What is a Corrugated Box & Why Should You Brand Yours?

Branded shipping boxes in front of a couch

Last updated on June 21st, 2024 at 10:43 am

Before we get into branded shipping boxes, let’s take a step back to understand the customer journey. 

You have tirelessly advertised to targeted audiences. Finally, your customer goes through your website. After picking their desired products, they add them to cart and click “place order”. Days, maybe even weeks, pass, but the order arrives on your customer’s doorstep. They open that brown box with a small shipping label with your company name on top, grab your product, and toss the box.

This common scenario ends with a sale for you and a happy customer. This is what your goal was, right? Technically yes. 

However, you need to be setting goals for their post-purchase experience as well and that standard cardboard box isn’t cutting it. You have a huge gap in touch-points between you and the customers, and it’s likely your company’s name is now slowly fading out of their minds.

Create a whole new experience for your customer when they check the mail by shipping with branded boxes. There are endless benefits for your business to start using custom branded shipping boxes, but we have listed just a few to get you familiar with the product. We’ll also provide you with a simple and informative description of corrugated boxes, how you can add to the consumer’s experience, and why you should choose Printivity.

Benefits of Branded Shipping Boxes

Growing Interest in Online Shopping

If 2020 has brought one thing to light, it’s the importance of ordering online. Walking through the aisle of a store has turned into shopping on a website. It’s time to start thinking of that box as an extension of your brand, not just a vessel your products ship in. You have made sure that your company stands out against its competitors, but is your little brown box just blending in with the others?

69% of Americans have shopped online and it’s projected to consistently increase in the coming years. The rise of e-commerce means you may not have the chance to connect with your customer face to face. Your branded box is now the one that is interacting with your customers. 

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Increased Brand Awareness

Think about the products and services you sell. Chances are that your company name isn’t plastered all over your product. This probably means that the last time your customer even saw your company name was either when they placed the order or when they read the small shipping label. They’re going to take out their order and toss the box without a second thought. 

Instead, invoke emotion from your customer, not just about their new product, but when they see your logo! Studies show that excitement is linked to holding memories, and you have the perfect opportunity to create a memorable experience. Establish a sense of connection with your customer offline so they will always remember you. They’ve been anticipating this package since the moment they ordered. Now they will open the door to your custom branded box with a big grin on their face because they see the branded box that holds what they have been waiting for! Now, the next time they need to order something new, your branded shipping boxes will pop-up in their mind.

Free Social Media Reach

Our culture is ever-changing and now word-of-mouth advertising has expanded its reach through social media. A single person can now share your packaging and product to their hundreds to thousands of followers. You just reached a brand new audience filled with potential paying customers. All you had to do was send them a product that they already wanted in a creatively designed box! 

You don’t have to wait around with your fingers crossed that customers will post your box. Take advantage of this free digital market by encouraging customers to take a picture and post. You can create a giveaway, give a promo code when they post, or just ask them to post. Their reward can be a simple interaction on social media. This kind of customer service will stick with your customers and have them coming back.

Go a little bit farther by getting your box and products featured on the second largest search engine next to Google, YouTube. Youtube has led to the popularity of unboxing videos, where a consumer records themselves opening a box and revealing products that they ordered. According to a study by Google, 1 in 5 consumers have watched an unboxing video. Correspondingly, over 90,000 people search for ‘unboxing’ on YouTube every month. Unboxing videos are made to reveal all types of products and in just about every niche. Take advantage of this marketing opportunity and have your brand broadcasted for all their viewers to see.

What is a Corrugated Box?

Kraft branded shipping box

If you work with any form of shipping, chances are you’ve already heard that corrugated cardboard boxes are the way to go. But what is a corrugated box exactly? Corrugated boxes may not be a term that you’re familiar with, but you recognize them.

So, what is a corrugated box used for? They can be used for practically anything, but most shipping boxes that you see and use are corrugated. Box types vary in size and shape, but they’ve become the standard across the retail industry. What does that mean? All of your competitors are using corrugated boxes, meaning you should too.

