In the world of packaging, many people are confused about all the different types of boxes and the interchangeable terms used to describe them – Folding Cartons, Rigid Boxes, Set-up Boxes, Cardboard Boxes, Corrugated Boxes, Paperboard Boxes etc.
Exhaustive articles could be written about this subject, but here I will try to simplify things for you.
There are basically three common types of boxes in packaging. All are made of paper pulp of varying thickness.
3 Common Types of Boxes
1. Folding Cartons
Folding cartons (also called paperboard cartons, or paperboard boxes) are some of the most common types of boxes that you will see at retail stores. Think of a typical cereal box – this is a folding carton.
Check out this gallery of Folding Cartons that showcases many popular styles commonly seen in the retail marketplace – Right Here
2. Rigid Boxes
Rigid boxes (also called set-up boxes) are sturdier and do not fold or collapse as folding cartons do. They are often, but not always, used for higher-end products where perceived value is important. They are also used when the product within is heavy and in need of extra support. An iPhone box, is an example of a rigid box.
For a gallery exhibiting the various Rigid Box Styles please Click Here
3. Corrugated Boxes
Corrugated boxes (also called corrugated board, corrugated fiberboard or combined board) are what you would commonly refer to as brown cardboard boxes that you would, for example, use to pack your belongings in when you move to a new house.
Corrugated fiberboard typically has three layers. A wavy or fluted layer sandwiched between two outer flat layers. The fluted layer is where the strength of this paper product lies.
In packaging, corrugated boxes are often referred to as “shipper boxes” or “master packs” and are mostly used to ship a company’s retail-ready products to stores all over the country/world.
Click Here for a gallery featuring the many Corrugated Box Styles.
Corrugated is also commonly used as primary retail packaging the same way a folding carton is used. Here is an excellent example of a product that uses a litho-label corrugated box (that’s a corrugated box with a printed label glued to the box)
Corrugated fiberboard is also commonly used in Stand-Up or POP (POS) Displays.
The majority of consumer products will use all or most of the above mentioned types of boxes for a single product as it travels from manufacturer to store shelves. Check out this article which discusses this very topic entitled The Increasing Levels of Modern Packaging.