Posted on October 9, 2015 by Dennis Salazar

Litho Labels for Exceptionally Attractive E-Commerce Shipping Boxes

A quick visit through our gallery will show how we have helped many customers create great looking e-commerce and subscription boxes. So our people are used to seeing a lot of eye catching, unique boxes. Every once in a while we make that one that makes our entire staff respond with resounding, “WOW”!

Utica Labs Decides to go Litho Label

Utica Dental Laboratory is a terrific sixty year old company in New York who wanted to create a great looking box that they could ship or hand out to a customer. They also had very clear vision of what they wanted it to look like which included a delicate graphic design and a glossy finish that would stay clean when handled.

Probably 95% of the shipping boxes used in this country are “direct” printed on a flexographic press which offers a number of advantages, especially a lower per box cost, but it can be limited in the types of designs we can print with it. It also requires one print plate for each color and that onetime cost can add up.

As I often say, flexographic box printing is an imperfect process on an imperfect substrate which is high recycled content corrugated board. That is why in some situations, the best and perhaps only way to print an intricate or complex design is print the design on a better grade of paper, using a better print process and then laminating that design onto board, rather than attempt “direct” printing.

Great Graphic Design with Some Potential Problems

An initial review of their design shows the following potential issues:

  • They wanted a white, glossy finish and we can’t do glossy or varnished finishes using flexographic presses and inks
  • The design features digitally created color gradients; though we can screen flexo to deliver different intensities of the same color, it is not subtle or smooth enough to accomplish fine changes in a design like this.
  • There is a second color, a gray (also a gradient) that is overlapping the blue in the logo. Flexo printing would create a shadow or ring in the ink trap area that would be objectionable.

Unless major modifications were made to the design, flexographic printing would not create the look our customer wanted, so we recommended a litho label, offset printed that could satisfy all of their requirements. The results are obvious in the photo!

What is the Best Printing Option For You?

Many factors are considered during a free, no cost, and no obligation application review including quantity and if the job will repeat. For example, printing 1,000 boxes for a one time promotion or situation requiring 10,000 boxes per month is likely to result in very different recommendations from a variety of print processes we offer. Call us at 630-551-1700 or contact Salazar Packaging for a confidential analysis of ALL your branded packaging needs. Keep in mind that shipping boxes is just one product we offer so if mailer envelopes, or branded tape are the best solution for you, we will not hesitate to make that recommendation to you.

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