Packaging is not just a means to protect your product, but it is also a valuable opportunity to connect customers to your brand. The trendiest and most social media shareable packaging has become a focal point in today’s advertising and marketing strategy.

Organizations are integrating unique and creative packaging into impactful digital marketing campaigns to exponentially increase brand recognition and exposure.

But though designing and manufacturing unique packaging can improve your business, custom packaging can quickly become a costly investment. Finding the balance between communicating your brand through packaging and managing your budget can be difficult – especially if you don’t know your options on the cost of packaging.

However, you don’t have to worry! Plenty of inexpensive packaging design options are available and still creative and unique! In this article, we will look at a few of these options that will impress your customers and maintain your budget!

Go Digital

Semaine Health packaging with digital printing.

Source: Semaine Health – PakFactory

In the past digital printing typically costs less than offset printing, but image quality is less than offset printing. However, even though offset might give a better quality print now, advancing digital printing technologies are quickly closing this gap to the point where we may no longer require the long process of lithographic printing in the future.

Digital vs offset printing on paper comparsion.

Source: Akula Kreative

To save cost on your corrugated/e-commerce packaging, opting for digital is the way to go! You’ll save tons of money when developing your creative packaging designs while receiving a faster turnaround time, as digital printing is much quicker than offset lithography.

Learn more about the difference between digital and offset printing.

Alternatively, Go Vintage

Vintage designs are currently in fashion and don’t cost a fortune!  Theme your packaging design in vintage styles using ribbons from vintage material off-cuts, reprinted newspapers, or even use custom-designed vintage labels or stickers — more on this later — to add a unique flare to your packaging.

Coffee packaging pouches and products with vintage design labels.

Source: PakFactory

Using vintage fabrics for your package can also serve as a cute packaging idea that doubles as a free item in the eyes of your customers. These fabrics can be reused to wrap another gift or upcycled into a quilt, handkerchief or scarf!

And though the vintage style is ideal for retro and vintage products, you can still add some vintage flourishes to any type of product for a unique design bound to attract customers’ attention.

Try Interior Prints

Source packaging rigid box with interior printing.

Source: PakFactory

You can include a custom printed box design to your package’s interior for only an additional 5 – 10% of your production cost. With the growing popularity of online shopping, personalized interiors are an inexpensive packaging strategy that leaves a lasting impression.

That said, we recommend an interior printed pattern to showcase a sleek and minimal brand design. And though this gives your package a luxurious and expensive-looking appearance, achieving a printed pattern with Offset or Digital printing with Full-Color CMYK requires no additional cost!

Rigid box with vibrant interior printing.

Source: PakFactory

You don’t need PMS Color nor any special paper & ink to achieve this look. All you need is to ensure your artwork executes well with your brand to make the patterns look impressionable.

Custom Sleeves

Introducing a custom printed packaging sleeve is a creative and unique way to present your product to customers. This affordable packaging design works with any product and can be further personalized to facilitate the brand experience.

Tractor corrugated box with folding carton sleeves.

Source: PakFactory

For example, a drawer or slider sleeve can highlight branding with a unique packaging design that heightens the unboxing experience for a fraction of the price a fully custom box would cost. It costs less but will enable you to be as creative as possible.

The After Company rigid candle box with custom sleeve.

Source: The After Company – PakFactory

Additionally, if your company is doubly keen on being cost-efficient and eco-friendly, then going with box sleeves is one way to hit two birds with one stone.

Because sleeves don’t compromise a box’s structural integrity, customers can also reuse this packaging instead of throwing it away.

Foil Stamping

Not long ago, (hot) foil stamping was more expensive because of the labor-intensive process. Today, most packaging and printing companies offer various foil stamping options at different price points, making this a viable packaging design option for companies on a budget.

Sonhab chocolate kraft packaging box with green and gold hot foil stamping.

Source: Sonhab Chocolate – PakFactory

Typically for high-quantity orders, if you add additional options, such as foil stamping, spot UV, and embossing, the cost would only increase by about 10-15% of your total production cost.

Hair growth serum product box packaging with gold foil stamping.

Source: PakFactory

Therefore, you can create extra embellishments to your brand packaging to increase its value without paying an exorbitantly higher price.

Choices for foil stamping range from contemporary, modern, luxurious, striking, or patterned designs – whatever you deem fit for your product and brand, foil stamping is one cool packaging option that doesn’t require you to empty your pockets!

Tissue Paper and Box Inserts

Whether you’ve chosen a fully customized box or something more standard with a printed logo design, adding customized interior elements is a great and inexpensive packaging idea to create a fully branded experience for your customers.

Different types of tissue paper packaging.

Source: PakFactory

Since tissue paper is made with thinner material, you can benefit tremendously from the low material cost and a positive branding experience for your customers.

However, tissue paper is one of many things you can include in your box. Adding an insert like a personalized note or card is another creative way to extend the unboxing experience, leave a lasting impression on customers, and influence future buying habits with your brand.

Ian Charms custom shape rigid box with card inserts.

Source: PakFactory

In addition, these cards can also be a great way to remind customers of your social media channels and encourage sharing of your product and creative packaging designs on social media, which further adds to your brand’s potential reach.

Stickers and Labels

Stickers are another versatile way to put customized finishing touches on packaged goods. We briefly mentioned these with vintage design, but stickers and labels are not limited to just that! If you’ve added tissue to your package, combine that with custom logo stickers to make your logo the first thing customers see when they open your box.

Stickers and labels for packaging.

Source: PakFactory

Like many other packaging items, sticker prices drop with higher print quantities, so the cost depends on sheet or roll printing and size or shape. But overall, stickers are a budget-friendly option to add a little customization to your packaging design.

Add stickers to the packaging interior or exterior to create a custom look for less money but still give customers a unique brand experience.

Browse our full catalog of stickers and labels here!

The Wrap Up

With the emergence of e-commerce, packaging has become a vital part of the product and your brand, so always remember how powerful creative packaging design can be.

In today’s competitive market, custom packaging is a tool to shape how customers think, see and talk about your product. However, this doesn’t mean you must break the bank to achieve this! Use our affordable and cool packaging design tips to uniquely package your products and create striking impressions that leave lasting brand experiences.


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