Paper, Paperboard Packaging Guide & Knowledge Center

Paperboard Box Packaging Guide
  • Laminations & Coatings Guide
  • Addons & Extensions Guide
  • Types of Paperboard Material
  • Paperboard Printing Methods
  • Paper Labels & Stickers Materials
  • Food Wrapping Paper Types

Packaging has the ability to enhance your product and make it stand out. A striking package design can attract attention, spark interest, and even define the character of the company. If you’re thinking of starting your own small business and need to print packaging, stationery, or business cards, then there are a number of solutions available. 

You can get started by printing with your own printer or take advantage of our low-cost, wide-format digital printing products like brochures, leaflets, posters, and more; many different types of materials and printing techniques vary in their finish and strength, so it’s essential to choose the right material for your job.

Due to the high demand for printed paper products like laser cards, name tags, posters, banners, and many other promotional items, you definitely don’t want to miss this complete guide on printing techniques, labels and stickers materials, and printing. Through this comprehensive guide, you’ll understand all you need to print your own labels, stickers, or packaging or get your work done from the packaging company. 

Understand the material, and its types 


Paperboard is a material made from wood pulp. It is used for packaging and printing purposes. It is a material made from wood pulp and other fibers, which have been flattened into sheets. It is the main structural component of corrugated fiberboard (commonly referred to as “corrugated cardboard”). It is an inexpensive, lightweight material used to make boxes, such as cereal boxes, frozen food boxes, etc. The type of paperboard you use depends on how you want your box to look and what kind of product you are packaging.

Types of paperboard materials and their uses:

Solid Bleached Sulphate (SBS)

Solid Bleached Sulphate (SBS) is a high-quality, medium-weight paperboard used to manufacture corrugated boxes. The SBS sheet is made by applying a continuous pressure roll to an uncut pulp web. This creates a solid sheet of pulp that contains long fibers (which provide strength and rigidity) and short fibers (which provide flexibility).

It is known for its strength and rigidity, which makes it an excellent choice for shipping and storage applications. Manufactured using 100% recycled fiber, this material has a highly glossy finish. The high gloss finish makes SBS ideal for use as an outside liner board when printing with UV inks because it resists ink bleed-through. You can use offset or digital printing methods to print this paper. It can also be die-cut into almost any shape or size. It is extensively used in various sectors such as:

  • Packaging 
  • Frozen and perishable products
  • Medical products
  • Dairy products 
  • And many others 

Clay coated news back paperboard

Clay-coated news back is made from recycled materials such as newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and other printed materials. The process involves the production of pulp from these papers, which are then converted into paperboard sheets. It is made by applying clay coating on both sides of the paperboard sheet, which gives it strength and durability. After this process, it undergoes further treatments like calendaring (to make it smooth) and corrugation (to enable folding). 

The resulting material is also stronger than traditional paperboard and has a better weight-to-strength ratio. This material also features a high tear resistance and a high bending strength, which makes it ideal for use in shipping products that need extra protection during transit. It is also used for packaging food products such as crackers and cookies and for other items such as paper cups and egg cartons.

Coated recycled paperboard

Coated Recycled paperboard is made from a combination of pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. It’s made by blending the base pulp with a coating stock. This coating stock contains a binder that gives it strength and stiffness and an adhesive to hold the fibers together. The binder also serves as a protective layer for the paperboard, so it can be used for food packaging or other applications that require protection from moisture or liquids. 

Coated recycled paperboard can be manufactured into many different boxes and containers, including corrugated boxes, folding cartons, and molded pulp trays. You’ll find coated recycled paperboard in everything from cereal boxes to heavy-duty shipping containers.

Coated unbleached kraft 

The coated, unbleached kraft is one of the world’s most used types of paperboard because its manufactured using recycled materials making it highly cost-effective. Kraft paperboard is a brownish-gray color with a thick texture. It is made from wood pulp, processed with chemicals to make it waterproof and resistant to grease, oil, or water. It is also coated with wax, oil, or plastic to make it waterproof. It is used in many products, including corrugated cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, mailing envelopes, and more.

