When you’re planning custom packaging for your brand, it’s important to know as much about the creation process as possible. That knowledge will help guide you in your design choices, hopefully avoiding any unpleasant surprises in the end. Correct color formats will ensure your brand colors are represented right, and proper artwork will make you look legitimate and professional—but what about the packaging materials themselves? Knowing how those materials will affect your final product is just as important as everything else when it comes to printing on custom packaging. Let’s check out the basics you’ll want to know for printing on corrugated board—the right choices here mean the right look and feel for your custom packaging later.

Kraft Corrugate Board

Kraft board maintains the more natural brown color of corrugate. Printing on it causes ink colors to appear darker and less vibrant on the finished product. That’s why kraft board is usually recommended for black and white printing only. Cheaper than its white board counterpart, it provides a look that fits well with eco-centric, natural, rustic and even prestige brands.

Note: White artwork can’t be printed digitally, because digital printers use CMYK inks (which don’t include white). Printing plates and white ink are required for such a project, and can become cost-prohibitive on smaller packaging runs.

White Corrugate Board

White board has bleached out the paper fiber’s natural brown color. Printing on it doesn’t affect ink colors, resulting in brighter and more vibrant graphics on the finished product. While it’s costlier than its kraft board counterpart, it provides a look that fits well with energetic, sporty, tech-based and high-end brands.

Uncoated Corrugate Board

Uncoated corrugate has a rough, natural feel and a matte, subdued look. It absorbs more ink during printing, resulting in colors that can appear slightly muted or darker once dry. More intense ink colors can compensate slightly for this effect, but the matte look is inevitable. Uncoated board is a cheaper option than its coated counterpart, and provides a feel that works well for rustic or prestige brands.

Coated Corrugate Board

Coated corrugated has a smooth, refined feel and a bright, almost shiny look. It absorbs less ink during printing, resulting in colors that are richer and more vibrant once dry. The semi-gloss finish intensifies colors, helping to brighten light colors and deepen dark ones. Coated board is a costlier option than its uncoated counterpart, and provides a feel that works well for tech-based or high-end brands.

Just as color formats are an integral part of printing on custom packaging, so too are your corrugated board choices. It’s important to know how each option affects your final product—creating the potential for packaging styles with very different looks and feels. With these guides to printing on custom packaging, and The Packaging Company by your side, your custom printed packaging with be everything you want it to be.