Posted on October 27, 2022 by Dennis Salazar

Planning for Future DTC Packaging Enhancements

Stretching Your Start-Up Dollar

As I have written before, (see first related post below) we do a lot of our design work with pre-launch start-up companies. In most cases, there is no cash flow in, just anticipated and unexpected expenses drawing cash out. Fifteen years ago, we were a cash-poor start-up company, so we certainly relate to people in that situation. We are very sensitive to customers who are trying to stretch a dollar as far as possible.

Wide range of DTC packaging options from Salazar PackagingOne of the ways we help companies in that position is by helping them understand there are many packaging enhancements and improvements that can be postponed until cash flow improves.

Here are a few features that can be added later:

Outside Printing

If you are a regular reader of our blogs including our newest packaging resource,, you know we are a strong advocate and promoter of branding your packaging. However, there are situations when launching with plain, unprinted boxes is a wise decision. For example, when the brand “look” or color has not been finalized or critical information such as social media tags, are added or changed.  Rebranding or correcting graphics can be expensive and the only people who ever regret printing their boxes are those who rushed through the process.

Inside Printing  

If you have read our previous posts, you know that inside printing can add 20 to 30% to the cost of any RSC or die-cut mailer shipper box. In addition, printing inside also requires additional print plates that depending on your graphics and box size, can cost anywhere from $500 to $800. One way to minimize initial costs is to add the inside print later. Whether you want text, graphics, or a basic one-color flood coat, adding it post-launch is very doable and may make the difference between success and failure.          


As a reader of our posts, you know we are a top designer and provider of die-cut inserts and other internal/protective packaging. The advantages of custom insert range from presentation to protection, but they are not absolutely necessary at start-up. Over the years we have met many companies that used paper or other products for cushioning in the early phase. Those are probably not good long-term solutions but, in the beginning, postponing internal packaging can be a big money saver if you can delay spending on cutting dies or print plates.

Multiple Box Sizes

As we sometimes tell customers, there is no one size fits all solution to corrugated box packaging. At the same time, having twelve products you hope to sell does not mean you need twelve different size boxes. Our expert branded packaging advisors have tons of experience and are trained to help guide customers to the right decision on sizes, board weight, and box style. This may be your first company or product launch, but it is not ours. Please, let us help you through a process that can be very expensive, especially if you must do it over soon.

Free, no cost/no obligation design review  

Designing custom packaging for new entrepreneurs can be challenging because in many cases they imagined what their box would look like for months, even years. Many want the box of their dreams but are unprepared for all the costs involved, including print plates and cutting dies. We can help them by providing everything they want at the lowest possible cost but sometimes that is not enough. Our years of experience can help you minimize start-up costs and help your business grow and succeed.

Call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable people.


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