Posted on January 18, 2018 by Dennis Salazar

Buyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

Buyers Guide to Digitally Printed Corrugated E-commerce Boxes

Reason # 4 to go digital – limited run or “one and done” applications    

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts focused on digital printing to help potential e-commerce box customers determine when digital may be the best custom printing option.  The three other posts (linked below in related posts) suggests going digital:

  1. When printing complex and/or multi-color graphics
  2. To eliminate expensive flexographic print plate costs
  3. When printing multiple versions (flavors, scents, etc.) of the same box size and shape.

This post is focused on situations when a box is going to be run one time for a special promotion or event that is not going to repeat. It could be a new product introduction, special promotion, an award, customer gift, or other limited run (usually one time) event.

Printing plates are costly from many perspectives including the time it takes to design them. Add to that design time cost, the actual plate cost that is typically around $500 per color, inside or outside, and the total can easily end up being thousands of dollars. Yet flexographic printing (if the graphic design permits it) can be a best long-term investment because the cost per unit is usually lower. If you plan to run tens of thousands over the next several years, paying for flexographic print plates can be a wise and economical way to go.

However, what if you never plan to run the box again?

packaging for new product launches, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce boxesFor example, a gift going out to celebrate a 10th anniversary or a new product launch? Neither is likely to ever repeat so in that case, unless the volume is huge, it is probably a good idea to avoid the cost of flexographic plates and print using a plate-less digital process. The cost per box may be a bit higher (compared to flexographic) but not when you factor in the plate costs that are going to end up as waste at the end of the run. In that case running digital is economical and less wasteful.

Of course, we are talking about custom printing applications in general terms. Every situation and customer is slightly different and our branded packaging advisors are specially trained to provide you with facts that will help you make an informed decision.

Please contact us at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700 to speak with one of our people. For more online information on printing digitally, please check out the digital box printing page at or our newest web site:

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