Cardboard packaging have a long-standing history as a preferred choice for packaging and continue to be a popular option in today’s market.
In the era of increasing eco-consciousness, many businesses have made the switch to paper-based packaging to meet consumer demands for more sustainable solutions.
Folding cardboard stand out not only for their cost-effectiveness and versatility but also as a commendable alternative to plastic packaging.
Renowned for their lightweight and flexible nature, paperboard boxes are suitable for packaging a wide range of products. You might have encountered a folding carton box when enjoying your morning cereal.
Now, let’s delve into the realm of paperboard, explore its advantages, and understand its applications across various industries.
Paperboard: A Comprehensive Overview
The folding cardboard box holds a pivotal place in history as one of the earliest packaging solutions to gain widespread recognition. It has been in use since the 1800s, gaining popularity due to the ease of sourcing raw materials and rapid production.
In its early days, paperboard was assembled using strings and tacks to form packaging. Over time, the manufacturing process has evolved significantly.
We will delve deeper into the modern production process of folding cardboard packaging shortly.
Cardboard Packaging Process
Typically, folding cardboard packagingare crafted from paperboard, which is derived from recycled paper pulp and processed to create packaging materials. This paperboard undergoes cutting, folding, and lamination, arriving as flat sheets ready for assembly and packaging.
Manufacturers processing the paperboard create dielines for adding artwork designs, which are printed on large paperboard sheets and subsequently cut and scored. This stage involves cutting paperboard rolls into flat sheets, where any required images or artwork are printed.
Following the printing and any post-press procedures, the paperboard sheets are cut, folded, and adhered together to form the final packaging. Depending on the nature of the products being packaged, folding cartons may undergo additional structural adjustments and quality checks to ensure proper product containment.
The Advantages of Folding Cardboards
Foldable box boast a plethora of benefits, which have consistently made them a favored choice for packaging over the years.
One of the primary advantages of folding cardboard boxes is their compatibility with retail shelves. They offer the opportunity to create premium packaging through custom designs, capturing consumer attention.
The durability of folding cardboard boxes makes them suitable for retail applications, as they are less prone to damage during transportation compared to other packaging materials. Additionally, the versatility in terms of printing, finishing, and design capabilities allows folding cartons to create an appealing, high-end appearance, contributing to effective brand differentiation.
Folding cardboards, especially those crafted from materials like Kraft, make an excellent choice for environmentally-friendly packaging that is not only affordable but also visually appealing. The process of producing Kraft, along with the recyclable nature of folding carton boxes, positions them as a sustainable packaging choice.
The use of sustainable inks and coatings, such as aqueous coatings, further aligns folding cardboard packaging with eco-conscious consumer preferences.
Versatility in Printing and Finishing
Folding cardboardboxes provide a unique opportunity to enhance product presentation without compromising quality. Their relatively compact size compared to other packaging types allows for a wide array of high-quality printing and finishing options.
Custom packaging providers can guide the selection of designs and finishing touches to ensure that your folding cardboard boxes stand out and deliver a premium customer experience.
The affordability of folding cardboard boxes, considering the multitude of benefits they offer, is another reason behind their widespread adoption. They provide a cost-effective solution for high-quality, sustainable packaging needs.
These benefits, among others, have made folding cardboard boxes a popular choice for packaging across diverse industries.
Folding Cardboard Paper Grades
Folding cardboard boxes come in various paper grades, each with its unique capabilities. While it may seem simple since it’s paper, each paper grade presents distinct features related to printing and finishing, and it goes through different processes to meet specific product and branding requirements.
Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS)
Solid bleached sulfate (SBS) is a premium-grade paperboard known for its exceptional tear resistance. It comprises 20% recycled materials and 80% freshly harvested wood chips, chemically processed and bleached.
SBS paperboard comes in a brilliant white color and is coated with a thin layer of naturally occurring clay to create a smooth surface conducive to high-quality printing, finishes, and coatings.
