily divide mailer envelopes by the material used to make them.

Plastic mailer envelopes – like any form of plastic, it is available in a variety of compositions in terms of recycled content and recyclability. Not all films are created equally, yet most can be printed beautifully, but usually have a higher minimum. (See minimums blog post below)

mailer envelopesPaperboard mailer envelopes – they are often called rigid mailers or Stays Flat® mailers and are designed for products that you want to make sure do not fold or crease during shipment. They are available in a variety of board thicknesses and colors, and styles and are often used for documents, calendars, books, etc. They print up beautifully, have a relatively low minimum and are even available with windows if you want the product or ship-to address showing.

Paper mailer envelopes – also available in a variety of paper finishes and composition, some with heavy recycled content and others with almost 100% virgin paper content. Generally they are relatively inexpensive and have a much lower MOQ for custom printing compared to plastic. However, they are usually printed on flexographic equipment like corrugated boxes are, and have the same limitations of design, and colors. (See “flexo friendly” post below).

Cushioned or non-cushioned mailer envelopes

Does your product REALLY require protection and cushioning? It may seem like a silly question but one we are obligated to ask because cushioning adds multiple costs (shipping inbound, storage, shipping outbound, etc.) and in many cases, the protection is totally unnecessary. A great example is the number of people who ask for a “bubble mailer” to be used to ship out tee shirts or other soft goods.

When a product and application does require cushioning we usually suggest poly bubble lined mailers because they are lightweight and effective. The down side from a branding perspective is that they always have a high MOQ for custom printing.

Mailer envelopes, boxesIn need of an ecofriendly mailer envelope solution?  

It is in this area of cushioned mailer envelopes where we have to draw the distinction between the green and not so green options. There are two different types of padded or cushioned mailer envelopes we do NOT offer:

  1. Paper/poly laminates. Unlike poly mailers with poly lining that can be recycled with other plastic bags, envelopes that are paper on the outside but bubble lined inside will always end up in a landfill. Even though both materials used (poly and paper) are technically recyclable, they cannot be when they are laminated together and not able to be separated.
  2. Paper with shredded paper filling – often sold as a green solution, they are bulky and heavy which can add considerable shipping cost. They also have a high minimum for branding and if you have ever accidently ripped one, you understand why many customers do not like them. In my book they rank right behind foam packing peanuts on the list of packaging people love to hate.

Mailer envelope options can appear overwhelming especially when you add features such as easy open strips, peel and seal adhesives, gusseted versus flat, even “two-way” envelopes designed to ship back and forth. However, we have a branded packaging advisor standing by and eager to help you choose and maximize your branded packaging investment. Call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at www.SalazarPackaging.com.

Related posts:

http://salazarpackaging.com/minimum-custom-printed-packaging/

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

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

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

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07 Apr 2017 Buyers Guide for Rigid Boxes for E-Commerce and Subscription Applications

rigid boxes, subscription packaging, branding, eco-friendly boxesBuyers Guide for Rigid Boxes for E-Commerce and Subscription Applications

They are known by many names including rigid wall boxes, set up boxes, two piece boxes, and even telescoping boxes. They are made of paperboard, not corrugated board, and have been used in the candy, greeting card, and board game industries for decades.

They are gaining in popularity for subscription applications as companies work to deliver value to their customers while creating a permanent or long-term brand presence. These are not shipping boxes, which in most cases are quickly discarded soon after they arrive. Rigid boxes tend to be kept and reused or repurposed. This makes them a greener option but it also means your brand lives on and the box serves as a constant reminder of the company that sent it.

With Appreciation to Birchbox and Others 

This type of subscription box has been made popular by companies like Birchbox who understand the value of packaging that is more than a disposable shipping container. This type of packaging makes a great first impression and in many cases provides a series of collectible containers the customer values, encouraging repeat orders and extending subscription life.

rigid boxes, subscription packaging, branding, eco-friendly boxesRigid boxes are also a graphic designer’s dream because unlike direct print flexographic printing (typically used on corrugated), this is a laminating process where sheets of interior and/or exterior paper can be printed any way you want, as many colors as you want, on a wide variety of papers including linens or foils, as well as spot or flood coat coatings. They can also be die cut, creating openings for product display.

