Author: Dennis Salazar

22 Jun 2017 Packaging for Eyewear and Contacts

Warby-Parker, Salazar Packaging, subscription packaging, e-commerce packagingThis time of year, even us Midwesterners are breaking out the sunglasses, and of course, eye glasses have become as much a fashion statement as a necessity. For those in need of vision assistance who don’t like glasses, contact lenses are the preferred choice. Two things they all have in common is that they can all be purchased over the internet, and each require shipping containers.

One of our early branded packaging customers was Warby-Parker. They basically pioneered prescription glasses purchased on line with their HTO (Home Try On) boxes which we manufactured for them. Since then, we have created packaging for many manufacturers of glasses, sun glasses, and specialty contact lenses.

Balancing Protection and Presentation for Eyewear Shipping Containers

We all realize helping the product arrive undamaged is most important, but at the same time the packaging must look great, and it also must be economical. Keep in mind the average pair of glasses might already have multiple layers of packaging:

  1. The primary case that makes direct contact with the product and is likely to be kept and reused by the consumer. (We are NOT a supplier of this type of packaging)
  2. Possibly a rigid (paperboard) box that may or may not be kept and reused by the consumer. (We do design and create rigid wall boxes as well)
  3. The shipping container that is rarely reused or kept by the consumer. This could be a single or multiple like the Bon Look photo below. (we do supply this product)

This helps to understand why the shipping containers (the third item listed) should be effective and affordable because it is a very necessary but usually disposable layer of packaging.

Salazar Packaging, e-commerce, subscription packagingUnboxing Experience for Eyewear

With all this in mind, that all important unboxing experience (presentation) begins on the outer layer, usually a corrugated container. What most shippers don’t realize is that a great looking, custom size and custom printed box is only slightly more expensive than a plain, boring, oversized corrugated box. Not only can a larger (than necessary) box and void fill add cost, it can also add shipping weight and that can be additional cost as well.

Ideally the shipping container allows the product to arrive safely but not look too “industrial.” Reinforcing the brand and image is added value as well, for the shipper as well as the recipient. Here are a few ways you can enhance your box and turn it into more than a shipping container:Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packaging, subscription packaging, custom packaging

  • Custom print the exterior – show off that logo in a registered or very popular random repeat print
  • Custom Print the interior – since the shipping label dominates the exterior, the best place to make a great impression is on the inside of a small container
  • Color – standard white or Kraft as well as flood coats of any Pantone color you require
  • Unusual finishes – soft touch, high gloss, and everything in between is possible with varying minimums
  • Board variations, including triple white and thinner micro flute construction like E and F for strength without bulk

 

With volume (usually 1,000 boxes or more) just about anything is possible. So please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 to discuss your application. We have the experience to help you make the best possible impression on your customers.

Related posts:

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

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

https://salazarpackaging.com/buyers-guide-rigid-boxes-e-commerce-subscription-applications/

https://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/reverse-prints-flood-coats-board-color-custom-branding-terms-simplified/

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15 Jun 2017 Packaging for Shipping Gifts

Packaging for Shipping Giftsgift packaging, award packaging, welcome kit packaging,

We tend to think of gift giving as a holiday thing or perhaps a special event such as an anniversary. The fact is that people and companies ship out a wide variety of gifts throughout the year as tokens of appreciation, an award for accomplishment or even just an intro or “welcome” kit. There are many reasons why you would want to ship a gift out to the recipient and even more reasons why the shipping container you use is important.

  1. A gift should appear thoughtful and personal. Not just an item thrown in a box filled with foam peanuts.
  2. A gift should arrive clean, orderly, and intact. Nothing ruins a moment or kills the WOW factor like a damaged gift.
  3. A gift should be brand consistent. A subtle reminder of where it came from is perfectly acceptable and expected.

Gift Packaging Application – Primary or Secondary? 

In some cases, we create over packaging that contains the already existing gift item packaging. The simple corrugated book fold shipper shown in the photo below provides the strength the internal (purple) box needs during the shipping cycle. Keep in mind most primary or initial packaging is NOT designed to ship individually via UPS, USPS or FedEx. The over shipper provides protection and eliminates the need to apply tape or labels directly in the gift, once again enhancing the unboxing experience.

