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.

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.

The rise of ecommerce should also mean the customization of your package

With the rise of ecommerce, brands should think of new ways to stand out from competition and get customers to think about their brand name and be top of mind.

There are different ways companies can be creative and think of several possibilities to be distinct. The goal is to cut through the clutter and communicate messages with your customers that will make them listen to what you have to say and provide you their undivided attention.

Gone are the days of sending the same message to the masses. People want to view content they are more likely to relate or respond to. That is why it’s best to know your market segments by researching different personas. When going through this exercise, it can be possible that certain segments have been forgotten or overlooked. This is how companies get a better understanding of their customers and have a deeper comprehension of the groups of people they market to.

Once this is done, it becomes simpler to tailor messages based on the various segments found. The increase of ecommerce companies means more competition for your attention. Even if a company is not selling the same thing as another, the same person can be categorized as being part of the same persona for more than one brand.

This is where the brand’s identity and creativity comes in. A great exercise is to think of adjectives that make up the brand and have your messaging and image reflect that. Packaging is unfortunately something that gets overlooked but there is so much potential to making it stand out. If you think about it, the package is the first thing customers see when they receive your product. They don’t expect brands to have great packages, which creates the opportunity to be distinct and at the top of mind of customers.

Custom printed tape is a great starting point for customization since it is fairly affordable and will get the message across to customers. Having any element of your package custom made improves brand retention and recognition.

Packaging should be just as important as your product

When we meet someone or get exposed to a brand for the first time, we start forming opinions right away. In today’s competitive marketplace, it is vital to know how to stand out in a positive way.

With the increased popularity of ecommerce, customers may have never been exposed to a physical attribute of the brand yet. The package would be the first thing they will see and touch even though they know what to expect in the box. For example, consider the situation where you were to receive a package and the box is torn, looks cheap and worn out. This sets the precedent on the image of the brand and how their products are perceived to be.

Packaging tape is an important component in sealing boxes to make sure they get to their intended destination in one piece. It is too bad it is not a decision more highly regarded since there are a lot of variations to the product. If more thought were put into it, a different kind of packaging tape could be more beneficial to the operations and the other supplies used in the packaging process. A great example would be sealing in cold or freezing temperatures. Not all tape performs the same in this environment. Another example is when highly recycled boxes are used. Not every kind of tape sticks well to them therefore it is best to look into the each case to use the packaging tape that is right for you.

How to chose the right packaging tape

As mentioned above, there are certain aspects to consider before making a choice on tape for your specific application. All these factors can have an affect on the quality and the security of the seal: grade, environment, substrate, application method and tape quality.

Grade means the thickness of the film and amount of adhesive applied. When it comes to environment, there are two things to consider: the temperature of application when the tape is used and the temperature where the tape is stored. This all matters since adhesion is compromised. Not all tapes perform the same and have their pros and cons in various situations. Substrate is the surface on which the packaging tape is applied to since not all boxes are made the same.

When it comes to applying packaging tape, there are two ways to do so: manual or machine application. The tape used in a machine application needs to have an easy unwind to reduce tension that causes tearing and stretching. The quality of the tape is another thing to take into consideration. There are a few tape suppliers that have a good reputation on providing consistent product quality. You can rely on their tape to have a consistent film thickness, thick adhesive coating and so on. Even though packaging tape physically takes a small part of the overall business process, taking the time to choose the right one will far outweigh the decision to go with the most affordable.

Creating an unforgettable unboxing experience for your brand

When it comes to certain businesses such as ecommerce, the package shipped to the customer will represent the most direct touch point. This is because they have never been in contact with a tangible item of yours previously. Think about it, this is going to be the first time they will be in physical contact with your product therefore it is important to create a great first impression. It is quite surprising since this strategy happens to be one of the most under-utilized opportunities companies seize.

What is brand-packaging experience?

Most companies don’t think about the packaging of their products or the unboxing experience. It is a necessity to package your products to keep them protected during transit. But with increased competition, shifting consumer habits and the evolving ecommerce market, it is important to look at the whole experience rather than the product itself.

Branded packaging is the thoughtful assortment of packaging materials and how the products are presented within it. The idea is to add more value for customers and your business through the packaging experience. Custom printed tape is a great way for companies to add value to their brand. The additional cost of getting your logo printed on tape will benefit your brand immensely due to its many advantages. It will add security to your product, increase brand recognition and retention and make your packages stand out from competition.

For ecommerce companies, there are less touch points to impress customers therefore it is great to use packaging to your advantage.

Why providing branded packaging is important

A large part of building a long-term successful brand is to make sure customers keep coming back. If you have any experience in business, it shouldn’t come to a surprise to you that it is more expensive to find a new customer than keep selling to a current one. Dotcom distribution found in 2013 that 52% of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases from a company who offers premium packaging. Also 4 in 10 customers would share an image of a delivery if it came in a unique package. There is value in providing beautiful packaging for your customers that go beyond customer experience and into residual marketing effects.

Custom branded tape is a great place to start since it will communicate your brand logo and message as well as help generate the attention you want for your company.