Advantages of Rigid Boxes

Compared to other types of boxes they can be made to any size you want without expensive tooling. As mentioned above, the graphics flexibility is incredible and there are few limits to what can be produced.  Rigid boxes offer the ability to vary board color, and wrap exterior as well as lining interior which creates a truly custom look.

The minimum is relatively low at 1,000 though pricing due to setup costs becomes much more attractive in larger quantities of 5,000 or more. You can combine different (same size) copies for larger quantity, bulk pricing. When working with a company like ours, you can create the shipping containers to protect the rigid box in shipping.

rigid boxes, subscription packaging, branding, eco-friendly boxesFactors that Influence Cost of Rigid Boxes

As stated above, order quantity is always a major factor and of course box size also impacts the cost of any box we create. Other factors also include:

  1. Base/bottom and/or top/lid wrapped (exterior) or lined (interior). Anything is possible but it does add cost.
  2. The amount of overlap of the top/lid over the base/bottom. It can overlap 100% or anything less. Keep in mind not totally overlapping the base will likely mean you will have to wrap the exposed base.
  3. Board color of any unlined or unwrapped surface. Natural chip paperboard is the least expensive. White is also available at an upcharge, as well as other colors like black, though they may have a higher minimum.

Disadvantages of Rigid Boxes

They are such an impressive marketing tool that we can only come up with two negatives you should be aware of:

  1. They are not inexpensive and your product price point has to justify the cost of the rigid box as well as the shipping container. People will often ask why/how other companies like Birchbox can afford to use them and I remind them large shippers like them are buying much larger quantities, thereby substantially reducing their cost per unit.
  2. Most boxes and cartons ship flat minimizing the space they require to store and ship. Rigid wall boxes do not collapse, increasing those costs.

Salazar Packaging continues to be a one stop shop for all forms of e-commerce and subscription box packaging. There are few companies in the country with our experience in shipping containers as well as interior/protective packaging solutions.

Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at Salazar Packaging to discuss your specific needs. Let us show you how we create effective “packaging that communicates” at a much lower cost than you think possible.

Related posts:

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

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/custom-printed-rigid-boxes-are-ideal-for-upscale-samples-and-retail-display-applications/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/rigid-wall-boxes-a-packaging-option-for-sports-team-collectibles/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/double-box-approach-to-subscription-box-branding/

http://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-adds-set-up-rigid-boxes-to-sustainable-packaging-product-line/

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27 Mar 2017 Salazar Packaging Celebrates 10Th Anniversary

Salazar Packaging Celebrates 10 Years

I could share a lot of history about our unique company we started ten years ago in the dining room of our home, but I realize it does not really matter to anyone but those of us who have lived it.

What is important is that thanks to a lot of good friends, manufacturing partners, and most of all to our many customers, we survived a tough and difficult economy by providing exceptional quality, and service and creating a company that is by all accounts, different.

Transparency is Key

We learned early when people order custom packaging from us, they are actually trusting us with their brand, their company, and in some cases their future. To earn that trust, we have created a company that is wide open in terms of what we do and how we do it.

Our web sites and especially our blogs are industry leaders in terms of information sharing. The goal is always helping our customers make informed decisions about their packaging and delivering the best, greenest, and most attractive packaging possible at the lowest potential cost. We believe in providing options so that a customer will never be surprised or experience regrets because of their lack of packaging experience.

Experience Matters

We had a distinct advantage when we started our company; my wife Lenora and I had over thirty years of combined experience in the packaging industry. With a firm grip on materials and applications, we also had the contacts within the industry to identify the best of the best in terms of manufacturing partners. We understood that it was not practical or possible to try to do everything well so we carefully chose our in–house capabilities and were even more selective when determining the people we could count on to supplement our efforts with specialized technical and productivity know how in many locations around the nation.

