30 May 2014 What is semi-custom branded packaging?
What’s the difference?
When making die cut mailer boxes, custom packaging is usually custom size and custom print. That means the customer has to purchase a custom cutting die that usually costs anywhere from $700 to $1,000. This also typically adds a week to the process. Then for the custom printing, they also need of course, custom print plates which usually cost between $400 and $600 per color and per side (inside or outside).
When making semi-custom boxes, we supply the cutting die from our long list of available “house” dies. A small sampling, but not all are listed in the corrugated mailers section of our Globe Guard Products, green packaging store. If you have a specific size that you need and it does not appear on our store, please ask. Chances are we have something that is close and will work for you. (please see photos for examples)
Whether it is a stock or a custom size, you still need to purchase print plates, however print plates are a one-time expense and typically last almost forever. Unless you change the copy, the size of the copy, or the size of the mailer box, you should never have to replace your print plates.
What semi-custom packaging is NOT
Unfortunately, it is not a way to avoid a minimum. There is a misconception that we print or imprint mailer boxes that are already made. The fact is that we print the corrugated board using the customer’s print plates, and then we cut it into boxes with the cutting die. The set up time and cost is the same whether it is a custom or semi-custom mailer box we are making so our minimum remains at a very low 1,000 boxes.
Lower quantities? Consider digital printing.
You will be hearing more about our digital printing capabilities in the very near future. It is an opportunity to create multi-color images, in very low quantities, without print plates or cutting die. Please note, the cost per box can be VERY high but for the right situation it can be a bargain because it can potentially save thousands of dollars in set up costs and hardware. Again, digital is not designed to be price competitive with standard flexographic printing, because that is not possible. However, if you need a few samples for a trade show or customer presentation, it may be the best available option.
Very few companies offer a full assortment of custom printing options the way we do. They include:
- Basic flexographic printing, inside or outside packaging container of any type
- Upgraded inks and boards including Kemi/White Top for enhanced graphics
- Digital printing for those unusual short run situations
- Process print for “litho label” like applications
- Litho Labels – when the very best images are needed
It is not as confusing as it may sound when you have the right partner helping you through the process. With packaging experience measured in decades, not months or years, we are sure to help you make an informed decision that you will not regret.
Please contact Salazar Packaging for a free and confidential, no cost application review of your specific needs.