Posted on March 18, 2022 by Dennis Salazar

A Great Packaging Design Consultant Delivers Sustainability and More  

Our packaging design consultants help you be a better green business and avoid mistakes that will add cost to every package you ship.

How to Be a Better Green Business

With Earth Day approaching (April 22nd), it is a good time to explore new ways to minimize your packaging cost while making it more sustainable. With the fast-rising cost of all packaging materials, this is not only good business but also a crucial part of being a green, eco-friendly business.

After more than a few decades in packaging, we have seen a lot of changes in the industry. One of them is the explosive growth of DTC, “direct to consumer” packaging due to Covid and other drivers.

The other major trend is DIY which usually is an acronym for DO it yourself, but many people mistakenly think it means DESIGN it yourself. Here is why “designing” your own box is usually not a good idea and why it may be costing you money daily.

Graphic Design versus Structural Design in Packaging

Packaging design is really a combination of two distinct disciplines. The first is graphic design which in most cases refers to the way a box looks in terms of printing or branding.

The choice of ink and board colors, amount of ink coverage, flood coats versus random repeat patterns, inside print, reverse versus positive print, are all available options that can be incorporated into a new box or modification of an existing box. Understand that most graphic designers are used to working digitally for web-based work but may not understand the difference between flexographic, litho or direct to corrugated digital box printing. Your choice of printing technique can make a big difference in appearance and on cost.

The other form of packaging design is structural which impacts sustainability by determining the amount of corrugated board required by your box choice. Those factors include but are not limited by the box style, manufacturing scrap percentages, board grade and thickness, type of box closure, and even how a box is formed by the packer.

Branded Packaging Design Advisors at Salazar PackagingNever have there been so many options available in eco-friendly board construction, including recycled percentage or certification such as FSC. Our usual question is – how green do you want your packaging to be? If we understand your objective, we can certainly help you get there.

We don’t pretend we are graphic artists because we are not, however, after a few million boxes designed and produced annually, we have a pretty good idea of what works and what does not. We also understand structural design and sustainability better than most people making boxes.

Why is designing your own box a mistake?

The potential problem of doing your own graphic and/or structural design may not be about what you do, it may be more about what you don’t do. Your desired design option may be very costly. I know the ease and at times, the potential savings of using a “stock” or standard container design is tempting, but is that the correct or best container for your application? As you can see from the partial list above, there are probably more variations and options available than you realized.

There are packaging supply sites out there that encourage self-design but offer little guidance or customer service support to help you do that. Don’t get me wrong, I love the software some companies feature enabling you to overlay a graphic design on a blank box drawing. You can rotate it and see all sides, spin it around, see the bottom, and in some cases, even open it up to view the inside. As a lifelong packaging designer, I think that is SO cool!

You can speak directly with our branded packaging advisors who will tell you all the features and specs that could apply to create the greenest, least expensive solution for you.

Designing packaging containers is all we do, and we do it all day long, every day. That experience serves one purpose which is to help you avoid mistakes that will add cost to every package you ship. Those same mistakes become much more expensive to fix later, so our goal always is to do it right the first time. Will your needs change as your business grows? Probably, but we may be able to help you foresee and plan for those potential future modifications and avoid the associated expenses.

Experienced help is only a phone call away at 630-551-1700, or you can contact us through this link. The best part is that there is no cost or commitment required. And as they used to say on ads, “no salesman will call” or flood your mailbox for the rest of your natural life.


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