Inside Sustainable and Branded Packaging

Industry News and Perspectives

14 Nov 2017 Live Momentous selects Salazar Packaging for e-commerce boxes!

one color on white exterior, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packaging, custom packagingLive Momentous selects Salazar Packaging for e-commerce boxes!

You may have noticed the wide variety of protein products available from many companies. We were fortunate to get the attention of a terrific new one, You can see their web site and will be impressed by the quality of their web presentation as well as the product itself.

Certainly, a product as unique as this also demands eye catching e-commerce packaging that delivers a terrific unboxing experience for their customers. In this case, it required two different boxes:

Interior e-commerce customer box-

two colors on triple white board, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packaging, custom packagingThis is the one that is likely to be kept and used for storage. From the beginning they wanted a box that provided maximum billboard space for their graphics. Most die cut mailers have an ample print area on the inside lid, but they wanted to enhance that opening experience, so we added a fifth panel. This permitted printing on both flaps, inside and outside, doubling the printable area.

You can see from the bright red interior, anything other than black, red or white would have ruined the overall impact, and this included the fluting in-between the inner and outer white layers of corrugated board. Double white corrugated looked good but triple white looked even better.

Exterior e-commerce corrugated mailer –  

Of course, a white box as beautiful as the one we helped Live Momentous create would likely arrive to their customers all dirty and smudged, covered with tape and/or a shipping label. To avoid that we helped create a simple shipper, perfectly fitted, made from our Globe Guard® 100% recycled content corrugated board. Its constructed with an easy to load and close top tuck lid, has minimal printing on it, and its only function is to protect the interior box.

basic top tuck mailer box, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packaging, custom printingCombined, these two boxes create an upscale look at minimal cost and are sure to please any customer who receives it. Truly, the packaging is consistent with the product and the company providing it!

If you are interested in learning more about their products, please visit the Live Momentous web site. If you would like to discuss your own packaging needs, please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 for a confidential, no cost, no obligation consultation with one of our branded packaging advisors.

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10 Nov 2017 Buyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

Salazar Packaging, digital e-commerce printingBuyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

Reason # 1 to go Digital – complex, multicolor graphics  

The most popular reason people decide to go digital with their box printing is a very low minimum. Companies are all over the internet who can digitally print as few as 25 custom printed boxes utilizing their relatively slow printing and converting process. However, that is not what we do. Our digital printing process is designed for higher speeds and larger quantities which results in a lower price per box. Our MOQ varies depending on many factors, but it typically begins at 1,000 boxes.

So, for most of our customers, the number one reason to print digitally is their need to print sophisticated, multi-color designs that simply cannot be run on traditional flexographic equipment. Keeping in mind most designs are created digitally for the internet, they simply cannot be reproduced well using a flexographic print process. It is essentially like trying to reproduce a fine work of art with a box of crayons. Customers are disappointed when they are told they will have to simplify, shadow or “dumb down” their logo or other graphic design component.

Salazar Packaging, e-commerce, digital printingIf you can create it, we can print it!

That sounds like a bold statement but the number of colors and how they are arranged is no longer a concern when printing digitally. With flexographic printing we typically must allow a gap in between two colors to make sure they do not overlap accidently and create a shadow or third color in the process.

With digital, the more colors the better, whether they are gradients or solids. Spot glosses, textures, and unique patterns and finishes are all very possible and that is where digital wins every time. The images shown on this post are all photographs of actual direct to corrugated board digital printing.

We have created several new resources for anyone interested in digital printing. For a brief look, please check out the digital printing page on this web site. For more, detailed information including a “why digital” and “digital FAQ” page, we recommend you visit our newest website

Salazar packaging, e-commerce, digital printingWe are truly excited to be able to offer this to our clients and customers. We feel it removes any limitations that designers have ever felt printing on a corrugated box. If your goal is to create a truly unique branding experience, or if we have not answered your question, please contact us or call us at 630-551-1700 for a no cost, no obligation consultation of your e-commerce box graphic design.

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06 Nov 2017 selects Salazar Packaging for E-commerce Boxes

EBY selects Salazar Packaging for E-commerce Boxes

We have had the privilege of helping to create many fantastic looking boxes for various great causes, but one of our new favorites is the EBY box. The box and co-founder, Sophia Vergara, have been all over media talking about their cause. In case you have not seen it, it is a subscription program for ladies’ panties, and they are making 10% of net sales available for micro loans to help women in need. It is a great program and we are so pleased to have been selected to be their supplier for their boxes.

