Corrugated board is made from 3 layers - the outer liner, the flute and the inner
liner. A standard box will have a Kraft paper outer liner, a test liner flute, and
a test liner inner. The weight of the paper is denoted in the board spec, e.g 125KTB
means a 125gsm Kraft outer, a B Flute and a 125gsm test liner. Double wall usually
has a B and C flute combined to make it stronger, but it’s obviously more expensive.
You can beef up a carton by using a thicker paper or a stronger flute
Board is always priced per square metre and price breaks usually occur at 200, 500,
1000 and 3000 sq m. Sometimes by buying a few extra boxes the quantity moves into
the next price break, so you can end up spending less money on a bigger quantity.
Smaller runs (less than 200 sq m), will be made from stock board which will often
incur waste. When asking for a quote always ask for the next price break, we can
how many you will have to order within a few minutes.
These boxes have been custom printed. Reference print in a single colour is relatively
inexpensive and would usually be a stock number or bar code. Single colour prints
often look better on white or mottled boxes. Bear in mind, that before any printing
can be done stereos have to be made and obviously paid for. These are usually priced
per square inch, so a bigger print on more panels will mean a more expensive stereo.
Also, more colours means more stereos and extra cost. If you are looking for a small
run, it is often cheaper to get a label made.
The corrugated industry often work to FEFCO styles. FEFCO is the umbrella organization
of European associations of corrugated board manufacturers. They have designated
numbers to certain box styles, which makes it easier to explain what you want and
means everyone is talking about the same thing. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t
invent your own style. Styles are variations on themes - an 0201 is a regular 4 flap
carton - an 0200 is an 0201 without top flaps, and an 0203 is an 0201 with fully
overlapping flaps to make the box stronger top and bottom.
Here are a few of the most popular styles.
A box has 3 dimensions, these are always quoted as length x width x depth.
The first 2 quoted dimensions denote the opening of the box, with the largest one
first - the length. Second is the width, third is the depth. Sizes quoted are usually
internal and you should always allow for the glue flap and internal top and bottom
A word of warning before you go splashing out on a massive box, think of the weight
and the person who has to carry it. If in doubt ask for a sample.
Choose a regular 0201 or a die cut. There are a number of popular die cut styles
shown below. Some of these can be assembled without the need for tape and can include
folding lids, hand holes and tuck in flaps. The downside of die cuts is that they
are stamped out with a special tool which does of course have to be paid for. The
price of the tool varies with the size of the carton but for long runs the tool will
eventually pay for itself