So what is corrugated packaging’s secret to success? The namesake comes from the root word corrugate, which means to form into alternating ridges and grooves. This is because all types of corrugated boxes corrugated boxes will have at least two thin cardboard layers with the wavy, or corrugated, layer sandwiched in between. 

The wavy inner layer helps to strengthen the box. We want to guarantee that we are giving you high-quality products that will protect your shipment from damage. Every box that we sell has gone through one of two tests that verify box strength. These tests check the amount of weight and pressure they can hold to ensure the interior products are protected.

Choose The Right Box and Flute Size

When it comes to corrugated boxes, sizes are crucial. It’s important that you not only choose the right box size to fit your products, you also need to choose the right flute size. Flute size refers to the thickness of the box walls (those layers we mentioned earlier).  Corrugated flute sizes are as follows:

  • F-Flute: 1/32″ thick
  • E-Flute: 1/16″ thick
  • B-Flute: 1/8″ thick
  • C-Flute: 3/16″ thick
  • A-Flute: 1/4″ thick

The corrugated flute size affects everything from durability of the box, to the amount of storage space inside, to how print-able the surface will be. For example, the F-flute is similar to a paperboard folding carton, great for very light items. However, if you’re shipping fragile goods that need more cushioning, opt for the heavy-duty A-Flute. Contact your printer and shipping companies to verify they carry your desired box and flute size.

Choose the Right Type of Corrugated Box

While there are many different cardboard box types out there, not all of them can be customized. Shipping boxes and mailer boxes will be the two box main styles to choose from when ordering branded shipping boxes. Let’s quickly break down those differences.

Shipping Boxes

  • Boxes are die cut and pre-glued
  • Single-sided printing only. Inside of the box cannot be printed on
  • 4 flaps on the top and bottom openings that require tape to close
  • Variety of sizes – the best choice for large shipping packages

Mailer Boxes

  • Boxes are die cut and don’t require glue
  • Double-sided printing available. Inside of the box can be printed on
  • Flaps and creases allow for easy assembly that doesn’t require tape to close
  • Perfect for promotional kits, subscriptions boxes, and smaller products

Box Colors

three shipping boxes. 2 white, 1 kraft

When choosing your boxes, you will have two color options: kraft and white. Each box color has stronger advantages over the other and costs the same at Printivity. Choose the option that will benefit your design the most. 

White shipping boxes

  • The white background allows for color printing to be more vibrant
  • Clean background that compliments your brand colors
  • More luxurious appearance

Kraft shipping boxes

  • Eco-friendly appearance
  • Support sustainability because they’re made from recycled materials
  • Best for printing black, blue, burgundy, and other dark colors
  • Dirt and other blemishes are less noticeable because of the natural textures and color compared to white boxes

Additional materials to enhance the customer experience

Connecting with your customers offline shouldn’t stop with your branded shipping box. Create a conversation starter by including one, two, or all of the below that catches their attention. 

A post card on top of clothing in a branded shipping box

Since postcards come in a variety of dimensions, ranging from 4” x 6” to 6” x11”, there are endless possibilities as to what you can do with the space. Consider designing a thank you card to show your appreciation. This adds to the personal touch that online shopping lacks. Connect with them further by sharing the company’s story and what it means to the owner. Try to make another sale within your sale by listing other products that you offer and their uses. Go a step farther and add a coupon for their next order to encourage customers to come back soon.

Pro Tip: No matter what add-on you put in your custom branded box, don’t forget to always include your website, CTA, social media handles, etc. 

If you want to keep your content simple and to the point, consider adding a business card to your customers’ shipped order. The wallet-sized cards have similar uses as postcards but on a more concise medium. This allows you to only add the most important information that will keep your customers interested in you. If you are really trying to impress your customers, consider upgrading to a luxury business card that shows the true character of your brand. Learn more about Printivity’s five other business card styles and how they will leave your customers in awe.

