Skip to Content

custom boxes

19 replies [Last post]
randrews0317
randrews0317's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/23/2009

Hey everyone. Just wondered if anyone new any good sites on where to print custom boxes (not single deck tuck boxes, but a box that would hold a group of tuck boxes.)

Thanks,

Ryan

gameprinter
gameprinter's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2008
POP Display Boxes

Ryan-
Good luck finding someone who can custom print a POP (Point of Purchase) Display box. Since they are usually sized to the tuckboxes they hold and require a custom die to be stamped out of a sheet, they usually cost a bundle for small runs.

Part of the problem is that on a short run game (here, less than 5000 games) the number of POP displays required is tiny. Thus, a run of 1000 games requires only 83 POP displays assuming 12 decks per display. Assuming I get even 2 POP boxes out of a single sheet means we'll only run 42 sheets of paper. We recently priced a POP display for a short run where the POP added over $2.75 per game to the price. Ouch. On a card game? Yikes.

In other words, I usually recommend against POP displays for short runs since it is not economically desirable. If you do find someone who can run them custom or do short runs, let me know. I'll use them for our customers! :)

guildofblades
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Search as I have, I have yet

Search as I have, I have yet to find any company that can do custom printed boxes or POP displays an anything less than 1,000 at a semi reasonable price. I have heard, but not actually seen, of a company that will do one off boxes for about $20-$30 each. Closest thing there is to a POD box provider, short the single card tucks we do, which we fully admit are far from ideal.

That said, we've got some sketch designs on a couple custom built work station that if built and they work, will allow us to do both nice POD boxes and nice hard mounted game boards on runs as low as 100. Going to be late summer at the earliest and perhaps not even till winter before we can get a prototype set up to do some testing. But if we can get it working, we should be able to do nice tri and quad fold mounted game boards and boxes of a quality found on most higher end board games (ala, Fantasy Flight Games, Rio Grand, etc) and of similar sizes. Being POD, of course it will cost more per unit than when those companies are doing a 10,000 production run, but it should still come in at a pricing that will allow for resale into wholesale channels.

Further, if our custom mounting presses work, I *think* the new die cutter we are having built will be able to run the mounted chipboard through it, so we could build an option or two at sheets of die cut game counters/tokens on up to a 60pt chipboard. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

drewdane
drewdane's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2008
Oooooh!

I am eagerly awaiting more news on POD boards / boxes / counters / (and I presume) tiles.

I'm sure you'll find the business you need to make this viable. The enormous minimum print run sizes, and associated costs are keeping a lot of good games on the shelves of designers who are unwilling, or unable to mortgage their homes, and/or children's college education to gamble on a longshot.

(That was an impressively long run-on sentence!)

InvisibleJon
InvisibleJon's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
Interesting...

guildofblades wrote:
That said, we've got some sketch designs on a couple custom built work station that if built and they work, will allow us to do both nice POD boxes and nice hard mounted game boards on runs as low as 100.

Further, if our custom mounting presses work, I *think* the new die cutter we are having built will be able to run the mounted chipboard through it, so we could build an option or two at sheets of die cut game counters/tokens on up to a 60pt chipboard.

That's very interesting. I (and many others) wish you the best of luck (and skill) in your venture!

bluepantherllc
bluepantherllc's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Custom POP Displays

It's interesting how the technology is coming together. True POD for most game components is not far off. It was about 15 years ago I was able to play with the first true rapid prototyping equipment, and what cost $250k back then costs $20k today and it's better quality and faster. Still not exactly economical for small print runs yet, though.

It's also interesting that the problem facing us is not one of new technology, but of getting better performance out of existing technology at a reasonable price. We've been doing POD cards for a little while now, and the issue is the registration of the digital printer more than the laser and the die cutter.

In any event, custom POP displays seem like something that could be done. We do custom wooden boxes for our games and for other folks, so we could size the box to match most any deck size. Could even do a full telescoping box. Material would be birch plywood or MDF. If you're willing to do some of the labor (gluing the boxes together), it gets even cheaper.