Digital and Flexographic Printed Box

The boxes are almost as unique as their program. To get the look they wanted for their brand, they selected a flexographic design inside that creates a soft finish. On the outside, they chose a digital finish that results in a very clean, shiny look and enabled them to place their EBY logo on their background color without ink overlap or color gap. That design would have been difficult if not impossible to print using flexo equipment but it was a breeze using our high speed digital print capabilities.

We were happy to work with the nice people at EBY through the sampling, sizing, board specs, graphic design process, and even more thrilled to have them so pleased with the first box, that they ordered additional boxes from us in two new sizes. We brought all three of their boxes to market quicker than most would expect, approximately two weeks from order and final art approval.

Speed versus Quality in E-commerce Packaging

With many companies you must make a choice between getting your boxes quickly, or getting the quality you require. At Salazar Packaging you can have both with resources and capabilities, competitive prices, and uncompromising quality.

If you are looking for a great cause to support and a unique gift idea for this holiday season, check out the website at If you want to talk packaging with people that work with the best, contact us at Salazar One of our branded packaging advisors will be glad to help you determine the best packaging option for your product and program.

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24 Oct 2017 E-commerce boxes for beauty, health and personal care products

beauty, health and personal care packaging, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingE-commerce boxes for beauty, health and personal care products

We all want to look better and for some like me it may prove to be too late. However, for the vast majority of people out there, there are a number of excellent beauty and personal health care products that can help make a person feel better and look younger.

The types of products differ greatly but they all require packaging that is consistent with the marketing approach and branding. Products can be modern and glitzy, or relatively simple and natural by design. The packaging we have created for this market includes paperboard rigid boxes, litho labeled shipper boxes, as well as digitally printed, and of course, flexographic printed boxes.

What is the best printing method for your box?

As we improve and increase our digital printing capabilities, that question occurs more often. While flexographic continues to be the printing of choice for most people (low, 1,000 MOQ, lowest cost), digital printing offers some unique advantages. (see this page on SPI web site) Some companies have short run digital equipment and are able to run small orders as low as 50 boxes. We have high speed digital capability only, so in most cases our MOQ will be at least 1,000 boxes.

Litho label has the design printed on high quality litho paper and then laminated to the corrugated board. It is always an option for people who want or need something special and are willing to pay for it. The minimum tends to be higher (3,000 to 5,000 depending on size) but the quality is remarkable.

After reviewing the many other factors including cost and order quantity, a quick look at your graphic design will enable us to help you make a good decision that will serve your needs now and as your company grows.

beauty, health and personal care packaging, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingWhat about internal, protective packaging?

Many personal care, beauty and health products come in kits or product combinations and assortments. This means that presentation (unboxing experience) is increasingly important as is product containment to make sure there is no product to product, internal damage.

Some people prefer loose filler such as wood shavings or shredded paper products and for some people it makes sense. However, how the product looks when you ship it out is not nearly as important as how it looks when it arrives to your customer. Controlled ship testing will usually show that loose fill tends to shift and clump in transit. This not only looks bad, it can also result in product damage.

Our ability to design customized but low-cost inserts is extremely important because as we often say, lots of people make boxes, some of them even know how to print them well, but very few know how to design and manufacture good internal packaging.

Our branding packaging consultants are standing by and ready to help you select the best product, the best size and the best printing method. Give us a call at 630-551-1700 or contact us at Salazar

We would love to help you take your beauty, health or personal care products to market with beautiful, effective e-commerce packaging.

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11 Oct 2017 The Difference Between Boxes and Cartons

The Difference Between Boxes and Cartons

3 Color Folding Carton, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingThe packaging industry is filled with a variety of terms; some are interchangeable, and some are not. There is also a lot of information available on the internet and not all of it is accurate so we are not surprised when we get inquiries for information on boxes when they really want is a carton and vice versa.

