A separate box for each candle fragrance or one generic box?

When you first look at sourcing packaging for your business, using a regular printer or even our business for short runs, it can be a huge investment for a hobby business or start up. Especially if you want a separate box for each fragrance. So what is another economical option?

Without knowing your budget, but guessing you don’t want to tie up too much money and have as much flexibility as possible, I would suggest initially purchasing a generic box and along with smart design of the box, combine with application of a label for the separate fragrance varieties.

These are the practical things to consider.
Every different set of artwork for printing needs a new set of printing plates which for full colour is about $110 per set. This is a one off cost.
You will also need to print off at least say, 500 copies to get a reasonable price. So if you have for example 6 fragrances, that will be 3000 boxes.

This equals more money tied up and with about 500 of these per box variety takes up space. That is about 10 of our regular shipping cartons!
If you want to decide to add just one or two new fragrances for a seasonal promotion or a special customer, you have to pay for the setup again and wait for the boxes to be manufactured.
What happens if just one fragrance runs out faster than another?

So what is the solution?

Start off with one generic box per candle container size.

Be very smart about the box design and include as much generic text including safety/burning information, information about your brand and company, logo in the artwork.

Then think carefully about leaving a space maybe on the front middle or on the front top and lid area for a label to be applied that can be coloured and have your individual fragrance name. Pick the colour and art of the label so it complements the box artwork, so when applied it really looks like it belongs there.

If you purchase for example 50 or 100 of each label, you can pick and manufacturer what you like each time and keep using the generic box. It is quicker and more economical to just get 50-100 more labels of a new fragrance or restock if you run out.

An even more economical idea is to make sure when you design the label, the same fragrance label can be used on the generic candle box and also on the candle jar or glass front. The more labels you order the same size, the cheaper they become.

You can just start out with 500 or 1000 generic candle boxes this way and combine with 50 labels of each fragrance and be in business.

We have used this technique in the past for contract manufacturing clients’ to minimise their costs.

Our business now also can sell these short run digital labels. They come on practical sheets and are easy to apply and removable which is handy if you need a second go to apply just that little bit straighter 🙂 The advantages of digital labels means no setup costs or die costs.

Candle Box Finishes

Embossed Candle Box

Embossed Candle Box

Now that you have thought long and hard about your artwork for your candle box packaging, you need to consider what finishes are available to you after the printing process.

Finishing is a process applied to a design’s surface, that can provide your candle box with a specific look and feel, add decorative elements, alter its shape and size or provide functionality and presentation enhancements. Finishes can transform an ordinary design into something much more interesting and unique. These include varnish, lamination, die cutting and embossing.

A varnish is a colorless coating that can both protect the candle box surface from wear-and-tear and enhance the look and feel of a design, or specific elements of the design (referred to as a spot varnish), with a glossy, or matt finish. By default most printed packaging will have a varnish to protect the ink on the surface. Spot varnish can be used to enhance your logo or some specific text on the candle box or provide a different feel in texture.

With lamination you might not actually see the laminate which is a thin plastic coating heat sealed onto the paper. You will however feel it as it creates a smooth and impervious finish. This will likely be a matt laminate. Gloss lamination is more readably seen and again adds to the surface feeling of the candle box. Lamination is probably the most robust method of surface finishing for your candle box to both protect the surface in transport from scuffing, and during repeated handling by your customers before purchasing. Depending on desired result, the lamination can be matt or gloss.

Another finishing option is die cutting. Often die cuts are used on a candle box to create a window to display its contents or could be a pattern of holes on the lid of the candle box so your customer can smell the candle without having to open the box. HINT. When you order your candle boxes, get a candle dust cover printed at the same time. This dust cover can be diecut with a hole in the centre for a single wicked candle or two for a double wicked candle. This can then be placed on the surface to prevent dust settling on the surface and can also be printed with safety instructions or another brand message.

Embossing uses a specially-made die under high pressure to form a raised three-dimensional impression that allows you to literally feel the design. It is a graceful effect that brings a touch of class to your box. Embossing can be used on its own or in combination with 4-color printing or foil stamping This requires a special dye to be made and can add significantly to the overall cost of a job, especially for a small quantity of candle boxes.The image at the beginning of this article has the words Signature Vanilla and the logo below embossed.

Candle Box Packaging

When you are looking to create your own candle box packaging, you should consider a few important things.

In this first article about candle packaging design, I will consider the package’s physical construction which is very important.  The packaging is often all that protects the product and prevents it from being damaged in transit or while on the shelf awaiting sale.

The majority of candles now produced in Australia are poured into glass using natural soy wax, palm wax or a blend of parrafin and vegetable waxes. The resulting candles of wax filled glass are relatively heavy for their dimensions and easily broken with most containers being made of glass.

One thing most overlooked is the construction of the candle box base. The two most common used box bases are the tuckfold design and a crash lock design. A tuckfold design is where the box base is a flap that is secured by tucking in a flap into the box. In many instances with the heavy weight of the candle inside, the lid on the base can open without warning with the product falling through. Automatic ‘crash lock’ glued base candle boxes can be erected by hand in seconds, and used where a great efficiency in packing or load weight is required.

The safest base design is the crash lock design for candles. The box is designed so that when you open up the box, the base locks into itself and provides support for the product inside. 

candle box with crashlock base

Sample Candle Box Crash Lock base

 

The candle packaging also has to be designed in such a way that its appearance won’t be degraded by shipping and handling.  Packaging can also help protect contents against temperature extremes, excessive humidity and moisture.  So good packaging can save you a lot of wastage.

Packing candle boxes  in a shipping box can subject the candles to vibration and the packaging finish becoming degraded through rubbing. In a future blog I will discuss surface finishings that can help minimise this.