SJ

seo
seo's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
I know of a local (in

I know of a local (in Uruguay) shop that do large-size prints and have a router they use to produce short runs of display boxes and display stands.

I used it for some game box prototypes (Pics here and here), and the quality of the final product is quite good. Since both the printing and cutting are digital, the cost is reasonable for short runs, and the process is very customizable.

There probably are similar shops wherever you're located.

An alternative solution would be to simply use a full sheet sticker on a box similar to this one. Not as fancy, but probably pretty affordable.

guildofblades
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
>>It's also interesting that

>>It's also interesting that the problem facing us is not one of new technology, but of getting better performance out of existing technology at a reasonable price.

It is existing technology that has allowed us bunch of POD folks to start downthe road to doing POD productions. GOB Publishing has been doing large aspects of its production in house for about 9 years now. But the production options that were available then made the product, by necessity, be packaged and presented different than traditionally produced items at the time, as the POD options could not duplicate the quality of offset printed goods and mounted boxes, game boards, etc.

These days the print quality out of POD matches that of offset and sometimes surpasses, but yes, registration variance is still an issue (less than it once was, but still is) and color consistency is still mostly a pipe dream for digital. Doing POD cards and POD mounting of game boards and game boxes is totally using older technologies. Its something that would have been possible a century ago, most likely. But there have been no machines purposefully built specifically for those tasks, so everything currently available just isn't that efficient. So we've concluded, for us, the only answer is to get those purposefully designed machines built.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

JuggernautJ
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2009
Using Existing Technology...

Guys, all you've got to do is think outside the box!

Design your game to fit in a readily available, standard size box or package. Some of the most inventive (packages) I've seen lately have been "left over" boxes commonly used in Chinese restaurants.

Anyway, find a cheap, easy to acquire box (perhaps something from the U-Line catalog) and do your printing on LABEL STOCK. Adhere the label to the box, instant short run economy.

If you were going to run several hundred pieces you could even justify setting up a Print Run with multiple panels for your box. Running on a printing press (as opposed to POD Digital Presses) would allow you to varnish or coat your sheet giving both a more lasting surface and a more professional appearance.

Most Print shops will have a fulfillment department of some sort. And they are likely to give you reasonable pricing if you allow them to fit your job into lulls in their schedule (you pay extra for rushes). This is assuming you do a run large enough to make seld application (so to speak) unpracticle.

guildofblades
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
That is, more or less, how

That is, more or less, how GOB Publishing has done its board games for years. Custom die cut boxes with printed wraps. We use wraps instead od labels as labels are uniquely challenging to put on in a timely fashion and make them look nice. A few of our box solutions for GOB Retail use similar methods. They look ok. Pretty good considering most other existing POD alternatives for packinging.

We just are working to take it to the next level. Get a production look equal to boxes and boards being printed in the thousands. Its effectively the same process those manufacturers would use for mounting, pressing and assembling. Just with some equipment being designed specifically for POD volumes of production rather than larger offset runs.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
for Ruby Rush, i offer my

for Ruby Rush, i offer my stores the choice of either a clip strip: https://www.clipstrip.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=1_16_33&osCsid=uauslq4...
applying do-it's: http://www.do-it.com/ to the units so they'll hang on them,

or my PoP box:
http://www.uline.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?model=S-2331&ref=302
with a color label applied to the front and the front-facing part along the back wall. costs about 70 cents total per box+label (because i've got a xerox solid-ink printer, keeps the label cost low).

now, to be fair, i got a bunch of free clip-strips from my brief stint at an office depot, they get thrown away otherwise. but they're cheap enough, as long as you're willing to buy surplus for future use. same with all the rest of the stuff i mentioned.

randrews0317
randrews0317's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/23/2009
Thanks All

What about other solutions? Custom shrinkwrap with a design printed on it?

guildofblades
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Possible solutions: Sticker

Possible solutions:

Sticker labels on a blank box or plastic case.

Wraps on a blank box or plastic case.