General guideline on paper packaging containers

Packaging containers typically come in variations of two distinct substrates:

Paperboard –  usually single ply, thin and most popular construction are folding cartons (aka chip board boxes) and rigid wall boxes. Your standard cereal box or FedEx envelope are great examples of paperboard material for packaging. We usually describe this as packaging that is NOT designed for shipping but intended for retail, display applications.

Corrugated boxes printed inside and out, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingCorrugated board – this is the material that is usually thicker because it is multiple layers of paper with a fluted interior layer. It is designed to be a shipping container, and will hold up well whether you ship UPS, USPS, or FedEx. This board can be made into a wide variety of structural designs including RSC shipping boxes and mailer boxes.

Branding Your Corrugated and Paperboard Packaging

Both are available custom printed, though the type of printing that is available varies. Corrugated is primarily printed using a flexographic print process, directly to the board itself, limiting the number of colors and types of graphics that can be printed on it. Digital printing is becoming more common place and while digital printing is usually more expensive, it can make it possible to reproduce virtually any type of design you want.

Custom printing of paperboard is usually offset printed and also permits a wide range of graphics and color, though higher minimums may apply.

Application Specific Design      

There are no easy or standard answers and every application is a little different. Order volume also plays a major factor, since some board and printing options are available and affordable at 10,000 but perhaps not at 1,000.

Some sizes and designs require tooling (for example – die cut mailers) and others do not, such as RSC style shipping boxes. Different board grades and thicknesses are available for both paperboard and corrugated board.

If you are not sure which is the best material substrate for your project, please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700. One of our experienced branded packaging advisors will be glad to assist you and answer any questions you may have.

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25 Sep 2017 E-Commerce and Subscription Packaging for Children

E-Commerce and Subscription Packaging for Children

Boxes for Kid's products, e-commerce, subscription packaging, Children's e-commerceWe make a tremendous number of packaging containers for children’s and baby’s clothing, but in addition to all of those, we also make boxes for games, toys, and activities. They range from early childhood development focused boxes to complex science and STEM programs.

Whatever the product being shipped, the packaging objective remains the same: the product to the recipient safely and securely, at minimal expense. Ideally in a box that is bright, interesting, and visually pleasing to the child receiving it.

There are two basic types of corrugated boxes for kids’ e-commerce and subscription boxes:

Die cut mailers – they have a lid that is attached at the back and they open like a cigar or presentation box. They are a low 1,000 box MOQ for most applications and you can select from our list of over 150 stock cutting die sizes.

RSC style shipping boxes –  these are traditional shipping boxes with four flaps on top and four flaps on the bottom. These are low cost and particularly effective when other, smaller boxes are shipping within.

We can further customize your kid boxes with custom printing outside, custom printing inside (die cut mailers only) and child friendly carrying handles that kids love.

Boxes for kid's products, e-commerce, subscription packaging, Children's packagingFor a quick price estimate, all we need is a few details:

  1. Quantity being ordered (1,000 MOQ)
  2. Size – length X width X height
  3. Board color (in and out) white or natural Kraft (brown)
  4. Number of ink colors inside and/or outside

This will enable us to give you a surprisingly accurate estimate that will prove true unless you decide to change any of the critical specs.

Feel free to contact us via email at Salazar Packaging with any questions or call us at 630-551-1700. Kids love receiving packages and we can help you make a great impression that begins at the unboxing experience.

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04 Sep 2017 Printed Die Cut Corrugated Inserts for Ecommerce and Subscription Boxes.

insert printed to contrast interior, Salazar Packaging, Printed Die Cut Corrugated Inserts for Ecommerce and Subscription Boxes

We are one of the largest printers of high end corrugated shipping containers in the country, leading the trends such as printing inside the box when most companies’ idea of branding is printing a logo on the outside. As part of the effort to create a unique and positive unboxing experience, we have also led in the design of product and application specific (custom) inserts to protect as well as present the products being shipped. (see first related post below)

We offer inserts of every type and design including molded foam, molded pulp, die cut paperboard and our favorite – die cut corrugated.

Corrugated inserts remain our most popular option because they are relatively low in cost, have low minimums (1,000 MOQ), tooling is reasonably priced, they are very versatile in terms of product display, and can be easily replaced as your products or combinations change. They have also become a customer favorite because they can be easily and inexpensively printed.

custom printed box and insert, Salazar packagingAre White and Kraft the best Options?

