Just because your budget doesn’t stretch to bespoke packaging doesn’t mean you can’t create great-looking, unique packaging. Here are our top five recommendations to create packaging that WOWs without breaking the bank.

  1. Printed boxes

Advances in digital print technology means that printing boxes is no longer prohibitively expensive. There are three ways you can approach this:

  • Printing the inside of the box. You might think printing the outside of the box would be the way to go, but there are a couple of reasons why you might want to consider printing only the inside of the box: firstly, the element of surprise when a customer opens an ordinary-looking brown cardboard box to reveal a dazzling interior can create a real WOW factor, especially if you include a personal message within the print; secondly, for reasons of security you might want to keep the outside of the box plain to avoid drawing unwanted attention to the treasures that might be concealed within.
  • Printing the outside of the box. If security is not something you are overly concerned about (and there are many ways to ensure the security of packages) then the outside of the box provides valuable advertising real estate to promote your brand or a seasonal promotion. Again, thanks to digital print technology, this has become much more affordable.


  • Printing the inside and the outside of the box. If budget allows it’s possible to really go to town by using print to customise both the inside and the outside of the box. Simple one or two-colour printing can be very stylish and effective, but if your brand is all about colour then consider full-colour printing.
  1. Custom-printed sleeves

Custom-printed sleeves are a great, affordable way to customise generic box packaging, offering a highly effective means of creating an impact without needing to commit lots of budget. For example, a sleeve with a brand logo embossed or foil printed onto it can turn a plain brown cardboard box into something far more luxurious. Sleeves are also a cost-effective means of differentiating different product lines without needing to invest in different packaging. Some companies are even using sleeves as part of the returns process; customers simply need to reverse the sleeve to reveal the return information and slide it over the box – no need to print out separate labels.

  1. Printed tape

Printed tape is a highly affordable method of customising packaging with the added benefit of providing extra security.  Tape can be printed with brand colours and/or logo to add a WOW to plain or printed packaging. And, because it is more evident if customised tape has been tampered with, it also acts as a deterrent to opportunist theft. Printed tape is also a quick, easy and affordable way to communicate promotions and special offers to customers.


  1. Custom printed packaging papers

For items that require a little extra protection, custom printed greaseproof paper can add a little extra oomph to your packaging presentation. Printing your brand, message or a seasonal promotion not only creates an impact for customers, it is also an effective way to make sure your packaging works as hard as possible. Custom-printed paper is an economical way to add WOW to otherwise plain packaging or can add the finishing touch to printed boxes.

  1. Polythene mailers

Polythene mailers are popular for businesses that regularly send out a high volume of orders and want to keep costs low. But that doesn’t mean to say they can’t get creative with them. These too can be printed with details of the latest promotion or message. More cost-effective for smaller business, however, might be to simply print the bags with the brand logo or other less time-critical information.

Want to find out more about how to affordably customise your packaging? Challenge one of our experts today – request your packaging consultation here