Introducing Packaging Box Templates
Before the box is given the shape of the box there needs to be drawn a precise sketch of its structure. It is that technical, 2D sketch of a box that is given the name of a box template. It defines the pre-assembly structure of the box. Once it is cut out from the mentioned lines, the box can be assembled and given the intended shape by folding and gluing.
What should be included in Box Templates
A box template is a complete flattened structure of a box that not only indicates the boundaries which need to be cut, but also the edges where you need to fold the box. Hence, it has two major components;
- Die cut lines
- Creasing lines
The die-cut lines indicate the boundaries where the printer will cut the box template vector. Hence it gives you the unfolded, unassembled, but cut-out structure.
The creasing lines are usually the dotted lines. You would fold the cut-out template along these lines to give it the shape of the box you intended to create.
What is Required to Prepare a Custom Template?
If you want to go with a standard box type, the standard templates are easily available on various template designing soft wares. All you need to know is the basic know-how of a box dieline generator.
However, sometimes, a custom design may require a bit different templates to be designed according to specific dimensions and shapes. In such cases, you can design your own custom template. The rule here is that practice makes a man perfect. You may feel it is a bit tricky at first, especially if you are a beginner, but once you get your hands on it, it’s just a matter of a few lines.
In order to design a custom template without an expert’s help, you need to have command over an ew important things. Let’s start with first things first;
Selecting a Suitable Software
Your first and foremost step towards a smooth process of designing a box template is selecting the most appropriate application. Most designers prefer an application that supports 2d box template designing. One of the most important reasons behind this preference is that a 2D design allows changes in size and shape even after you’ve fully completed it and it just needs to be sent to the manufacturer. Experienced designers find it easy to design templates using such programs as they do not have to worry about the 3D visualization of the design.
The most commonly used software applications for generating custom paper box templates are adobe illustrator, InDesign, and Inkscape. Once you are done with the 2D design, you can use certain plugins to visualize a 3D design. For example, Esko or Cinema 4D allow you to see your flat 2D design in 3D format.
Creating the Die Lines and Creasing Lines
Once you are done with the software selection process, next comes the technical part of the job. Now you have to get started with creating the die lines and creasing lines. As mentioned earlier, the die lines help the printer ascertain where the paper box template needs to be cut out. Whereas, the creasing lines are the line along which the machine will create an impression i.e. perforate the template so that it can be folded easily along those lines. Although it may seem to be a daunting task at first to create these two types of lines, you will soon get in line with how to create these lines with perfection. There are just a few important things to keep in mind while creating them;
- Now, despite the fact that you know the die lines and creasing lines are different, the printer doesn’t know it. To help the printer distinguish between the die lines and creasing lines, they must be made on different layers.
- Moreover, the die lines and creasing lines should also be done in different colors.
- It is recommended that you use dotted lines to represent the creasing lines.
- Besides, clear instructions about the creasing lines can be given by naming them as ‘do not print.
Playing with the lines may seem a bit hard and daunting, especially for beginners, but it gets easier as you practice.
The Role of Box Templates in Creating Brand Reputation
No matter how brilliant the quality of your product is, it can never be better than the customers think it is. And what makes the customer think that your product is awesome?
Well, in the end, it is a collective, comprehensive retail experience backed by a number of branding tools that creates an impression. Customers today ask for a wholesome retail experience and that is totally incomplete without an impressive presentation. Packaging has t do a lot more with branding than you might think. This is especially true in today’s world of e-business. The boxes here provide the first touch point. They bring the retail world to customers’ doorstep. And all of that starts with a mere template, aiming at creating something reputable.
In short, creating a unique template is the very first step toward successful branding. Hence it needs to be done thoughtfully. The template you make for your product’s box is likely to stay with it for a lifetime. Hence, the box templates with all their elements help any brand become memorable and be identified readily.
Personalization of Box Templates
More than anything else, retailing is about branding these days. Your brand cannot succeed unless it has an identity of its own, easily recognizable and memorable. Starting from the logo design to the color scheme, lettering, and graphics, the minutest things are going to contribute to your brand’s specific persona with which customers are going to relate your product. Hence, everything no matter how small needs to be given utmost attention.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind while creating a brand of your own through personalization;
- Personalization starts with logo designing and logo placement. Make sure, your business’s logo and your product’s name are placed prominently. This is important because if the customers are not likely to understand what the box contains, they are not likely to buy it.