The lowest cost option is to not print an insert at all. Leaving it unprinted natural Kraft (brown) or paying a small upcharge for white is a great way to minimize cost and keeping your packaging simple. Whether unprinted is the best option for you depends on what you are going to do with the inside of the box and the color of the product itself. You never want to take attention away from the product and if the inside of the box is unprinted, you may want to go with a simple, unprinted white or Kraft (natural brown) insert as well.

Solid, flood coat colors on your inserts?

In other situations, a flood coat of a contrasting or complimentary color is a great option because it provides color at minimal cost and really dresses up the inside of the box. If there is no copy and it is a simple flood coat (edge to edge) of one color, you may not even need to purchase a print plate. That helps make color quite affordable and can easily be changed if necessary.

insert printed to match interior, Salazar PackagingCustom printed inserts

Keep in mind in most cases, the corrugated insert is die cut with cavities to hold the product so you may not have a large, unobstructed canvas to work with. This makes it an ideal place for a subtle, random repeat pattern such as a logo diagonally printed across the entire surface. One additional advantage of a random repeat pattern is that the same print plate can be used for a variety of different insert sizes and product combinations creating a very attractive, classy finish at minimal start-up cost.

While we are big fans of random repeat printing on inserts, in other situations you may have some specific, print registered copy you want printed such as a thank you, instructions, part number, etc.

Either way, corrugated inserts can help make your packaging unique and memorable in addition to creating a great presentation and keeping your product safe during transit.

Whether you are creating a new e-commerce box or giving an existing sub box a much-needed face lift, we know how to do it without adding a great deal of cost. In fact, compared to preprinted labels, they usually produce a net savings.

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 to discuss your project with one of our experienced branded packaging advisors. There is no cost and no obligation and you will be glad you did.

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22 Aug 2017 Packaging for E-commerce Snacks, Candy and Treats

Packaging for Candy and NutsPackaging for E-commerce Snacks, Candy and Treats

One of the fastest growing areas of e-commerce is snacks, ranging from health-conscious options to some that are just delicious and do not claim any health benefit at all. In either case, they taste good and satisfy a need with a product that thanks to ecommerce and subscription programs, can be conveniently delivered to your mailbox.

What’s hot? E-Doughble! 

e-commerce packaging for candy and snacks, Salazar PackagingLiterally everything including nuts, candy, and pastries is selling. One of our most unusual and recent success stories is our friends at Check out their website to see the delicious flavors and box assortments they offer of their edible cookie dough products.

It was the variety of gift pack options that made their packaging a challenge. Different size containers, different counts, with and without flavor packs. You can see just a few of their most popular combinations from the attached photo.

We reviewed all of their products and combinations, and helped them create a packaging design that uses only two different size boxes and six different inserts to minimize the number of packaging SKU’s and reduce their overall packaging costs. Branding and efficiency was the goal, and the end results speak for themselves.

Packaging that Communicates, Literally from Soup to Nuts

e-commerce packaging for candy and snacks, Salazar PackagingThe products we have helped to create packaging for include various types of domestic and imported candy, nuts of every type and size, nutrition bars, and chocolate in every size and shape.

If you need to create a package design that is going to be protective as well as eye catching, please call us at 630-551-1700 or email us at Salazar Packaging. We know how to maximize the unboxing experience for your customers while minimizing the overall e-commerce and subscription packaging cost for you.

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02 Aug 2017 Packaging That Communicates

Happy Egg exteriorPackaging That Communicates

For us it is more than a tag line or slogan, it is what we believe and our primary objective on every order we accept. We appreciate packaging that does this well, even if we are not the manufacturer. What does your packaging say about you? Please see the photos included in this post for a great example of branded packaging done well!

Happy Eggs? 

We are not in the molded pulp egg tray business, but we love the packaging for this new brand of eggs my wife/partner just picked up at the local grocery store. You can imagine how the unique color stands out on a shelf full of natural (boring) color molded trays, foam and pulp alike. The Happy Egg people are not afraid of color and for little additional cost, created a bright yellow, very eye-catching container that truly pops off the shelf.

To communicate the necessary food details as well as their branding message, they opted for a full color label applied to the outside that lists all the required information and explains why their hens are so happy and lay better quality eggs.

But wait, there’s more!