Book fold shipper, Salazar PackagingIn other situations, like the Golub gift below, we eliminated most of the initial packaging and replaced the manufacturer’s lightweight paperboard box with a corrugated container that looks great and holds up in shipping. The result is a branded gift that ships with a totally customized, branded box for a first class look. When done correctly, a custom box will impress, protect, and add value to the recipient than the gift.customized packaging, gift packaging, welcome kit packaging

To discuss your specific project or needs with our people who make “packaging that communicates”, please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700. We would love to help you create packaging that is as unforgettable as the gift you are giving.

 

Related posts:

https://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/not-early-order-holiday-packaging/

http://salazarpackaging.com/buyers-guide-rigid-boxes-e-commerce-subscription-applications/

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

When Shipping Containers Matter

https://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/your-shipping-container-begins-the-wow-in-gift-giving/

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08 Jun 2017 Happy Birthday Inside Sustainable (and Branded) Packaging

Happy Birthday Inside Sustainable (and Branded) Packaging

Our blog on the web is turning nine years old next week and we would be remiss if we did not celebrate it. After all, it is that communication tool that we credit for much of our unprecedented growth and our amazing national profile. We are proud to now create eco-friendly, branded packaging for companies in just about every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. We firmly believe our sharing of knowledge and the transparency we demonstrate has set us apart from the many others in the packaging industry and Inside Sustainable Packaging plays a key role in that commitment.

A Blog That keeps up With the Times

Our web site and blog have had some face lifts and tweaks along the way and last year we even changed the name to Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging to better reflect the content and what site visitors expect. Expanding the name to include branded packaging catered to the new audience we gained that was hungry for more information on custom printed products. For most of them, “green” or sustainability was a given and expected from their packaging suppliers. What they now needed was a company able to help them communicate with their customers. More than a “how to” or DIY blog, we take the time to present options and help our clients make informed decisions. As we often say, “no surprises” because transparency without directness is no bargain at all.

Hundreds of Blog Posts

There are few subjects (none that I can think of) that customers are interested in, that we have not covered. Topics have included paper tape versus plastic tape, the challenge of printing with white ink on brown corrugated board, the benefit of rigid boxes, weight/shipping cost reductions, and interior/protective packaging have all been covered from a variety of perspectives. The easy to use search box is designed to show every post that includes the search term(s) and don’t ignore the “related posts” at the end of each blog post. They will often lead you to additional, new details on the topic of interest.

Thank you!

I thank the many teammates, our branded packaging advisers and manufacturing partners who have contributed to the many posts you will find on our blog. However, I am especially grateful to the customers who have contacted us with their questions and comments. Your direction and suggestions are always welcome and you have helped shape this blog as much as anyone has. Thank you for your continued interest because it inspires and motivates us.
Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 with any questions or topic suggestions.

Related posts:

The Unboxing Experience – Beyond Esthetics for E-commerce and Subscription Packaging

Salazar Packaging Celebrates 10Th Anniversary

Sustainability and E-commerce Packaging

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

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18 May 2017 The Unboxing Experience – Beyond Esthetics for E-commerce and Subscription Packaging

e-commerce shipping, subscription packaging

The Unboxing Experience – Beyond Esthetics for E-commerce and Subscription Packaging

Much has been said and written about the importance of the unboxing experience. What the digital customer sees and feels when they receive and open your shipping container plays a critical role in the overall experience and shapes the seller/buyer relationship going forward.

Appearance is obviously important, but we consider that a given. Everything from ink colors, graphic design, and the perfect tissue paper makes an impression, and as we say communicates something about you, your company, and your product. We believe however, that adjectives such as pretty, classy, upscale, eye catching are all great, but there is a lot more going on than what meets the eye.

While we believe an unboxing experience has to look great, it also has to be effective. If it is not, all of the costly esthetic efforts end up being a waste of precious time and money. In addition to being attractive…

An effective unboxing experience has to be secure

All of the ribbon and bows in the world cannot make up for a damaged product. First and foremost the product being shipped has to arrive safely and in one piece.

improve your e-commerce packaging

An effective unboxing experience has to present the product well

The product should not be buried in packaging materials and it should not be floating around loose within the container due to poor insert or interior packaging design.

An effective unboxing experience has to be product accessible

As a designer of many “frustration free” designs, we know the consumer does not want to wrestle with or utilize tools to extract their product from your packaging.

