Design Guidelines

Using the proper guidelines to design your cardboard boxes can help you get the desired results from the final product. Boxes printed with CMYK ink will look best when you follow specific parameters for sizing, materials and artwork settings. We have a wide range of design options available to fit your needs at BuyBoxes, and we want to help you optimize your printing and final results.

To assure your custom design looks as beautiful as possible when you receive it, we have provided our recommended guidelines for submitted designs. Whatever your plans for your unique box design and branding, we’re here to help you create an eye-catching box that will get your customers even more excited to receive your products.

Material Guidelines

Following material guidelines is one important cardboard box design tip that can help you ensure your box is right for your product. You’ll want to choose the appropriate box size to accommodate your products, and you should also consider what type of cardboard will work best for your applications.

Box Size

There’s nothing worse than creating a beautiful, custom box and discovering your product does not fit inside! To ensure your product fits in the box, choose a size that is at least ¼” larger on all sides than the product you’re putting in it. Don’t forget to account for any packing materials you’re using in the box.

Material: Cardboard vs. Paperboard

Not sure if corrugated or paperboard is right for you? Cardboard (Corrugated) is made up of 3 layers of paper – two outer liners and a wavy layer (fluting) in between. It is sturdier than paperboard, will hold more weight, offer more protection for fragile items, and could be used to ship product. We don’t recommend putting anything heavier than 50 lbs without consulting our Engineers first, though. Paperboard, also known as Folding Carton, is lightweight and has a smooth printing surface. Ideal for lightweight products, it is usually seen in smaller consumer packaging, such as cosmetics, small gift items, and cereal boxes. Both options are eco-friendly and 100% recyclable.

Artwork Guidelines

When you get to the artwork stage of your box design, you’ll want to keep a few considerations in mind. Using the proper settings and format for your artwork will help your final design look stunning and professional.

Color Settings

Your box will be printed using CMYK inks (and maybe even White ink!). If you’re designing outside of our editor, this is the preferred setting to use. RGB colors will automatically be converted to CMYK in our system and the online proof you receive will simulate the printed color as close as we can.

Image Size

Images should be at a minimum 150 dpi or larger at 100% to ensure the best print quality. Most web images and images from a cell phone are at lower resolutions and your images will print grainy or pixelated. We will alert you if any images uploaded do not fit the minimum recommended size to give you the best print possible.

Design Format

Our editor supports .png, .jpg, and .svg files. However, if you are sending in artwork outside of our editor, we accept .ai, .eps, and .pdf files. The box structure and box artwork should be on a separate layers within the file.

Text Size

We recommend a minimum of 8pt, both positive and reversed print. Reversed out text will print better in a bold font to avoid filling in.

Dieline File Setup

Art and graphics should be kept at least 1/8” (.125”) from all knives and scores, as print-to-cut registration can shift slightly during production. This ensures important art won’t appear on the wrong panel or be cut off during production. Please be aware this distance may increase depending on the printing method, especially in larger quantity orders.

Choose Buyboxes for Stunning Packaging Designs

Creating a memorable and elegant package design that fits your branding and product type can be a key part of engaging your clients and getting return customers. Make your buyers’ first impression even better with product packaging that stands out and enhances the delivery experience.

At Buyboxes, we’ve been meeting box manufacturing needs for over 75 years, and we continue to provide engineering and design expertise for your applications. Our solutions offer durable protection to keep your products secure while attracting attention with striking design features. Whatever you’re looking for to meet your product display or shipping needs, our team is ready to assist you.

Get started with us today and ask about the design options and services we have available!