What to Look for in packaging Tape to Increase Security

There are different parameters that have to work together to support what you are looking to get out of custom printed tape. With the many test values that have to be determined and analyzed, the best pairing for adhesive tape is to have the most appropriate, dry and clean carton. This is a great place to start since it will ensure right off the bat that the packaging tape will stick well to the box.

Factors to watch for during application

Other than making sure the surface on which the tape will be applied to is dry and clean, there are other factors to consider during application. These are temperature of the room, pressure after applying and conditions of application have a great influence regarding a secure seal. Depending on what these conditions are, there is a tape that is made especially for it.

Tests to tell how sticky the adhesion is

There are many ways to tell if tape has superior quality adhesive. One of the ways is to test it on a steel place to compare the results between how it could stay stuck on carton. Something to note is that a high adhesion on steel only does not guarantee a permanent carton closure. The winning combination is the balanced interaction of the strength of the adhesion, tack and shear adhesion on the carton.

Another test that can analyze the quality of the adhesive is through rolling a steel ball on the tape. The shorter the distance the ball rolls, the better the tack. The takeaway from this test demonstrates that the adhesive binds itself very well to the carton fibers quickly.

Sheer adhesion is another great test to know the connection between the adhesive and carton. One end of the tape is stuck vertically on a piece of 100% recycled carton and the free end is tied to a weight. The longer the piece of tape stays stuck to the box, the better the adhesion.

The quality of the carton and the reset force of the flaps are other variables that should be considered when purchasing packaging tape. To tell if a carton is of superior quality, it should be cut well with clean folding and glued precisely. A standard test that is undertaken with packaging tape is overfilling a recycled box and placing it in a closed room for two days with a temperature of 40 degrees Celcius and a 40% air humidity. This is an important test since it is not uncommon to encounter these variables in real world scenarios.

When a box is being transported on its own, it can be common for the tape to start to unbind due to the stress of other packages placed on top of it if they are heavy. The determined breaking load is the force that is necessary to break an adhesive of a certain width.

What Is Packaging Tape Made of?

Packaging tape is a product mostly everyone needs if they are in the business of shipping products. Self-adhesive tapes are the easiest to use since they are very versatile and can be customized with different colors and prints. Not every piece of tape is made the same, therefore it is important to do your research on choosing the right tape for the proper application.

Types of Adhesives

Natural rubber is considered to be the best kind of tape on the market. It is an all-round great choice for a wide range of applications since it gives the user an increased peace of mind. Since their package will arrive to its intended location the same way it left, it is a reliable choice for companies. This is because the strength of the adhesive ensures the permanent closure of cardboard boxes even on critical surfaces such as a highly recycled box or in extreme conditions.

Hotmelt is synthetic rubber in granular form. It is first melted and applied to the backing material while it is hot. It sticks with good immediate tack and high transparency.

Acrylic is another kind of adhesive that can be applied to a backing material. There are two kinds of acrylic adhesives such as water-soluble and solvent-based. Both are great options if transparency, good UV and ageing resistance is what you are looking for. If you are comparing their performance on the surface, natural rubber would be rated the best followed by hotmelt and then acrylic.

Backing Materials

PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride, is usually backed with natural rubber adhesive. This combination allows the product to be one of the best on the market.

BOPP or MOPP are mainly used for the production of classic self-adhesive packaging tapes. It is the most commonly used backing since it is the most affordable and can perform relatively well.

Paper backing has made a comeback since Amazon started using it to seal their packages. It seals packages very well but it is a hassle to activate the adhesive since water would need to be applied. Since it is made of paper, it can be recycled with the box.

All your questions on custom printed packaging tape answered

We get a lot of questions  related to custom print jobs such as order size, the number of colors we can print on tape and of course for quotes. In some instances, our minimum purchase order is just one case. This is most likely the case for orders with a one-color print. For two-color jobs, the minimum can go up to two cases. Keep in mind the type of tape ordered also has an impact on the minimum. For gummed paper tape, it is usually a five case order.

Colors used for custom printed tape

As for the number of colors printed on a single roll, it is possible to print up to three different colors. Colors that are included free of charge are reflex blue, red, yellow, orange, burgundy, black and green. Other colors would have to be mixed in with each other to get the desired result. For a single color job, only one plate would need to be produced. For each additional color needed, another plate would need to be made. In other words, one plate is used for each color that needs to be printed on packaging tape.

