As we all know boxes come in many shapes and sizes, but how do you know which structure is best suited for you?
Just like choosing the right packaging company for your business, your box structure plays a crucial role in the functionality of your products!
In simple terms, serving your food in packaging meant for cosmetics may not benefit your product. It will leak, ruin your artwork designs and isn’t very user friendly for your customers!
Optimizing your box structure will offer optimal product presentation, protection and a boosted customer experience.
Let’s delve deeper into the basics that will lay the foundation for your structural design choices!
Basics of Packaging Design
Whether your product is in a store or sold online, you always want your package to stand out and leave an impression.
The design of your package will ultimately dictate what your customers think of your company, so planning a compelling custom box design that encapsulates your brand is a must.
Nowadays, the box that holds your product is just as important as the product itself.
Custom boxes can heighten the customer experience and make for unique unboxing experiences that will ensure your brand remains in the mind of anyone who opens your packaging.
While a custom-made box does improve the customers’ experience, it also provides you with additional branding opportunities, so it’s a win-win!
Throughout this article, we will walk you through choosing the best box structure for your product so you can make an educated decision and find packaging that will work to protect your product and make a statement.
When choosing material for your packaging, you must consider your product and the journey it will go on before it reaches your customer.
Most packaging for boxes will be paper, at least in some form, but each style holds different benefits and fits some products better than others.
Below, we list some of the more common materials used for boxes and list some of their benefits and appropriate applications.
Paperboard, or folding carton, is the perfect solution if you are looking for a cost-effective material for your custom made boxes.
Paperboard packaging is increasing in popularity among both product manufacturers and retailers for its numerous benefits.
Folding carton is very flexible and easy to fold, making it ideal for a wide array of products.
These cartons are compatible with multiple printing options, allowing for plenty of customization so you can show off your brand.
Consumers tend to gravitate more to paperboard packaging, with a recent study showing that 68% of consumers prefer this material in their packaging.
Why do consumers prefer paperboards? Because it is environmentally friendly, it’s convenient when handling, and it’s overall aesthetically pleasing.
Paperboard comes in a few different materials, including:
- Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS) has a clay-coated surface on top of multiple plies of bleached virgin softwood or a blend of softwood and hardwood fibre.
- Coated Unbleached Kraft (CUK) is a combination of unbleached virgin kraft fibre and different southern pine species with some hardwood fibre.
- Coated Recycled Paperboard uses recycled fibre recovered from paper manufacturing, converting facilities, and post-consumer sources in its construction.
- Non-bending Chipboard uses recycled newsprint and old corrugated board in its construction.
Corrugated cardboard is incredibly durable and made from an arched paper design known as fluting, which sits between two liners.
Due to its durability, it is the preferred packaging choice for products that need some extra protection.
The structure of corrugated custom boxes provides an extra cushion for your product, a benefit that is essential if you are shipping breakable products.
On top of being very durable, this material option is also very customizable, coming in different sizes and thicknesses if you need more support for your product.
The malleable consistency allows for many different box shapes that fit just about any product.
The available printing options are also very versatile, allowing for additional branding opportunities through high-resolution graphics printed directly onto your packaging!
The most significant benefit of corrugated custom boxes is their price – they are one of the most affordable available materials, and they are entirely recyclable!
Rigid boxes are very thick paper-based boxes consisting of chipboard wrapped in decorative specialty paper.
One of the more expensive packaging options, rigid boxes bring an air of luxury to your product, thanks to their top-quality construction.
You will typically find these boxes housing board games, smartphones, and other luxury goods since they are incredibly sturdy.
Unlike any other packaging, rigid boxes are structured with paper precisely wrapped around solid boards.
There are two types of rigid boxes:
- Full finish rigid boxes have an additional layer of wrapping that you can customize to provide your customer with a memorable experience.
- Partial finish rigid boxes are made with a single piece of chipboard without the additional interior layer, leaving the chipboard material exposed.
Though rigid boxes are one of the more expensive options out there, they provide the perception of value to whatever they hold.
They are usually reused by customers for storage due to their quality construction and ‘gift’ like feel.
Now that you have picked the perfect material for your custom box, you can move onto choosing what style best suits your product.
There is a wide range of packaging styles, with each made to hold specific products, especially in the custom packaging world.
Each box comes in different prints, finishes, and materials, so you can create the perfect custom box using any shape.
Every box on this list is fully customizable and available in a wide range of colours and sizes to ensure you can find something that fits your branding, product and initiative!
Here are some package styles to consider:
Straight Tuck End
Straight Tuck End boxes can be constructed manually or in an automated assembly line and are great for products that require a large window with a front display panel.
They have a clear display window with a custom cut out option if you want the window to show off a product with a unique shape.
This design is easily opened and closed and suitable for on store shelves thanks to the display window and easily stackable shape.
Reverse Tuck End
The Reverse Tuck End box is very similar in shape to the Straight Tuck End box.
Like the Straight Tuck End box, this box shape has a display window with a custom cutout option, is easy to open and close, and is ideal for store shelves.
