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5 important packaging tips for new business’s

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

When you are starting out with your new business it is understandable that you want the best packaging available. You will want your packaging to stand out from the crowd and showcase your product. We deal with a lot of small businesses who come to us with a desire for a new innovative and different type of packaging for their business; all of this comes at a cost.

We have been designing and producing packaging for small and large businesses for over a decade 11 years and what we have found is that new isn’t always better and simple can be more effective than complicated

There are a lot of standard box designs available which have been proved through time to be cost effective and popular. Boxes are generally square or rectangular for a reason – more cost effective to produce, display in store, pack and hold in stock.

This doesn’t mean we don’t and won’t look at new packaging designs but just be aware they would come at a premium

Be sure you know what you want before you buy large quantities

As with most bespoke items custom made packaging has various set up costs which make the unit costs of low quantities of packaging for your new business probably higher than you would like. Although there have been innovations with production techniques bespoke small volume packaging always comes at a premium.

You may be tempted to bulk buy on your first order to gain the benefit of economies of scale. Before you do that bear in mind that this is your new business and pride and joy and what you think you would like or will work in your market place may not turn out to be ideal in terms of branding. You may end up with packaging you don’t like, so you have saved money in theory but it has really cost you.

It is generally better to test the market either by finding some suitable stock packaging or producing a limited run in the first instance

Get advice and feedback from as many people as you can

Sometimes a one colour print on your packaging can be as effective as an all singing and dancing four colour process print with lamination, uv varnish and foiling. Once you have had your brand designed try and show people that know and understand your target audience. When we started up we were so keen to get our first website up we ignored all the website developers advice and put up a website quickly without thinking it through. We had some quick (not positive feedback) from someone who knew better than us who told us in no uncertain terms to take the website down and get it right as we were doing more harm than good. Not nice to hear but when you are a new business mistakes happen and it was a valuable learning experience for us. A couple of months later the new website was up and running and here we are now.

What information is needed to get the most accurate packaging quote

Unless you are buying a box from stock your packaging will be unique to you. There is no such thing as a standard size small, medium or large box they are all unique. I am sure different companies have different questions they would ask but some questions will be common

Box size – it may seem obvious but this includes the depth of the box you can either let us know the box size or tell us the dimensions of all the contents and ideal layout if you have one and we will work out the box size

Weight of contents – not so important on light items but this can make a big difference to the materials used on heavier items

Box style, if you know it – there are many types available. If you don’t have a preference then let us know what you are using the box for

Quantity – if unsure then give the lowest quantity and ask for some larger quantities to be quoted.

Branding – Do you want your box printed, laminated, foil blocked, UV varnished? Remember all extra processes add to the cost - please click here for a description of each process.

Distribution – Is this box going to be handed out or mailed out – this may have an effect on the materials used for your box design

Deal with a packaging supplier/packaging specialist

As Create-this are a packaging specialist I’m sure you are thinking of course you are going to say that!. That is a fair point but also I truly believe what I am saying is right. I have worked in the print and packaging industry for almost 30 years and there are lots of different types of print companies out there, most companies have their area (s) of expertise. Don’t try and save money by getting your box produced at the brochure printer down the road. It is unlikely they have an in house cardboard engineer (this is who would do the physical box design) to make the most of your packaging design.

As with any engineered item unless you are buying a stock box that has been mass produced your box would be designed to your requirements and need to be suitable for purpose.

At Create-this we supply guide prices and previously produced samples at the initial stage. Once prices have been approved we ask for the contents to be sent to us so that we can produce an initial cad cut plain sample to ensure the materials we have quoted on are suitable and  the dimensions are correct  (even a few mm out can make all the difference between an ok box and a great box) . Finally if it’s a box that is going to be sent out with contents in we will send you the sample box with the contents so you can ensure it arrives as you would like it to. Once the final box design has been approved you are sent a lay down guide to put your artwork onto, pdf proofs , or if you want it a hard copy made up proof are then done. Only once all these processes have been undertaken does the box get manufactured.

These processes can take time but they make sure that you know what you are ordering and your packaging will be as you required. We manufacture in the UK and can produce boxes quickly where needed; we won’t promise what we can’t do

Please contact Create-this Limited on 01276 536436 or via this link

Antony Buss