No matter how you use stickers, whether practical or superficial, they help promote brand exposure to your business. Some companies have invested in the customer’s unboxing experience by wrapping their products in beautiful tissue paper. Make this another touchpoint by connecting the tissue paper with a branded sticker. Another idea is to give creatively designed on-brand stickers as a complimentary gift that your customer will stick on water bottles, phones, etc. Printivity offers custom vinyl stickers built to last, whether indoor or outdoor. 

Immerse your customer with your company by giving them a free catalog with their order. Booklets allow you to showcase every aspect of your company’s brand. Saddle stitch booklets are affordable and flexible. However, perfect bound books add a sense of unmatched elegance.

Pro Tip: Not only are you marketing your products for potential future sales, but you are selling you and your brand. Add a face to the company by dedicating a page to “meeting the team”. Customers are more likely to shop at a store when they have an emotional connection with them. Don’t let the rise of online shopping stop you from creating a relationship with them.

Why you should order from Printivity

The impact that branded shipping boxes for your brand is unmatched compared to other advertising products. This is why Printivity’s mission has always been to create an easy and happy experience to receive quality prints. 


Custom box printing may feel like a daunting task for first-time buyers. You will need to purchase more than one box size for the variations of products and quantities that you’ll be shipping out. Not all box design dimensions will be able to be resized proportionally and may appear distorted or stretched out. This means that you will need to create similar but slightly different designs for each dimension. 

Start by narrowing down the specific elements that you want to be included on the box. Think about whether you can add your entire company name, logo, and/or company slogan. Create a theme for your design that illustrates your company’s brand. Find ways to use the color of the box, whether it’s kraft or white, to your advantage in the design.

Other box printing companies require you to design your own box. This can be great because it allows your company to have a custom box solely based on your vision. However, box printing is more complicated than normal printed paper products. The numerous folds and panels can get complicated to navigate. We want to remove this problem from your plate. Our experienced in-house designers will work with you to seamlessly create a box that matches your exact intention. 

Digital Printing

Some printing companies use large metal plates to print on their boxes. This process requires custom made plates for each image and color in your design. When companies need to put this much effort to make a single design, they usually don’t offer short run printing, or it can be a lot more expensive. Not only is this process time consuming and tedious, but the plates also are known to leave indents on the boxes. 

We use a digital printing press specifically designed for corrugated box printing. Plates are not used in the process, so you will always receive your product in mint condition. Instead of having to stock up on thousands of boxes, the quick setup of the press allows Printivity to offer low quantities. Digital box printing prints at 6 inches per second, which contributes to the fast turnaround.

Fast Turnarounds

Speaking of fast turnarounds, did you know that Printivity offers the fastest turnarounds in the country? You won’t have to wait weeks to receive your boxes because we are dedicated to offering the quickest turnarounds. Every order is a priority to our customers, so it’s a priority to us

Short run printing

Most companies will need multiple size boxes for orders of various sizes. Storing hundreds of boxes in multiple dimensions can take up a lot of office space that you might not have.

No need to store hundreds or thousands of boxes in your garage or warehouse. Printivity makes it possible for you to save space that you might not have. Short run printing not only means less inventory, but also lower upfront costs which is better for cash-flow. 

Great Customer Service

Printivity is known for their personal approach with customers every step of the way. Call us with all of your box printing questions – we have the answers! If you are having a difficult time making your vision into reality, Printivity has the solution. Work one-on-one with our experienced in-house designers to create a brand new design or tweak an existing design to make it just right. Whether you need help coming up with something special for a large corrugated fiberboard box or you already know exactly what you want, Printivity can make it happen.  

Our satisfaction guarantee policy means that if you are unhappy with your product, we will fix it. We are confident in this policy because we created a thorough proofing process that won’t print your design until you approve. For a more hands-on approach to proofing, we will print and ship a single custom box for you to approve prior to printing the entire order. After working with you to perfect your digital design, we will print and ship a single custom box for you to approve before we print the whole order.


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