The Reverse Tuck End structural design feature offers an opportunity to differentiate from your competitors and offer a more interesting customer experience!
The Display Box is unique, cost-effective, innovative, and easy to assemble.
This box shape is suited for light-weight products such as snacks and medical products and offer an extra layer to your branding capabilities.
Display boxes are designed to hold your products while also promoting what’s inside through the pop up structural design feature.
This structural design feature allows for more surface area to promote your brand, communicate with your customers and create an overall narrative for your products!
The Gable Box is available in either corrugated cardboard or paperboard, so you can decide if you want your box to be more durable or more aesthetically pleasing.
The box has a convenient handle that makes traveling with it a breeze, similar to what you would find on a take out container for food.
This food-safe option allows for heavy loads or liquids such as milk or juice, though its durable design is also suitable for non-food items.
This packaging structure is very functional as wax coatings can be added to avoid any grease marking or leaking, making this an optimal structure for take-out food services!
The Carrier Packs have six slots and are for transporting drinks such as coffee or any canned beverage.
Like the Gable Box, the pack is available corrugated cardboard or paperboard and has a handle for easy transportation.
This box shape is optimal for independent craft beer factories, coffee shops, or other businesses that sell beverages to go.
Sleeves sit around boxes and provide additional branding opportunities and sealing capabilities.
There is no top or bottom; instead, it acts as an extra layer of insulation, branding or simply used for extra sealing capabilities.
While this may seem like an unnecessary accessory, this is a great option to consider especially if you choose to opt for more generic packaging for cost saving purposes!
This option will help boost your packaging’s quality and provide a better experience for your customer.
You’ve got your box fully designed. It is now time to think about how you will transport your product to your customer.
Transportation & Shipping Methods
It is necessary to understand your box structure when picking a transport option as it could affect which one is most applicable to you.
If your box structure isn’t very durable, your options will be limited, so it’s best to spend extra on the packaging as it will better protect your product through the shipping phase.
You also must consider your budget and your product when determining which transportation you use to ship your product.
We will break down the three ways you can use to transport your product.
Airfreight is a transportation solution used by companies that need their product transported as soon as possible.
However, it is also one of the more costly options because of airport taxes and other additional fees.
This transportation option is safe and convenient.
However, only certain goods are suitable for air transport due to customs restrictions and other regulations.
If you decide to go with Airfreight, you will need appropriate packaging for your product.
Your packaging must be capable of dealing with atmospheric changes and environmental exposures, in-transport movement, and shock absorption, so choosing the right packaging for your products is critical.
All packaging will be subjected to road transport at some point during the shipping process.
Road transport is cost-effective, allows for easy monitoring of your products’ location, and is excellent for transporting products across short distances.
Although, you also have to account for traffic, truck breakdown, and weather.
While not as much of an issue as it is with air transport, it is still ideal to have packaging to protect your products efficiently enough to land in your customers laps intact!
You have to prepare your packaging for careless driving and the typical vibration that comes with shipping products in a truck or van.
Furthermore, we all know your classic careless delivery man that will simply chuck your packaging wherever it needs to go.
So, make sure your packaging is able to withstand any outside force that may damage your products!
Rail transport is environmentally-friendly and ideal for heavy products for either domestic or intercontinental transport.
It is relatively reliable and safe while also offering fast delivery at a cost-effective price without worrying about road transport variables such as traffic and weather.
The downside to rail transport is that your packaging needs to be prepared for shunting and vibrating during travel.
Also, railways’ limited routes can be an issue, and if you live far from a depot, you have to consider how to transport your product to the station.
As the last couple sections of this post has stated, your budget will determine what box structure you will choose.
Though it may seem like the best option is to go with cost-effective solutions, the low quality could end up wasting more money in the long run.
More durable boxes will prevent products from breaking and costing you extra in re-production.
it is also important to note that if a customer receives a broken product, they may not want to buy from you again.
Higher quality box structures can also help save you money through labour costs, as better boxes tend to be quicker and easier to construct.
More importantly, a higher-quality, well-designed custom box will provide a better experience for your customer, helping you stay in their mind and incentivize repeat purchases.
Appealing to Target Market
When picking your custom boxes’ structure, it is crucial to understand the industry your product is entering.
Knowledge is power, so do some research and see what your competitors are doing by looking at things such as the box shape, the material of their boxes, and the design choices they have made.
You want to see what works in your field and see what is getting a response.
Pick a design, send it out in small quantities, and see how your customers react before leaping towards mass production of your custom packaging.
Most custom packaging companies will offer samples of your designs before sending it out for production.
Although these can sometimes be lower in quality with regards to printing, you can still get a good idea of how your packaging will sustain itself in certain circumstances.
You can also send these samples out to your loyal customer base to get valuable feedback on your design, structure and much more.
Afterall, the customer is always right!
Picking the right box structure for your product should not be a quick and easy process.
You must consider;
- how much protection your product will require
- what the shipping process will be like
- how your packaging will embody your brand while also providing your customer with a memorable experience.
Your box structure and design is your chance to make an impression on your customers, so make it count!
Check out Pakfactory to get more ideas about box styles depending on your industry!