Call it what you will; Luxury, prestige, aspirational, or elevated packaging – it all begins with quality materials. Grey-board (Asia/UK), or chip-board (U.S.) is the foundational material that the majority of rigid boxes are built upon. Though it’s rarely seen, the structural rigidity of this base material is critical in communicating quality and craftsmanship in your packaging design.
Grey-board is available in a variety of weights from 600gsm to 2000gsm, it can also be laminated together creating even greater thicknesses. The heavier the board, the more elevated a pack can feel. There is a threshold of taste where packaging that is too thick can take away from the true hero of the unveiling process, the product and the experience.
Here are 3 things to consider when selecting grey-board for packaging:
1) Weight / Thickness
GSM stands for grams per square meter, and doesn’t translate directly into thickness. A low quality 800 gsm board may be thicker than a high quality 800 gsm board due to variations in density. Thickness is measured in micrometers (Asia/UK) or in thousandths of an inch (U.S.) using calipers
Because grey-board contains 100% recycled fibers, controlling color of board from batch to batch can be difficult. Coloration and size of flecks seen in the board will partially depend on the products recycled for the pulping process. The majority of grey-board-based packaging will have the board wrapped in different substrates, coated or uncoated papers, leathers, fabrics, etc… On the occasion that a raw grey-board is the desired look, working closely with a paper manufacturer will be critical to obtain the correct coloration.
3) Surface Texture
High quality grey-board has very little surface texture providing a smooth surface onto which you’ll be able to laminate your outer substrate. Testing board moisture levels is critical during production insuring a consistent surface texture and wrap quality.
To create truly beautiful retail packaging, look beneath the surface and get to know your foundational materials.