Say What?!

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Say What? 

Ever feel like you’re playing lingo bingo? You're in a meeting or on a conference call, grasping for enough verbal clues where you can stand up and enthusiastically yell “I got it! I know what you’re talking about!” 

Every industry has their own insider terms, and the packaging industry is no different. 

Here are a few packaging terms explained. 

Dieline: A blueprint or template for a specific box or bag.  Like cookie cutters to make shipping bags and boxes! 

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Printing Plate: Used to apply ink to the surface. One color per printing plate. Multiple plates can be used to create an image. 

Drawdown: A sample of an ink match on a specific substrate; typically used for printed paper products for color confirmation.

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Ream: Unit of measurement for tissue paper packaging, typically 480 sheets of tissue per 1 ream and 5 reams per carton.

Corrugate: Tiny folds to create boxes or thicker packaging. (Ex: corrugated boxes)

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Flute: Thickness of corrugate. A-F flute. A being widest, F being thinnest. 

Grey Board: Board used for the construction of rigid boxes, for example: 

1 piece hinged lid box:

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2 piece cuff box:

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Euro-Style Shopping Bag: Industry term for rope handled shopping bag, generally considered more luxe than other paper and poly bag styles.

Bottom Board: It is literally the bottom board supporting the interior base of a Euro-style shopping bag. 

Top Board: Board reinforcement panel under the turn top of a Euro-style shopping bag

Gusset: The side or depth of a bag or expandable mailing envelope. 

Art Paper/Art Board: Paper or board with coating and generally has a sheen. 

Kraft Paper: Comes in natural kraft or bleached white kraft and has a flat finish and often recycled content.

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PCW: Stands for "Post-Consumer Waste," signifying the amount of post-consumer recycled content in a shopping bag, for example. On many shopping bags, you will see the PCW percentage content printed on the base of the bag, as required for compliance in certain states and municipalities.  

Spot UV: A clear coating that can provide ink protection and added strength to paper; can create texture/ raised effect. Adds high gloss to surface where it's printed. 

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Lamination: A clear film that provides ink protection and added strength to paper. Lamination is offered in gloss, matte and soft-touch finishes. It's different from UV in that it's a poly film laminated to the bag. 

Varnish: A clear coating that provides ink protection; can be gloss, satin or matte. Adds minimal sheen to surface. 

PT / OZ/ MM / GSM: All ways to convey or depict a weight or thickness of paper or board.

Mil: Unit of measurement to gauge weight/thickness of poly items (bags, molded inserts.)  

Emboss: Raised effect 

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Deboss: Recessed effect. If embossing is mountains, debossing is a valley. 

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PVC: Polyvinyl chloride - commonly used for cosmetic bags and plastic inserts for boxes.  

PEVA and EVA: polyethylene vinyl acetate and ethylene vinyl acetate - Also used for cosmetic bags and generally considered more environmentally friendly options than PVC. 

Reusable Totes: Many retailers are turning to reusable style totes for retail bags (Lululemon, Athleta, Ikea and more.) They are bags intended for reuse. They come in a variety of material options, for example: 

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PP Non-Woven Tote: Polypropylene, non-woven construction Inline image 12

Canvas Tote: Cotton blend tote 

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And the list of packaging options and terms goes on and on and on... 

If you’ve seen a print technique you like but don't know the name, or heard a term but not sure what it means, just reach out and ask us. It's our job to explain the industry and help you define your brand through packaging.

Caleb Lummer