Ask DN: How to print custom shipping boxes?

9 years ago from , Designer

I am thinking about starting one of those companies where you send out monthly boxes of content to users and I want the boxes to look really awesome.

Does anyone here know what kind of machine you would use to print designs onto the box of your choosing? I have looked into some companies that do it for you, but I feel like I should just go ahead and invest in doing it myself and save some money in the long run.

If it helps any, I am planning to use boxes made out if Corrugated Fiberboard.

Thank in advance to anyone who can help me out!


  • Jessica PaoliJessica Paoli, 9 years ago

    Buy plain cardboard boxes (from Uline, etc.) and have the designs screenprinted on by your local printer!

    1 point
    • Evan Brand, 9 years ago

      That's what I was initially thinking about doing but decided against because it would eventually cost me a ton of money I could save in the long run. If I could invest in a printer that could print on the boxes I order then I wouldn't need to out source my work to a printing company.

      1 point
      • Dav ▩Dav ▩, 9 years ago (edited 9 years ago )

        And you really think investing in being/becoming your very own printer, with all the machines involved (printers/cutters/&c.), is cheaper than just outsourcing the (screen)printing?

        (Addendum: ‘Normally’ you don't print on pre–cut boxes, but on full sheet [card]board, then cut and [groove/]fold.)

        6 points
      • Aaron MichaelAaron Michael, 9 years ago

        Getting some custom stamps made is a way more affordable route!

        2 points
  • Richard BallermannRichard Ballermann, 9 years ago

    First off, time is money. You can't just assume that doing something yourself is free. All that time spent printing is time you could be spending making money doing what you're good at. Especially if the printing is complex. Better to just budget some cash and let a seasoned pro handle it for you. If this is a business as you say, it should be making enough money that the cost of printing is covered. If it isn't, I'd rethink your business strategy.

    That being said, it's relatively easy and inexpensive to build a silkscreen setup. You can print on boxes, posters, t-shirts and pretty much any other flat surface. Could turn into a handy skill to have under your belt if you have other side projects that need to be produced inexpensively.

    0 points
  • Victor WareVictor Ware, 9 years ago

    I'd go with plain boxes and custom stickers. They're cheaper and will have a similar effect.

    0 points