This paper grade provides an optimal surface for:
- Design elements
- High-quality printing
Solid Unbleached Sulfate (SUS) Paperboard
Solid unbleached sulfate (SUS) paperboard undergoes a similar process to SBS but lacks the bleaching stage. It is available in a brown color and features a coating to enhance its printability. The natural brown color may influence the printing output to appear more subdued or faded. SUS paperboard excels in conveying sustainable brand initiatives due to its color and recyclable nature.
Paperboard Printing and Coating Options
The choice of paper grade and coating plays a pivotal role in the printing process for packaging design. White paper grades offer an ideal surface for accurate color representation, allowing colors to be precisely matched using the Pantone color matching system during the design phase. However, printing on natural brown kraft paper can be more challenging, as the paper’s color can significantly affect the printed output. Colors may appear muted or faded, potentially making text difficult to read. To ensure optimal color output, the recommended approach for kraft folding cartons is to incorporate white ink in the design before printing the final artwork.
Paperboard is compatible with both offset and digital printing, making it versatile for various printing needs. Offset printing is suitable for intricate designs that require sharp lines, while digital printing is a cost-effective choice for simpler designs that don’t demand intricate details.
Additionally, coatings can be applied to folding cartons to cater to specific industry requirements. For instance, the food and restaurant industry often requires wax coating to prevent leaks and grease stains on packaging. Aqueous coatings provide an eco-friendly packaging solution and can be used on the interior of food packaging without introducing harmful or toxic chemicals. Thanks to the versatility of folding carton, it can also accommodate unique and special finishes that enhance your branding, including embossing/debossing, spot UV printing, foil stamping, and more.
Consideration of Design Elements
One of the compelling aspects of paperboard is its cost-efficiency, which allows for the incorporation of design elements that elevate brand identity beyond expectations.
Embossing & Debossing
Embossing and debossing involve impressing images, designs, and text onto materials to create raised or depressed images. This process is particularly impactful for elements like logos, certifications, and artwork.
Spot UV Printing
Spot UV printing applies a varnish to the material and cures it using ultraviolet (UV) light. This coating targets specific areas of the printed product to seal in color, produce an attractive sheen, and protect the surface from moisture and wear. The use of spot finishes introduces diverse textures on the printed surface for a captivating effect. Spot UV is one of the specialty printing techniques that enhance packaging and distinguish brands/products from one another.
Paperboard Across Diverse Industries
Paperboard packaging finds application in a wide array of industries. It is a versatile choice used in various sectors, such as:
- Cosmetics: For makeup and skincare products
- Food and Beverage: Including cereal boxes and various containers
- Cannabis: Particularly for packaging CBD oils
- Pharmaceuticals: Primarily for secondary packaging
Let’s take a closer look at how paperboard packaging manufacturers cater to the unique needs of some of these industries:
Pharmaceutical Usage of Paperboard Boxes
In a specific case study, a substantial quantity of folding cartons was required for shipping medication to Africa. These folding carton types needed to integrate seamlessly into the company’s automated folding process. The manufacturer succeeded by carefully studying the company’s automation process and designing packaging that could be assembled at the desired speed. Ultimately, this folding cardboard packaging proved successful for packaging pharmaceuticals for a noble cause.
Sensitiva: The Power of Alternative Health & Wellness
Sensitiva, a brand with a commitment to sustainable packaging, sought to communicate its brand values across products of varying sizes. To achieve this, folding carton boxes with anti-scratch matte finishes were chosen to create packaging for a range of products. Multiple artwork styles were efficiently printed together in a single production run, enhancing time and cost efficiency.
Paperboard with Windows
In another project, the goal was to design folding carton packaging that allowed customers to view the product before making a purchase, a concept known as window patching. This packaging also needed to feature high-quality prints to explain the product’s features and benefits. The strategy involved using windows in the packaging design, reinforced for added security. This approach not only allowed customers to see the product but also made the product the focal point, greatly benefiting the brand.
Folding cartons stand as a versatile and effective packaging option applicable to a broad spectrum of industries. With their extensive printing and finishing capabilities, they enable businesses to offer a high-end customer experience while establishing a compelling brand narrative. Ultimately, your packaging serves as a powerful ambassador for your brand and products. Folding cartons deliver a cost-effective means to achieve this effectively, regardless of the industry in which your business operates.