The coated side allows easy printing, while the coated backside provides moisture barrier properties. The coating also aids in preventing wrinkles during storage and transportation. This coating is available in multiple colors to accommodate many different types of printing processes, including offset lithography (OL), gravure (G), flexo (FX), and screen printing (SP).

There are several different types of kraft paperboard available depending on what box you need it for and what kind of product you’re packing inside your box (or other containers). It is often used as a secondary food packaging material by companies who want to increase the aesthetics of their products. This type of paperboard can also be used in high-end restaurants and retail stores where food products are sold.

CCNB (Duplex board)

CCNB stands for Corrugated Chipboard Non-Bin Board. It consists of two layers of corrugated board glued together with a layer of paperboard sandwiched between the two layers. The boards are then pressed together to create a single sheet resistant to moisture, heat, and other elements that may affect paper products like moisture or heat damage. The top layer is called the cover, and the bottom layer is called the liner. 

Liners are available in both plain and printed varieties. Plain liners are smooth on one side and have no printing; they’re used when you want to print directly onto your product instead of an outside wrapper or label paper that will be applied over the liner board’s surface (as in a tray). Printed liners have decorative designs printed onto them — often with company logos or other marketing information — so that they can be used as part of your overall branding strategy without having to design separate labels or wrappers that get applied over the top of them once they’ve been shipped out to customers who bought products from your company online or in-person.

 Duplex board has many uses, including packaging materials such as boxes and envelopes, food service trays, and other specialty applications such as posters, signs, window displays, and point-of-purchase displays. It’s also used in the printing industry for magazines, books, and other printed materials.

Metallic paperboard

Metallic paperboard is a type of paper that has been treated with an adhesive or varnish to give it a metallic finish. It is used in place of foil and other metal materials because it can be recycled, which is vital for the environment. This paperboard can be made from recycled paper products such as newspapers, magazines, and cardboard boxes. Fiber sources such as wood pulp or cotton linter can also be used for manufacturing this paperboard. The metallic layer may be applied to both sides or only on one side of the material. This gives you several options when designing your packaging. 

The metallic layer provides an extra layer of protection against liquids or moisture damage because it is naturally waterproof and water-resistant. It can also withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit without losing shape or color. The process used to make metallic paperboard varies depending on whether the material is made with recycled content or not. This paperboard has an outstanding impact strength, which makes it possible to use this packaging material in many ways. 

Textured paperboard

Textured paperboard is corrugated cardboard that has been textured or embossed to create a pattern or design. These designs can be simple such as different shapes or more intricate, such as leaves or flowers, making the material more visually appealing. The textured surface also adds strength and durability to your packaging project.

This type of paperboard is made from recycled fibers collected from the waste material left over from paper mills. These fibers are then mixed with water, soap, and other chemicals to make a pulp mixture which is then run through a screen-printing machine. This device consists of multiple screens with different patterns engraved on them so they can print different designs on the pulp mixture while passing through it. After printing, these sheets are dried in the sun before being rolled out flat into large rolls, which are then sent to packaging manufacturers for use in their products.

This paperboard is popular among manufacturers and retailers because it helps protect their products during shipping and storage. It’s also used in packaging to make the product stand out on store shelves or in advertisements.

Printing Techniques You can Use to Print your Packaging

The ink and printing technique used in packaging is a critical part of the finished product. The appropriate choice of ink and printing method can make or break the success of your packaging. When choosing the right ink and printing process for your packaging, the first consideration is to determine the type of product you are printing on. This will help you determine what type of inks and printing technology is available and how they may affect your packaging printing process. 

When it comes to printing on paperboard, there are different techniques. Each type has its own unique properties, which can affect how it performs in specific applications and may require special care during production processes if used on certain paper types or substrates.

