Know Your Materials: Printing on Kraft vs Clay

If you’ve gone to place an order on our site but been perplexed by the options before you, let us break a couple of them down. You’ll notice there are two materials to choose from for our mailer and shipper boxes: kraft and clay



What are the main differences?

Kraft boxes are the classic brown paper you’re used to seeing for shippers and moving boxes. Clay, meanwhile, are kraft boxes with a white semi gloss coating. Both can be ordered in either a matte or gloss finish – However if ordering Kraft, we suggest matte!


Designing on kraft

There are a few considerations to be made when designing your packaging for kraft. As it is natural, certain colours will not print as vibrantly as they would on a clay box.  

Solid and dark colour choices are our recommended selections for designing on Kraft products as they stand out against the natural colour of the material, while lighter colour choices will appear slightly dulled. The printed colour is reduced due to the absorption from the Kraft material, meaning light colour choices will not print true to the PDF design.

Some of our favourite minimalist packaging designs ditch the colour and use kraft boxes with heroed typography. 


Designing on clay

Clay mailers are our most popular product as the clay-coated surface acts as a blank canvas, allowing for a coloured PDF design to be printed in all its bright, vibrant glory.

Despite clay’s competency for creating a vibrant final colour, we still suggest designing your custom packaging with bold colours. This will ensure the best finish as the density in the colour stands out well against the white surface. 


Some further considerations to make

All of our packaging is printed digitally, meaning much like the computer printer you may have at home, boxes are printed on from electronic files, or PDFs. Digital printing is a much more convenient and cost-effective method than traditional flexographic and lithographic printing, as it eliminates a majority of the lengthy steps. Because of this, the quality of fine detail can be slightly less detailed. To mitigate this, we suggest printing type in no smaller than 12 pt. 

A popular packaging design option is white on kraft. Unfortunately, as we print digitally we cannot print white ink. If you love the look of white type, design your boxes with a solid background colour and white type, and order clay boxes to accommodate the design.