Materials used to make packaging tape

There are four kinds of packaging tape that are used to seal boxes. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the application. The most popular tape is polypropylene since it is affordable and can seal most packages. But if someone would need a stronger tape for more recycled packages, the tape to go for in this case would have to be PVC or gummed tape. They bind very well to the surface and will even hold better if the box is overstuffed or under stuffed. Acrylic is another kind of tape that can be used for packaging. It is favoured in cold or freezer application and binds best after 24 hours.

Information needed to provide a quote

The volume of the order is an indication on how much the price will be. The more cases ordered, the less a roll of tape will cost. Shipping is also something that needs to be taken into consideration, as rolls of tape can be heavy. The three standard colors of tape included in an order are white, tan and clear. It is possible to flood coat the tape but since it would need to go through the press multiple times, it will be more costly.

What you need to know before asking for a quote on custom printed tape

We were recently at Pack Expo, the largest packaging show in North America, and more often than not potential customers were asking for a quote. The only information gathered from them at that point is where they are located. Since no two orders are the same, more information is needed to provide such a number.

1. Order size

Like most orders, the more you buy, the more you save. The same applies to custom printed tape; the price per roll of tape varies on the quantity ordered. Spectra Tapes even offers a free plate once an order of ten cases or more is placed.

2. Material of tape

There are four kinds of packaging tape that can be custom printed; these are polypropylene, PVC, acrylic and gummed paper tape. Prices vary on the kind of packaging tape needed since they are all made of different materials. For example PVC is made of a natural rubber adhesive which costs more than hotmelt adhesive.

3. Color of rolls

If the color of the tape is not standard, it would need to be flood coated. This means more labor is involved in the job since it will to go through the press multiple times; once to get the right background color and again to print the desired logo or message.

4. Tape dimensions

Depending on the width and length of the rolls needed, it will also have an impact on price. Standard dimensions range from 1 inch to 3 inches whereas the length can vary from 55 yards to 144 yards.

5. Number of inks

If you would like to print in one color, it will cost less than a 2 or 3-color job. The way custom printed tape is made is each color is passed through the press separately. If a job requires three different colors, it will need to go through the press three times. In addition, for every color, a separate plate would need to be made. The artwork submitted will be produced into one or multiple plates in order for the ink to be transferred onto the tape. Once purchased, repeat orders will not be charged a plate fee unless artwork is subject to change.

6. Ink colors

There are certain basic colors that are included in the order. If less common colors are needed, an ink match charge will be applied to attain colors such as lime green or sky blue.

7. Shipping

Depending on the dimensions and weight of the case and location of where the order is being shipped to, companies will be charged accordingly.

How to use custom printed tape to your advantage

There are certain products and services that appeal to various markets and industries in the business-to-business segment. For example cleaning products, telecommunication services and packaging materials are all things companies need to run smoothly. The only thing that changes is the way each sector is communicated to since their needs can slightly vary from industry to industry.

Communication in marketing

If a company would need products such as packaging tape for boxes, there are so many options to choose from and certain industries have a standard they would normally purchase. For example, lotto companies would need packaging tape that is of high security. These are designed to reveal a tamper-evident message, which reads “Void/Opened” when removal is attempted on the surface of the box. The residue left behind is almost impossible to get rid of and is resistant to hot and cold temperatures.

For retail companies, it is smart to have their brand message and logo to appear on the packaging tape. This increases rates of brand retention and recognition. The more people that come in contact with your brand, the more your company will seem trustworthy to the public. Think about the reason why companies spend thousands on having their ad on a billboard by the highway. People driving by will see the name of the company. Next time the customer perform a search for that product, the familiarity of the brand name will compel them to click on that site as compared to a competitor’s.

Advantages of using custom printed tape

Not only will your brand name be more visible to the public, but your packages will be more secure. This is due to the custom tape packages are sealed with. When this type of tape is broken, it is almost impossible to reseal the box without it looking like someone tampered with it. No one outside the company will have access to your custom tape. In addition when your package is shipped to customers, the first thing they will notice is the package. If there are custom elements to your package, it will create a great first impression for them and the likelihood they will remember the experience is greater.