Offset printing

Offset is one of the most used printing techniques in the packaging industry that uses wet ink on printed plates to transfer the image. It’s also referred to as lithography or litho printing. To make a print, the image to be printed is inked on the plate. Then it’s transferred to the rubber roller. This is then finally printed on the selected printing surface, such as paperboard, kraft, or other material. Due to the low cost and high-quality prints, this technique is often used for bulk printing packaging boxes, newspapers, books, magazines, catalogs, etc. If you want to print a large number of paperboard packaging with the same design having precise, sharp, and vivid images with rich colors, offset printing is the best and most economical option. 

Digital printing 

Digital printing is an advanced form of printing that uses the digital image file from the computer or other digital device to print directly on the packaging material. This printing process converts the digital files into the CMYK system of colors that helps to present sharper and more precise color output. Digital printing is done through state-of-the-art printers that don’t need installation of any setup or machines like offset printing. It’s also a cost-effective and quick printing method but is mostly used for short-run production, such as posters, flyers, business cards, etc. Although the digital printing quality is the same as that of offset, the spectrum of colors offset printing offers is much broader than digital printing. Moreover, the materials on which digital printing works are few compared to offset or litho printing. 

Screen printing 

Screen printing or silk screen printing also called serigraphy is a process that involves using a mesh screen over a flat surface to transfer colored ink onto a sheet of paper or other media. The ink is applied through pressure from a squeegee, and the image transfers onto the material, allowing it to dry. The image printed on the substrate can range from simple shapes found on many packaging labels to detailed images such as those found on candy boxes or magazines. This printing method can be done in color and monochrome, but it is most often used to print on white paper. It is also one of the most cost-effective printing methods, which makes it a good choice for small runs.

UV printing

UV printing is a process where UV light is used to produce images that are then transferred onto the surface of your finished print. The UV light is projected onto the surface of your image and causes it to dry and harden. This allows us to create an image directly on top of our substrate and produce high-quality prints in as little as 15 seconds.

 It can be used in almost any situation where you need a durable print that will last for years without fading or losing its color or quality. It’s perfect for logos, posters, signs, or anything else you want to display for long periods without worrying about fading or warping over time. UV printing is used in applications like graphics, packaging, window displays, and logos. It’s also used in various commercial products such as decals, stickers, and labels.

Water-based Ink 

Water-based ink printing is a printing technique that uses water and ink. Applying water-based ink is similar to traditional screen printing, with one significant difference: it uses water instead of solvent to transfer the image onto the substrate. The water-based ink is applied to a substrate, and then the substrate is submerged in water. The water can be heated or kept at a constant temperature depending on the ink used. When heat is applied to a printed product, the ink melts and sticks to the substrate. The resulting image can be a print, a transfer, or an embossed pattern. This printing technique is environmentally friendly, requires minimal equipment investment, and can produce high-quality prints without the user’s particular skills or experience.

Soy/ vegetable ink 

Soy ink/ vegetable ink is the most common option for printing on paperboard packaging. This ink is made from soybeans and is an eco-friendly, water-based ink. It has a smooth and creamy feel, which makes it ideal for printing on packaging materials. This type of ink can also be used on various paper stocks, including coated and uncoated papers. They have been used for packaging applications for years, but their popularity has grown recently due to their low cost, easy application, superior performance, and resistance to water and chemicals.

Oil-based ink 

Oil-based ink is an oil-based emulsion that creates a water-resistant print with a solid feel and natural gloss. These inks are ideal for printing on semi-transparent papers like acetate and polyester, as well as clear or colored transparent materials. They are extremely durable and capable of withstanding high levels of impact and abrasion without damage. However, they can be more expensive than soy or vegetable inks, but they’re also more resistant to moisture and mildew damage than soy or vegetable inks.