Happy Egg Company molded pulp interiorJust like the surprise bonus ending at the end of an otherwise routine TV commercial, the Happy Egg Company took advantage of the inside lid (others typically leave blank) and applied an additional full color label. In case you missed the message outside, the inside shows a chart comparing space per hen in their process compared to others. Happy hens apparently lay better quality eggs and theirs are the happiest.

What is the message of your packaging?

Is your message as obvious and clear as that of the Happy Egg Company? As e-commerce packaging continues to compete and be compared to retail packaging, we can learn a lot from this application.

  • Focus on what you want your customer to remember
  • Don’t shy away from being different or colorful
  • Take advantage of every available space
  • Do not hesitate to repeat your message, differently each time.


Many people make the mistake of assuming great e-commerce packaging is expensive but it does not have to be. Check out our gallery to see a great selection of attractive, attention grabbing boxes and here is our surprise ending – nearly all of them are basic one or two colors, flexographic printing, which is the least expensive printing available.

If, however you need something beyond flexographic, we are also experienced and can help you with your litho label or digital printed design as well. There is literally nothing you can imagine and that we cannot recreate on your packaging.

Regardless of the process or medium used, we will deliver a great looking package at the lowest possible cost per unit. Call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us at Salazar Packaging to discuss how we can make you and your packaging as happy as the Happy Egg Company hens!

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26 Jul 2017 Packaging for E-commerce Apparel and How to Minimize the Cost

Mailer boxes and envelopes for clothing, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce, Packaging for E-commerce Apparel and How to Minimize the Cost

Shipping clothing can be challenging because of the number of order variations that are possible. Whether you are shipping organic baby clothes or lingerie, tee shirts or dress shirts, each order can potentially be different, impacting the type and size of packaging required, as well as shipping weight costs. Are you shipping e-commerce orders of one single item or bulk shipping wholesale orders? Here are a few tips to help you minimize your costs:

Not all clothing requires a shipping box

As you can see from the photos included in this post, mailer envelopes are a great solution for smaller items being shipped. For example, dozens of tee shirt shipping customers use our unpadded paper mailers because they are relatively low cost, very green, and can be branded in very small quantities.

Most soft goods don’t require it, but if you feel you need a more moisture resistant or padded mailer envelope, our poly mailers are a good option and can also be custom printed at a higher MOQ. See minimums “related post” link below.

Compared to boxes, mailer envelopes are:

  • Lighter in weight, reducing inbound and outbound shipping costs
  • Less storage space for you
  • Less waste for your customer

Shipping Boxes for Wearing Apparel

Mailer boxes and envelopes for apparel, salazar packaging, e-commerce packagingThere are times when the order size, the type of customer (bulk wholesale), or the application requires a corrugated shipping container. For example, you may be able to minimize wrinkling of the garments being shipped by utilizing a box rather than a flat mailer.

Most clothing shipped in corrugated containers ship in die cut mailer style boxes. That is the type of box that has an attached lid and opens like a cigar box. This makes packaging and unpacking easier, and visually is a better presentation compared to an RSC style box. For branding purposes, the inside lid of the die cut mailer creates a great billboard and a great spot to say thank you or reinforce your brand image.

For larger, bulkier orders, an RSC style box may be the best option and can be printed in a low, 1,000 MOQ. That is the type of box that has four flaps on top and four on the bottom (typical moving box design) and is sealed with two pieces of plastic or paper tape. If you require this type of container, we offer two good pieces of advice:

  1. Resist the temptation to save a few cents on a lower grade, thinner, corrugated box made of 32 ECT corrugated board. 200# test corrugated is unnecessary for many applications, but for clothing, which is unexpectedly heavy, it is worth minimal additional cost to make sure the boxes do not rupture when dropped.
  2. Much product damage occurs when the recipient decides to open an RSC with a sharp knife or scissors. Since we make all our RSC’s to order, we can easily extend the flaps if necessary to prevent your customer from inadvertently damaging the product you ship.

I would say very few companies have the experience and success we have in making shipping containers for soft goods and apparel. Whatever your product or objective, one of our branded packaging advisors is available at no cost, at 630-551-1700 to discuss your requirements. Or if you prefer, contact us via email Salazar   and visit our gallery to see more of our work.

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