There are a lot of companies especially in certain industries looking to increase visibility, recognition as well as sales, and using custom printed tape is a great way for them to stand out.

A Simple Guide to Custom Printed Packaging Tape Design

Now that you have understood the many advantages of custom printed tape, it can get quite overwhelming to think about all the different ways you would want to design your tape. Most companies decide to go for their logo, which is a great option. But if you find it a little too boring, other elements can be added to make it stand out. It is also possible to play with different colors and shapes to catch the eye of anyone who comes in contact with your package.

With increasing online competition, it is important to have your brand be more recognizable and increase rates of brand recognition and retention. When a custom roll of tape is just your logo, it could provide the same effect. There are some examples of logos that are very well thought out which will create the same desired effect. Right now the trend most companies have adopted is the clean and sleek look – the tape is white and the writing is black. This might sound boring to some but as the saying goes “less is more”.

The above image is a great example since it piques the customer’s curiosity with the little images between the brand logo while still maintaining a clean look.

Another example is to have your tape be clear with a white print. It still has a clean look and will stick out in the bunch. The contrast between the box and the tape will sure turn heads!

If you are looking for more color, a great way to differentiate yourself is to stick to a color tone that is known as yours. Most women can recognize the red Christian Louboutin soles from a mile away. A company out of Mexico decided to apply the same concept to their boxes as you can see below.

That vibrant pink color will surely be recognizable by your customers!

Here are a few examples of some custom print jobs we have done. As you can see we can print various designs on different colors of tape. There are many creative ways companies can get their packaging tape to stand out by just putting a little more thought into it.

Having your packaging tape custom printed is just one way to bring increased visibility to your brand. But it is considered to be one of the biggest marketing blind spots companies are just not taking advantage of. When customers receive packages that stand out, they will view the brand as more professional and tend to remember their experience.

When to switch from hand application to machine

As small businesses, the day-to-day operations are much more hands on by the owner and the other few employees around. They will undertake most of the repetitive tasks since there is a lack of space, resources or both. A good indicator to know when is the best time to make the switch from hand application to machine is if the task is taking up most of your day. That is good benchmark to make the decision to invest in a semi-automatic or a fully automatic package sealer.

There is a lot of different machinery to choose from when it comes to packaging. Some of the most common ones to pick are stretch film machinery, strapping machinery and carton sealing machinery. If you are in the market for any of these, it can get quite overwhelming if you aren’t sure what to look for in a machine. It is important to do your research beforehand and find a qualified salesperson to help you make the right decision.

When it comes to carton sealing tape machinery, the first thing to make note of is it your boxes are of uniform size or random. This can affect the machine you end up purchasing since it can be time consuming to adjust the size of the machine after sealing different sized boxes. There are machines out there that can automatically adjust for the size but will end up costing so much more.

Another thing to consider is if there is a dedicated location to place the machine once it is bought. Usually wherever it was being sealed by hand becomes the space for the new machine. It is quite obvious the less autonomous a machine, the more expensive it is going to be. That is another question that can be asked when choosing which machine to purchase for your warehouse. If it requires an operator, it means you are looking for a semi-automatic machine since you expect to have someone around to make it fully functional.

When it comes to sealing boxes, there are some people that are only looking to seal the bottom, the top or they might need both sides sealed. There are many options when it comes to box sealing due to the many features companies are looking to have in a custom machine. That is why it can easily become overwhelming when starting to shop for these kinds of packaging machinery. The question as to when to make the switch is completely up to the company to decide when it its best to make that investment.

Get Ready for the Busiest Day in E-commerce

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, it is important to think ahead on the various marketing activities and additional packaging materials to purchase to enjoy a successful and smooth event.

In 2017, there were 3,420,786 items bought during this four-day event. This translates to over $1 billion USD processed. That means there is an increase in the number of packaging stocked to keep up with the demand. With the increase in boxes being shipped, how is your brand standing out? For pure e-commerce companies, the package is the first thing customers will physically touch and see.

It is important to place a lot of thought in packaging to get the most out of it. Brands who do so will notice higher rates of brand retention and recognition. The more the public is exposed to your brand, the more familiar and trustworthy you will appear. Custom printed tape is a great option for all kinds of companies since it is an affordable way to get your message across to the public while still respecting the budget.