The first ten years have been amazing and we have gained a long list of customer friends and helped create some of the industry’s best looking boxes.

We also no longer operate out of our dining room. Perhaps the best one word description of how we feel is perfectly communicated by the painting below that now adorns the lobby our new customer service center. All we can say is thank you!

Salazar Packaging, eco-friendly packaging, green products

Please call us at 630-551-1700 or email us at Salazar Packaging to discuss your packaging objective, and how can help you accomplish it.

 

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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29 Nov 2016 Unico Nutrition’s Packaging Is Designed for Double Duty Use, Inside and Outside

reverse print | Unico Nutrition | Salazar PackagingThe goal of branding is to always create a great impression. Unfortunately, that positive message is short lived since the packaging used for e-commerce typically ends up in a recycle bin.

Unico Nutrition creates unique dual purpose graphic design

Unico Nutrition makes excellent natural sport supplements for women. They are also a very clever, unique company that decided to give their e-commerce packaging a second life by designing it so it can be unassembled, colored, and reformed inside out for use long after the product it contained is received and consumed.

We all know e-commerce boxes take a beating during shipment and typically arrive looking dirty, banged up, and covered with tape and labels. However, the inside of the box is usually clean and pristine, so being able to turn the good/clean face out is the key to an extended box life and repurposing the packaging.

The brand lives on!

Whether a dual side use and print is for coloring or decorating or simply for a unique storage box that is more likely to be kept or used – the branding continues to impress and be noticed. After all, isn’t that the primary goal of all good branding and custom printing efforts?

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have an idea you want to discuss. As usual, the minimum is a low 1,000 boxes and will require the purchase of print plates inside and outside, but that onetime expense can clearly make your marketing and branding efforts that much more effective.

You can call us at 630-551-1700 or contact Salazar Packaging via email so one of our trained and experienced branded packaging advisors can help you get the maximum wow factor for the lowest possible cost.

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http://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-the-company-specializing-in-custom-printed-subscription-boxes/

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31 Oct 2016 Genial Day Selects Salazar Packaging and Corrugated Board for New Eivi Packaging

custom-print-on-triple-white-board, packaging, custom printingThose of us who have been in packaging for a few decades know that the rules were pretty firm: you use paperboard for custom printed retail packaging and corrugated board for shipping applications. Period.

However, that strict line has become fuzzy over time, thanks to improved ink and substrates in corrugated packaging, but more importantly, a demand by the market for dual purpose packaging. That is packaging that has great graphics for retail display AND can also serve as a shipper for e-commerce applications.

Genial Day – Great New Product for Women

They were looking for dual purpose packaging and after considering a paperboard folding carton, saw some of the great looking corrugated boxes we have created on our website gallery.

After reviewing their application and graphics requirements, we were pleased to tell them we could direct print using a lower cost flexographic print process and help them avoid a much more costly litho label process. (See first “options” related blog post below).

triple-white-boardKeep in mind not all graphics are able to be printed using a flexographic print process but because we are used to printing high quality, challenging designs, it was a good fit for us. For a little cleaner look we also suggested triple white board that eliminated the brown fluting visible on the cut box edges. The end result is a great looking, custom printed box at the lowest possible cost.

Check out the Genial Day web site and Kickstarter video.

Paperboard is an Available Option

Please understand, we are not anti-paperboard. We makes boxes, cartons and trays in paperboard as well as corrugated. The key however, is to use the correct substrate for each application.  Since we offer both board options, we never have to force an application into a material that is not right for the customer or the product being packaged.

What is the right product and process for you? A free and brief consultation with one of our branded packaging advisors is sure to get you on the right path. Do not hesitate to contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700. We look forward to helping you with your project.

Related posts:

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

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

http://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-highlighted-washington-post-article/

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/4145/

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

 

 

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