 An effective unboxing experience has to be green

Consumers are becoming more and more sensitive to the amount of packaging arriving at their homes. The boxes for all of those books, shoes, clothes, and “meals by mail” they are buying has to go somewhere. The want minimal, high recycled content and easily recyclable packaging.

The Unboxing Experience Design Challenge

The real dilemma for most shippers is how do you accomplish all of these objectives (and others) at the same time? For example, how do you balance product protection versus shipping weight? Which is more important – presentation and accessibility or security? Are your customers focused on the WOW experience or the environment? And of course you need to deliver all of this in one neat, attractive package.

This is why it is wise to utilize a resource that has the experience of making millions of boxes and working with hundreds of companies like yours over the course of the last ten years. It all begins with an application review that includes a discussion about your customers, your products and even your competition. The better we know you and your goals, the easier it us for us to help you make an informed decision.

Sure we make and print some beautiful boxes and you can see many examples in our gallery but we also make effective boxes designed to not ruin the unboxing experience. Contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a no cost, no obligation review of your packaging process and results.

Related posts:

https://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-celebrates-10th-anniversary/

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

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

https://greenpackaginggroup.com/packaging/shipping-containers-matter/

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01 May 2017 Four Most Common Myths About Custom Printed Packaging for E-commerce and Subscription Boxes

Salazar Packaging, packaging myths, e-commerce, subscription, custom printing, custom packagingFour Most Common Myths About Custom Printed Packaging for E-commerce and Subscription Boxes

We receive a lot of phone calls and emails from literally hundreds of people every month and there are a few questions and comments that are repeated time and time again. These four in particular are complete misconceptions, inaccurate, and worth debunking.

Custom printed packaging has huge minimums

I think this one has been intentionally perpetuated by sales people and companies that choose not to sell custom printed products. However, our unpadded custom printed paper mailer envelopes have a minimum that is typically in the hundreds. Even our flexographic printed corrugated boxes have a MOQ of 1,000 which is considered low in an industry where 2,000, 3,000 or even 5,000 is more the norm. “Huge” is a relative term, but our branded packaging advisors are trained to help you determine the best option for your specific application and volume.

I can’t afford custom printed packaging so I use labels

Anyone who believes this has never taken a close look at the cost of labels (in some cases, multiple labels) or factored in the cost of placing them manually on every package going out the door. We won’t even go into the esthetics or consistency since no two manually labeled packages will ever be exactly the same.

For example, by buying custom printed boxes in bulk and eliminating the label (s) being printed and applied, most people see their cost per box REDUCED, not increased. We can help you determine if you can be one of the many companies we know, who are able to increase profitability while decreasing their packaging costs.

Custom printing takes forever

That is what those catalog and website seller of unprinted, stock packaging want you to believe. The fact is that in most cases we ship a NEW, first time order for custom printed boxes within two weeks and a repeat order we can typically get out in one week. We have a variety of stock products on our www.GlobeGuardProducts.com store that can ship immediately, but adding your logo or brand is surprisingly quick and easy.

Custom printing is complicated and I don’t have a graphic artist on staff

Speaking of “easy,” even if this is your first effort at branded packaging, we make custom printing as easy as possible by connecting you to our people who have decades of experience. We know how to make even the most complicated logo or graphic design printable and affordable. While we are not graphic designers, we can recommend you to one who will help you create an eye-catching, low-cost design.

On a related note, if your volume has outgrown your startup or current facility, we can also suggest an outsource fulfillment company that will help you keep up with demand and allow you to focus on growing your business.

We have been creating great looking packaging for e-commerce and subscription boxes for ten years and we have a long list of business contacts and resources able to help you succeed. Let us know what you have in mind for branding or rebranding your packaging by calling us at 630-551-1700 or contact us at Salazar Packaging via email.

 Related posts:

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

https://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-celebrates-10th-anniversary/

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

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

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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:

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

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

https://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:

https://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/

https://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.

 

Related posts:

http://greenpackaginggroup.com/industry-experts/salazar-packaging-globe-guard-products-celebrate-10-year-milestone/

https://salazarpackaging.com/salazar-packaging-named-best-fit-small-business-com/

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

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

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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:  

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

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

https://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.

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