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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

Stock Mailer Unprinted Envelopes on Sale through April 30, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All of the Above?

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

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

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

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

*Please note our new number    

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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/

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

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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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