Plastic cases with printed inserts

Slap case to go around a blank box or slip case. Should be printed on something thick enough not to rip easily.

If your product is tiles, rules and cut out or whatever (all flat stuff) you can pile it by itself or together with a rigid sheet of chipboard and shrink wrap it letting the top and bottom sheets serve as covers.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

tkasle
Offline
Joined: 05/06/2009
Possible Solution

I'm in the retail box business.
The solution here would be to digitally print either the paper wrap (if we're talking a 2-piece set-up box) or right on the paperboard (if we're talking a folding carton AKA a "tuck box").
Large-format digital printers live to serve clients requiring under 1000 pieces -- as they get uncompetitive above that level -- and they provide excellent quality at a reasonable price.

gameprinter
gameprinter's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2008
Printing the wraps solved, but the boxes?

tkasle wrote:
I'm in the retail box business.
The solution here would be to digitally print either the paper wrap (if we're talking a 2-piece set-up box) or right on the paperboard (if we're talking a folding carton AKA a "tuck box").
Large-format digital printers live to serve clients requiring under 1000 pieces -- as they get uncompetitive above that level -- and they provide excellent quality at a reasonable price.

I'd thought about recommending this solution to people as well, but where do they get the box formed or, in the case of a tuckbox, diecut and glued? I suppose if you could "roll your own" for a tuckbox, but that'd be difficult for a 2pc setup box.

MichaelM
MichaelM's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2009
The dreaded Magic: The Gathering Reference

Are you looking to have what essentially amounts to a starter box from Magic: The Gathering? The kind that holds the 12 starter decks.

If this is the case, most high-end print shops will likely be able to produce a box like this as follows:
#1 printing on a 24 point point cardstock
#2 Custom diecutting the box shape
#3 Folding and gluing the box together
#4 Possibly adding assembly and shrinkwrap.

In my efforts to find good resources for Tasty Minstrel Games to use, I found one that may apply to your needs here. The company is Arizona Lithographers. If you have yet to produce the cards for your game also, you should get a quote from them. I was surprised at how cost effective they were. Talk to Sheila Johnson over there and let her know that Michael Mindes from Tasty Minstrel Games recommended you talk.

Additionally, I am creating a directory of game-related resources, and there is a section on manufacturing. Please add any links to printers / box makers that you have found to be good resources.

If you are looking for a typical set-up rigid box like you see Rio Grande / Fantasy Flight Games in, then you should contact Ray Products which is located in Kansas. Talk to Stephanie over there, and once again let her know that Michael Mindes from Tasty Minstrel Games recommended you talk.

I hope this is helpful.

Michael
P.S. - The directory is MeepleSearch

Traz
Traz's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/06/2009
NO GLUE, NO WRAP BOXES

As a wargamer, I am familiar with a standard gamebox that has been around for quite awhile that requires no wrap, no glue and is printed directly onto the flat stock [similar to light chipboard that is glossy on one side, matte on the other] , diecut, then folded. The samples I have are these games:

ARMY GROUP NORTH by SSG
STALINGRAD POCKET by THE GAMERS
MONTY'S GAMBLE by MMP

I've always wondered why this format wasn't used by the POD folks. It seems the easiest solution all-round. Who makes these boxes?!

randrews0317
randrews0317's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/23/2009
MichaelM - Many thanks! Good

MichaelM - Many thanks! Good stuff.

gameprinter
gameprinter's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2008
Not sure who makes them - know why many don't

We were experimenting with this type of box because it theoretically offers a huge price advantage over a traditional setup box. The problem came during assembly. We found that it took enough extra labor to form the boxes that the cost advantage was reduced to almost nothing. If you have low cost labor (or a different machinery setup than we did) they are an excellent solution and will save you about 30% or thereabouts over a regular setup box.

markwilson
Offline
Joined: 03/18/2015
Yes randrews0317

Normally you can check online vendors to have an idea of pop display or tuck in display boxes. Recently i have done business with https://www.thecustomboxes.com/ for my candle boxes and they are all specialized in customization and havent charged me anything for the artwork.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut