Posted on January 29, 2013 by Dennis Salazar

Custom Printed and Branded Packaging FAQ and Tips

Much of the work we do is custom printing and branded RSC shipping boxes, die cut mailer boxes, mailer envelopes, cushioning materials and even plastic and paper box sealing tape. So as a result, we have a number of conversations with potential customers who are interested in custom printing the packaging they use. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions:

Can I save some money if I only print one color?
Yes, but not much. In fact people are surprised that the second color on a print job is really quite inexpensive. My advice is usually if a second color will make your packaging stand out or make your packaging look more consistent with your other branding, by all means, don’t a let a few cents per box or envelope prevent you from utilizing a second color.

Does that also hold true for the third or fourth color?
To some degree yes but it depends on the product you are printing. For example on printed corrugated boxes, there is usually a substantial jump in price between the second and the third color. Why? Because most box makers have two color equipment. Four-color equipment is more expensive and more difficult to set up, so far fewer box makers have that capability. In addition, less competition usually leads to higher prices.

What other costs are involved when doing a multi-color print job?
Again, depending on the product, there could be “per color” art and plate charges which can become quite expensive. Make sure you ask about those up front to help you pick a direction and look.

Can the cost be reduced if I limit the amount of art on my design?
Perhaps a little bit but not much. There may be a slight savings in the cost of the printing plate, or on the product itself but here is my usual response to this question – ink is cheap but set time is not. Whether we use a tablespoon or a cup of ink, the difference in cost is minimal.

Then how can I reduce the cost of branded and custom printed packaging?
The answer is very simple – Increase the order size. As stated above, the real culprit is set up time whether you are printing envelopes, boxes, or tape. Once that set up cost is amortized on an order, the price usually drops significantly. In fact we always quote several price/quantity brackets because we want our customers to realize the savings that can be had by increasing their order size.

What is the cost difference for printing with vegetable based inks?
Even though vegetable (soy, potato, etc.) inks are still used on some packaging products, on many others including corrugated, the more cost effective and environmentally friendly method of printing is by utilizing water-based inks.
The water waste and discharge is completely filtered and monitored by most municipal governments resulting in a very green and efficient print. The end result is better coverage, easier clean up and lower costs for the consumer as well as the manufacturer using an ink that is as eco friendly as the once trendy vegetable inks.
Every product and situation is different but we have the experience to help you select the best option for you. Please contact Salazar Packaging for a no cost, no obligation review of your custom printing and branded packaging needs.
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