Over the last few years, parcel shipping has exploded in popularity, largely due to the impact of e-commerce. From 2014 to 2018, the number of packages shipped worldwide doubled from 43 billion to 87 billion, and the effects of COVID-19 have only increased this growth. In fact, estimates show that the pandemic has led to a 49% increase in e-commerce, creating a parcel delivery service boom in the process.
Within this system, coding packages with a company logo is a common need. Regardless of whether products are being sent directly to the consumer or shipped through a distribution channel, logos help identify shipments and improve brand awareness. To create these logos, many companies utilize inkjet printers due to their high DPI resolution and ability to print on porous substrates, like cardboard.
If you ever wondered how to print logos on boxes, let this article serve as your guide. We will discuss the go-to inkjet printers for logo printing, as well as how to adapt your logo to work best in these contexts.
The Inkjet Printers Most Commonly Used to Code Logos
Corrugated cardboard is perhaps the most common product shipping material used today. According to some estimates, more than 95% of all products in the US are transported using this material, with Amazon alone using an estimated 1.6 million cardboard boxes per day. Given how overwhelmingly common cardboard is as a shipping material, this article will assume all boxes in this discussion are constructed from it.
As a shipping material, cardboard is great because it is tear-resistant, lightweight, and flexible. However, for those wondering how to print logos on boxes, certain concerns need to be kept in mind when coding this substrate: Firstly, cardboard is a porous material, meaning that ink will penetrate through the surface to a degree when applied. Additionally, most cardboard is brown, so printed graphics won’t appear as sharp as they do on a white background. Although this reduced contrast is far more consequential when creating barcodes or QR codes, it can still make logos appear messy or lack the desired crisp clarity.
To meet the challenges posed by cardboard, organizations can use the following machines to create clear, crisp logos:
High-Resolution Case Coding Printers
High-resolution case coders, such as the Precision Series 72, are industrial printers that are designed to create sharp print on both porous and nonporous surfaces. Case coders differ from other inkjet printers in that they use denser ink formulations. These denser formulations enable high character clarity, even when coding non-white surfaces. Case coding models like the Precision Series also operate using a built-in computer system, which allows users to create and recall custom labels and graphics through an intuitive touch-screen interface.
The printheads used by case coders are often larger than other inkjet printers, with some models offering printheads as large as 108 mm (4.25”). With these larger printheads come the option to create larger logos/graphics.
Thermal Inkjet Printers
Thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers are another popular coding option due to their more affordable price, lightweight construction, and high mobility. Like the Precision Series case coders, TIJ printers use internal computers for easy and convenient use. And, certain models like the Anser series can print images at resolutions as high as 600 x 300 DPI.
In general, TIJ printers cannot print logos as large as most case coders can; most TIJ options print below one inch in diameter. However, the smaller size of these machines does allow them to fit into more manufacturing line configurations, as they can be easily mounted or operated by hand, which is a flexibility not offered by case coders.
Adapting Your Logo for Ideal Results
Whether you are using a high-resolution case coder or a thermal inkjet printer, there remains a shared set of guidelines you can follow to create a logo that will look great with either machine:
- Begin with a black logo: Case coders and TIJ printers are monochromatic machines. Although they can use ink colors aside from black, black will show up best on a brown cardboard box.
- Make the colors as solid as possible: Inkjet printers generally don’t handle color gradients well. Solid grays are possible, but opting for this kind of shading can produce less crispy results.
- Use space wisely: If you need to include a barcode or text in the graphic, be aware that it will come at the expense of logo size. When working with a larger printhead, there will be more room for adjustment, however, spacing concerns will be especially present when working with machines that have smaller printheads.
By following these simple guidelines and choosing the right printer, you can ensure that the logos on your boxes appear clear and recognizable.
Other Questions on How to Print Logos on Boxes? We Have Answers
Successfully coding a cardboard box boils down to having the right printer, the right ink, and the right image file for the job. However, we know that complications can arise, unique cardboard materials exist, some logos can be difficult to adjust, and specific operational situations can make choosing a printer difficult. For these issues and more, our expert team is ready to provide guidance. Just give us a call, tell us your issue, and we will get it sorted out as quickly as possible. We can also offer no-obligation test prints to show you how your logo will look with various printers.