Pantone printing is a process by which a designer’s color palette is applied to packaging materials. This method creates color profiles in the form of a single-source color library, which can be used by manufacturers and distributors to identify and match colors. It is an effective way to create eye-catching and distinctive designs for your packaging and a marketing tool for your product. It is ideal for packaging because it allows you to create consistent color schemes across your entire product line. By using Pantone printing, you will be able to increase your brand recognition and make it easier for customers to identify with your brand.

Pantone metallic 

Pantone metallic ink is a particular type with a metallic finish when printed onto certain packaging materials such as paperboard. These metallic colors are applied using an immersion process or dry transfer method that transfers the pigment from the print head directly onto the substrate material. It gives the product a unique quality that distinguishes it from competing brands.

Pantone metallic prints provide excellent color reproduction and vibrancy, but they’re more expensive than other types of printing methods. These links are available in many different colors that allow for color matching before printing on your packaging materials. This is especially helpful for large batches of printing projects where you may need to match multiple colors with one supplier. Moreover, this method is ideal for printing on plastics, foils, and metals.

Labels and stickers materials 

Now that we have understood different paperboard packaging materials and printing techniques let’s talk about the popular materials used for making labels and stickers. Once you are done with your packaging printing, you may want to apply a label or sticker to make it unique. Understanding your sticker or label material is crucially important because, without this, you cannot create stellar labels and stickers for your brand that complement your packaging. 

Paper labels and stickers 

Paper is the most common material used for making stickers and labels having multiple advantages. Paper has low cost and high flexibility, which makes it ideal for making stickers and labels. It can be printed with ink or paint so you can get different colors of the same sticker or label. Paper stickers and labels come in every imaginable color, shape, and texture. 

Types of paper labels and stickers 

White Semi-Gloss Paper Label/Sticker

The white semi-gloss paper label/sticker is ideal for products that do not require much environmental protection. This paper is semi-glossy and has a matte finish, making it more durable than regular white paper labels. It is perfect for printing text or images on it. The paper is also used for printing barcodes, logos, and other information on the packaging. It’s more durable than other paper labels and will not tear easily when folding over the carton. It also offers better protection against moisture and scuffs than other labels.

Brown Kraft Paper sticker/Label

The brown kraft paper label/sticker is ideal for products with high moisture content and needs stickers application. These labels are made from 100% recycled kraft material and include an adhesive backing that makes them easy to install on your product packaging. Depending on your needs, you can choose between a matte finish or a glossy finish with brown kraft paper labels.

Uncoated White Paper Label/Sticker

This uncoated white paper label/sticker is also known as matte white paper or white matte paper. It is available in several different thicknesses with a dull finish or no gloss, depending on the needs of your project. These labels are great for printing text, graphics, and images on your product packaging at an affordable price without compromising on quality since it does not require a special coating before applying it to your product packaging.

Some specialty paper stickers/ labels 

Fluorescent Paper Labels

Fluorescent paper labels and stickers are a fun way to add a little color to your products and packages. They use printed inks that fluoresce under ultraviolet light (UV) to make objects or products more visible under normal light conditions and protect them from fading, dirt, moisture, and other contaminants. They’re ideal for use on clothing, bags, and other fashion accessories, as well as on food packaging and product labels. These labels are also great for adding a splash of color to party invitations and decorations.

Matte gold or Silver Paper Labels

Matte gold or Silver Paper Labels/ stickers are one of the most popular and versatile paper labels on the market. They can be used in a variety of ways and have many applications, including business cards and wedding invitations. The colors in these stickers can range from light gold and silver to dark bronze, so you can choose a shade that matches your project perfectly. These labels can be used for indoor and outdoor purposes, such as sealing food items, bottles, jars, etc., making them attractive in looks and price-wise.

Vinyl labels and stickers 

Vinyl is another commonly used material for creating stickers and labels. It has been used for decades in the printing industry for its durability and flexibility. It is a vinyl plastic material that can be used on any surface. Its adhesive quality allows it to be easily applied and removed without leaving behind any residue. These labels and stickers can be printed with different colors so that you can get customized stickers or labels according to your needs.