- Along with the logo and product name, a small description of the product should preferably be added to the pack in a prominent place.
- Choose your color scheme carefully. It is the colors that are going to pop up in customers’ minds first of all whenever they think of or hear about your brand. They are more likely to recognize your brand through the color scheme on the box.
- Make sure that you keep in mind the target audience while designing your package. Have some knowledge about the preferences of your target audience according to their age, sex, gender, etc. because in the end, it’s your audience who is going to decide how good your product is.
- Besides being aesthetically attractive, sometimes an emotional appeal in your packaging can do wonders as well. Whether you are appealing to the feeling of hunger, excitement, happiness, or pride through your graphics, it gives your package a bit of alluring touch compared to the monotonous packages we see on the shelves.
Further Beautification of Box Templates
Once you’ve managed to deal with the vector lines and come up with the basic structure of your package, the fun part begins. It is about beautifying the package according to your aspirations. The options here are as limitless as your imagination.
This part of the job is even easier than designing the basic box template vector design. Especially with the advent of a number of software’s that allow personalization in the easiest possible way, the beautification of templates has become a fun job. You need not be a pro or tech-savvy to adorn your template.
There are several software applications available online which allow you to visualize your template in 3-dimensional format and be able to see how it would look like once cut and assembled. For example, a Package is software that not only has a comprehensive library of ready-to-use and editable templates but also allows you to import the 2D templates from other applications like AutoCAD. Then you can view your imported template in a 3D format.
And this isn’t the only thing you can do with your template. The software applications like EngView Packaging designer Suite, Artios CAD, and Impact even allow you to adorn and beautify your template like a pro. It doesn’t require a lot of skill anymore. You can put any graphics on your 3D model with ease. These software applications allow you to apply any finishing effect of your choice on the 3D box and visualize it immediately. This will help you explain to the printer what type of finishing you need. You can check die-cut windows, matte or gloss varnish, embossing, and debossing to see which one looks more presentable.
Moreover, some f these applications also allow you to select a print-ready standard ECMA or FEFCO template and also allow you to edit the template according to your needs. However, before you get your template print ready and give a final finishing touch to it, you should take into consideration a few important points;
- While placing the text, graphics, and other typographic elements on the template, make sure, none of these should be placed on the creasing lines or die lines. This can cause difficulty in reading and would also compromise the beauty of the final package.
- No matter what layout you prefer for the printed stuff on the box, it is always recommended to leave some clear space on the front of the package. This is important because of two reasons. A graphically crowded box wouldn’t look too pleasing to the eyes. So, the text should be placed thoughtfully to allow the information to be easily digestible. Secondly, the retailers offer to use special discount stickers or other promotional material for enhancing their sales. So it is important that you leave some space without text on the front which the retailers can use for promotional stuff without obstructing the important text or graphic.
- Last but not the least, creating a digital, as well as physical mock-up is also highly recommended. This is important because t allows you to assess how the box would finally look like and where the graphics need to be placed for better presentation. The physical mockup can even be created on plain printer paper as the main goal is to get an idea of how the box will be folded and how the text would appear on the box, whether you need to change the font of the text, should there be any changes in the creasing lines for easier folding, etc.
Involvement of Designers in Customization
With literally innumerable number of box dieline generators out there, it is not a big deal to get a free box template. You can get even the most irregular-shaped box template molded to your product’s specific dimensions using certain software and the best thing is that you do not have to invest anything for it. Simply provide the exact dimensions of the required box template and the thickness of the material you are planning to use and you are all set to download a tailor-made box template.
However, despite this convenience, there are still certain scenarios where the involvement of a graphic designer specialized in making box templates is recommended or even unavoidable. Here are the circumstances under which you might consider availing the services of a designer;
- If you do not have enough time to search for the most suitable software or website for your custom box template and you have got the resources to hire a specialist in the field.
