Investing in custom boxes is a simple way to save on logistics costs, make a good impression on your customers, increase brand awareness, and more. Creating custom packaging is easier than you’d think, and it can have a dramatic positive impact on your bottom line. Curious about the process? Here, we break down the custom packaging journey, step-by-step.
1. Decide on Your Packaging Style
The first step towards creating custom boxes is deciding on your packaging style. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to determine what will best suit your needs. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced packaging manufacturer who can help guide you to the right solution.
As mentioned above, there are various options you can choose from. However, they typically fall into these categories:
These are ready-to-ship boxes that can be easily sent through the mail. Just pop your product inside, seal it up, and it’s ready to go! These are a great choice for subscription boxes, retail gift boxes, and e-commerce packaging.
If your product is heavy or bulky, you’ll likely want to go with shipping boxes. These are an economical option and can be customized with your organization’s colors, logo, and other graphics.
Product boxes are a common choice for retail or e-commerce packaging applications. They are the primary product packaging choice and can be put into a branded mailer or shipping box for transport.
2. Choose Corrugated or Cardboard
Believe it or not, corrugated and cardboard materials are extremely different. Corrugated packaging is one of the most customizable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly packaging materials on the market today. It’s also thicker and more durable than regular cardboard, and will better protect your products during shipping. Learn more about the differences between corrugated and cardboard here.
3. Consider Your Dimensions
Your custom box dimensions will vary depending on your product size and any additional packaging supplies you choose to include. These dimensions will inform the packaging design, influencing the size of the final product along with the final graphics.
4. Create the Structural Prototype
Here, you’ll work with your custom box manufacturer to create a structural prototype. This is where you will test the fit and function of the box with your product. You will be able to make any adjustments needed to get the perfect fit.
5. Decide on Your Printing Process
There are multiple options of printing processes you can choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. These include direct flexo printing, digital printing, and label printing and mounting.
Direct Flexo Printing
Direct flexo printing uses a plate to apply your graphics and text to substrates. These flexible plates use raised rubber or plastic to depict your desired artwork. The plates are mounted on cylinders and ink is applied directly to the raised areas. Then, your packaging substrate is run through the machine, transferring the image onto your packaging.
Digital printing uses laser or inkjet technology to print a digital image directly onto the substrate. Because you don’t have to create plates, this process can be carried out much more quickly than direct flexo printing, and is highly customizable. It also has the capability to produce vibrant colors and is suited to creating more complex image and design elements like smooth gradients and shadows.
Label Printing and Mounting
You may also choose to print your design onto a label and then mount it onto your final packaging. This is often used to provide unique finishes on corrugated packaging, like soft touch or glossy boxes.
6. Create the Graphics
Perhaps the most exciting step in this process is creating the graphic design for the box. You can decide on custom graphics, text, or other elements you want on the box once your structural design is finalized. And remember, the inside is just as important as the outside. Why not include fun colors or text for your customers to discover once they open their package?
7. Approve the Final Prototype
Once you’ve decided on the final structural and graphic design, your box manufacturer can create a prototype or “mock-up” of what your finished product will look like. After you’ve approved the final prototype, you can order a run for customer consumption.
Work with an Experienced Custom Box Manufacturer
For almost 70 years, Jamestown Container has been providing custom boxes and other packaging solutions to companies in various industries. We’ve grown into a multi-facility, concept-to-finished goods corrugated supplier with an exceptional reputation for customer service and quick product turnaround times.
No matter your packaging challenge, Jamestown Container can help you solve it. Our experience, coupled with ISO, FSSC, and AIB certifications, allows us to take on even the most challenging packaging projects.
We’re also proud to offer sustainable packaging solutions for all of our customers. Almost all our corrugated custom boxes are made with materials sourced from programs like the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). We obtain our recycled linerboard through the Greenpac Mill, which has one of the lowest amounts of paper mill landfill waste in the U.S. Additionally, all the machinery at our facilities run on electric power. Our organization understands the importance of being green and is committed to helping the environment.
Start Creating Your Custom Boxes Today
Ready to work with Jamestown Container for your custom boxes? Reach out to us here.