Types of vinyl labels and stickers 

White vinyl labels/stickers 

White vinyl labels are durable and waterproof. White is a versatile color that will work well with any design. They are often used as an alternative to paper labels because they are more durable, waterproof, and resistant to chemicals. They can be applied directly to items such as boxes or bottles. They are also made of high-quality materials, so they will last for a long time if cared for properly. These labels are available in many different sizes and styles, including circles, squares, rectangles, and more.

Clear vinyl labels/stickers 

Clear vinyl labels have the same durability and flexibility as white vinyl but have a transparent background that lets you print designs directly on them. This allows you to create customized designs for retail packaging or product branding. Clear vinyl labels are often used for labeling products, but they also work well for branding applications such as signage and stickers. These labels allow you to create stunning designs using full-color printing methods while ensuring your message gets across clearly!

Food Wrapping Paper Types & Guides

Food wrapping paper is an essential part of delivering or selling a product that requires refrigeration or has a high potential for bacteria growth. If you are a restaurant owner, food supplier, or running a bakery or café, you must have shopped for food wrapping paper and may have felt a bit overwhelmed. That’s because many different kinds of food wrap paper are available at various price points. But fret not, as we have created this guide to help you make an informed buying decision that is right for you. 

A quick comparison chart of food wrapping papers

Features Butcher paper Freezer-coated kraft paperWax paperCheese paper Sandwich paper 
Construction Sturdy and rough Sturdy and rough, low-density paperSmooth surface treated with waxSimilar to wax paper with a smooth surface Smooth and flat foldable, eco-friendly 
Uses Wrapping meat, crafts, and table covers Wrapping poultry, cheese, fish, deli products, noodlesPackaging foods that are refrigerated, for lining trays. Wrapping wet and dry foodsWrapping and displaying different cheese varieties Wrapping sandwiches, lining baskets or wrapping flat food items, hot dogs, etc. 
Available varietiesSheets and rollsKraft and white varieties available in sheets or rollsRolls and sheets Range of colors, styles, and sizesGrease-resistant varieties available in a wide range of colors, sizes, and designs 
Food safeYesYes Yes Yes Yes 

Butcher paper

Butcher paper, also known as wrapping paper, is heavy-duty paper made of kraft paper or recycled paper. It is usually printed with a stiff outer surface to be used for food packaging and other purposes. 

  • Used to cover or wrap meat, fish, poultry, and other items that need to be stored in the refrigerator. 
  • The low moisture absorption rate makes it an excellent insulator that keeps food fresh. 
  • Available in rolls or sheets and can be easily cut to size.
  • This versatile wrapping material is available in white or brown and can be printed with your company logo or other graphics.
  • Used to cover foods being prepared for serving and to cover platters when transporting food from one location to another (e.g., a buffet line).

 The most common types of butcher paper are the following:

  • White Paper Butchers Paper: This type of butcher paper comes in large rolls typically sold by the case. It’s usually used by restaurants and bakeries when they need to wrap large amounts of meat or bread. The paper’s white color allows users to easily view its contents without having to open it up. 
  • Brown Paper Butchers Paper: This type of butcher paper comes in large rolls but is generally used as a decorative alternative to white butcher paper. Brown butcher paper can be used as a wrapper for cakes or desserts as well as packages containing meat products like sausage or bacon. It can also be used for a variety of fun craft projects such as piñatas.

Freezer /coated kraft paper

Kraft paper is a natural unbleached paper. It is used for wrapping frozen foods and baked goods. This paper is coated with wax to repel moisture, prevent freezer burn and extend shelf life. This paper can be recycled because it is not coated in any way, so it will not contaminate other materials when recycled.

  • Biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly choice. 
  • Perfect for freezing and storing ice cream, frozen vegetables, fish fillets, meat products, and more. 
  • A freezer-safe film that can be used over this wrapping paper is also available.