- Your product requires a specific, unique kind of box or bag and you do not want to try just any website for the job.
- You, yourself are not tech-savvy and cannot use a website or software for getting the template.
- You are not sure what kind of box or bag would do for your product and need some expert advice on it.
- You are concerned about the customization process including the mundane things like color selection, text placement, finishing type, etc. to get a presentable package. Hence you need an expert to do the whole thing for you and get you going with your brand.
Once you’ve decided that instead of relying on yourself or on the readily available ready-made templates, you are going to hire a specialist, the next step is to hunt for the one. Where would you find the skilled, capable, and financially feasible expertise? The good news is, there are innumerable platforms on the internet where you can find the best suite person for your specific needs. I am enlisting some of the popular options in this regard;
Behance by Adobe is a comprehensive platform where you are presented with the portfolios of a number of designers. You can contact them to find out if they are suitable for your job and hence boil them down to the one who is best suited for the project.
On this specific platform, you can search for designers who specialize in creating ecommerce packaging designs. Hence, it is a very job-specific search which means you get what you want. It even allows you to hold a competition where the designers come up with the dieline templates. Hence it allows you to judge their creativity and capabilities.
Instead of just hiring a designer for a preconceived template, the chances are that you can even find someone who comes up with something unique, new, and yet trendy.
- Designing Agencies
If you are willing to spend a bit more and want to have face-to-face interaction with a designing expert for your template designing journey, hiring a specialist from a designing firm would be a good option. In such cases, it is possible to meet the expert in person and have a look at his previous work physically.
Types of Box Templates
Depending upon your product’s size and shape, your preferences, and your budget, there can be a number of box template types at your disposal. There are packaging solutions for even the most irregularly shaped products. Some of the standard and most commonly used templates are enlisted below with a brief explanation for each;
Popcorn Box Templates
Used to hold the popcorns, fries, and other edibles, this elongated packaging shape needs no introduction. The Popcorn
box template is easy to design and you can even get the ready-to-print templates for it.
Window Packaging Boxes
These boxes have a die-cut window. i.e. a part of the box is cut out to give the effect of a window. This window can be of any shape and size and enhances the beauty of the box. It is ideal for those products which ask for increased visibility while still being protected from pollutants and repeated touch.
Bottle Box Packaging
Bottle boxes are among the most commonly seen packaging boxes in every household. Their template can be easily obtained from any free dieline generator online according to your own specific requirement. You simply need to give your bottle’s dimensions.
Custom Printed Pillow Boxes
Pillow boxes are among the most beautiful, uniquely shaped, and attractive packaging boxes. They have curved structures along with curved flaps. They are commonly used as favor boxes and to package sweets, however, they have a variety of other uses as well.
Cube Style packaging
The cube-shaped box template is easy to create even for those who aren’t very much into package designing. These boxes too have a variety of uses and are among the most commonly seen packaging types.
Burger Printing Boxes
These boxes are easy to assemble and are compact enough for convenient and affordable delivery. Besides, their secure closure protects and retains the freshness of food items inside.
Cereal Packaging Templates
You can easily make the template for cereal packaging boxes using a vector application. Or else, it is easy to get a free cereal box template online that suits your product’s specifications. This rectangular, upright box is simple yet versatile as it can house a huge range of products.
Custom Gift Boxes Design
Gift boxes generally have a simpler template and the most crucial stage here is that of the beautification of the template. Although you can get a template for gift boxes online, if you have something unique and specific in mind, you can do it yourself using a 2D vector program and then use a plugin to visualize your design in a 3D format.
Designing a box template can seem a bit daunting at first, especially when you aren’t tech-savvy. However, with practice, you can be well on your way. Take the whole process step by step and be clear about your specific requirements and it would be a matter of a few lines.
However, if you are too busy to do it yourself or even hunt for a template generator that works for you, it is always recommended to hire an expert. This can be done easily by using online platforms. A specialist in packaging design would also help you in deciding which design would be the best suited to your case.
No matter which source you rely on, keep in mind that a template is a very first step towards a successful branding journey and also the most crucial one. So, it needs to be handled with utmost care and dedication.