There are a few options to the materials used for packaging tape. The most commonly used tape is polypropylene regardless if it is for custom print or for regular packaging. This is due to its affordability and the fact that it binds very well to the surface it is being adhered to. Something to keep in mind about polypropylene is that it does not stick as well on highly recycled boxes since it is very fibrous surface.

PVC is another kind of tape that can be printed on. It is the most expensive tape to purchase for sealing packages from the materials it is made of. The adhesive is a natural rubber and once it is stuck on a package, it will take a lot for it to start to unbind.

Acrylic is also available for custom print and is best for cold or freezer application. As mentioned, it is possible to customize but unlike the other kinds of tape, it can only be printed on the adhesive side. If this is the kind of tape you would need, it is best to have a very minimalistic design since the adhesive will no longer appear where the logo is printed.

Gummed tape has gained a lot of popularity throughout the years since Amazon started using it. It is a great product because it has the least likelihood of unbinding. The biggest disadvantage is the difficulty of application since the adhesive needs to be activated with water.

What to Expect When You Order Your Custom Packaging Tape With Us

There are various companies who offer the same product offering as us but why should you choose Spectra Tapes to fulfill your order? We place a lot of pride in our team. They are the ones that keep the company running smoothly and efficiently. If you have any questions or concerns, we are more than happy to help.

The ordering process

Ordering a custom product can be a little daunting. You might have a specific idea in mind but not sure if it will look quite right on the interface once you upload your file. Or maybe you are not quite sure what you want, which is something you shouldn’t be worried about since we can help you through each step of the process. Needless to say, if you face any issues upon ordering, a customer service member will be available to answer your inquiries.

The first step in ordering your very own custom printed packaging tape is to have the message available in a high quality file. This ensures the print will be of high clarity and make a great first impression with customers.

Once you place your order, we will contact you confirming receipt and check if we have the proper file to fulfill the job. We do not start a print job without our customer’s final sign off for the artwork approval. In this document, customers confirm the color of the tape, its length and width, the material of the film and the print colors used. When this is done, the transaction is considered final and no further changes can be made.

Why custom printed tape

Packaging has become a marketing blind spot for most companies. This is an important touchpoint with customers since it is the delivery of your product after all; what they have been waiting for! In some cases, if it is an ecommerce company, the package is the first thing customers’ will physically touch and see. Investing time and additional resources to having a great package is well worth it for your brand. It will increase brand recognition and retention. What custom printed tape allows companies to have is the ability to customize their package while not breaking the bank. It is even a great way to reduce pilferage and tampering since it would be obvious if someone were to open a package with custom tape.

Why perfecting the unboxing experience is important for e-tailers

With the rise of ecommerce, there are only a limited number of ways customers will have direct contact with companies in terms of physical goods. This is because of the fact that customers only have contact with these brands online and might not be able to physically touch their products until delivery.

The first impression customers get is of the package that comes to their door and not of the contents. That is why it is important to showcase products with impressive packing to elevate the unboxing experience and increase brand image.

Why packaging has taken a backseat

The list of things to think about when running a company can get overwhelming. This creates a few blind spots from a marketing standpoint that need to be addressed. One of them is the delivery and packaging experience for customers. When it comes to ecommerce, it is more important to create that amazing unboxing experience since you would want customers to share it on social media and even tell their family and friends about it. This way, it can create an organic and genuine interaction with other potential customers.

With traditional retail, it is clearly a different experience since customers are getting personalised service in a physical store location and is being surrounded by the products, atmosphere and so on. Now that first moment of truth with brands is happening in our homes with scattered piles of packaging materials. Think of all the work being put in looking for attracting and converting customers online. It will all be worth it when the package delights customers instead of focusing on the lowest possible cost to ship items.

There is a disconnect between brand marketing and fulfillment operations which can cause a real risk to customer retention. More resources need to be spent on the package to make sure brands get the most out of this important touch point with customers.

Opportunity to stand out

According to recent statistics, consumers believe a vast majority of brands and retailers are not doing a great job with their packages. This creates a great opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves and do marketing right on this touch point as well since it is an important one. It is understandable that not all companies can afford expensive and unique packaging. Custom printed tape is a great place to start since brands can have their name and message clearly shown on the box. This will increase brand recognition and retention without breaking the bank.