Freezer /coated Kraft Paper comes in a variety of sizes, including 4″x4″ for wrapping smaller items like cheeses or cookies; 8″x8″ for wrapping larger items like sandwiches; and 12″x12″ for wrapping large items like turkeys or roasts.

Sandwich Deli Paper

Sandwich Deli Paper is a grease-resistant paper used to wrap sandwiches, burgers, and other food items. It is made from paper pulp and has been treated with wax, which makes it waterproof. It is best suited for use in restaurants, cafes, and homes. 

  •  A single layer of plastic coating on one side of it helps protect the food from getting wet when appropriately wrapped in this type of wrapping material.
  • More environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and recyclable than these other materials.
  • An effective way of protecting food items from contamination by moisture and other substances.
  • Available in various sizes, from small squares up to large sheets used for wrapping platters or trays full of sandwiches.
  • This paper can also be cut into smaller pieces for wrapping individual sandwiches and other types of items that need protection from moisture or spills during transport or storage.
  • Available in multiple sizes (10 x 10 inches, 12 x 12 inches) and rolls that measure 50 feet long by 25 feet wide.

Wax Paper 

Wax paper is paper coated with wax, which helps prevent moisture from penetrating the paper. The food industry uses wax paper as a packaging material because of its properties like heat resistance and transparency. It serves as an excellent barrier between surfaces when frozen food items are stored on shelves. The wax paper surface does not stick to food products, so there are no chances of contamination or deterioration during storage or transportation. It is used as a film wrap for fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats.

  • Resistant to grease, grease stains, and oil stains.
  • Easy to use, inexpensive, and doesn’t leach chemicals like many other types of food wrapping papers do.
  • Often colored with vegetable dye to make it look similar to other types of food wrapping paper.
  • Can be used as a low-cost alternative to aluminum foil for covering items like fruit or vegetables before storing them in plastic bags or containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

Deli Sheets Vs. Waxed Paper:

Sandwich deli sheets are made using a different material than regular waxed paper sheets. The main difference between the two types of paper is that sandwich deli sheets are thicker than regular waxed papers because they contain more material layers. Sandwich deli sheets are also more durable than waxed papers because they’re made with multiple layers and multiple coatings for added protection against moisture damage.

Cheese Paper

Cheese paper is made from cellulose pressed to form sheets of cheese paper. After being cut, the sheets are rolled or folded into different sizes and shapes. The cellulose fibers are treated with wax to make them shiny and waterproof so they won’t absorb any moisture from the food they’re wrapped around. This paper has a glossy finish and can be used for wrapping food items like cheese, chocolate, fruits, etc. This paper has a high moisture absorption capacity ensuring the moisture content inside the wrapped food item stays intact and prevents it from getting spoilt.

  • A biodegradable product that is made from non-toxic materials.
  • Helpful in wrapping food because it doesn’t tear easily like regular paper does when folded over several times.
  • Inexpensive as compared to other food wrapping papers.
  • Available in many colors and patterns, including gold or silver metallic, Christmas colors, black and white stripes, polka dots, and more.
  • Works well for both cold and hot foods because it has a low melting point when exposed to heat.
  • Comes in rolls that measure about 20 inches wide by 15 feet long (50 cm x 4 meters).

How to choose the right food wrapping paper for your products

Choosing the right type of food wrapping paper will make all the difference in protecting your product and giving it a professional appearance. To determine the best option for your business, you must consider some important aspects while selecting the right type of food wrapping paper.

  • Type of product you are packaging
  • Product size you need to package 
  • Temperature range required by your products
  • Surface finish 
  • The thickness of the paper sheet 
  • Moisture barrier properties 
  • Water resistance 

We hope that you found this guide helpful and that it will make your decision-making process that much easier. We understand that there are many factors to consider, so don’t hesitate to contact our packaging professionals to discuss your options if necessary. It might be a bit of extra work on your part, but it certainly helps you make a better-informed decision with the guidance of experts in the industry.