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What type of tape or glue should I use on my printed boxes?

April 01, 2022 11:47pm

Most adhesives don't stick well to inked (printed) surfaces, so it's important to plan ahead when purchasing tape and choosing a location for the shipping label on your boxes!

When asked for advice on the best tape to use, we always recommend acrylic adhesive tape for any printed boxes. We don't recommend one particular brand over another, but a product like Scotch 3650 Long Lasting Storage Tape or Scotch 311 Box Sealing Tape which includes acrylic adhesive in the specifications should do the trick! Storage Tape or Sealing Tape in general is a step in the right direction, as they typically use an acrylic adhesive that withstands UV-light exposure and temperature fluctuations. 

The most common shipping and packing tapes out there are not designed with printed surfaces in mind. They often use hot melt or rubber adhesives, and do not perform well on digitally printed surfaces. Neither does hot glue, or glue dots (which is why there is no ink on the glue tabs of our shipping and tuck-top boxes).

If you'll be shipping your boxes without any protective outer packaging, it's a good idea to leave a blank area on the bottom of your box design (or top, if you prefer) so your shipping label has some unprinted material to stick to. Many customers get creative with this blank shipping label area and add a border or other design elements around it so it looks intentional with or without a shipping label in place!

Do I really need to use tape on my boxes?

Some form of tape or glue is required to assemble Shipper boxes and keep them closed securely in transit. All of our other box styles (including our popular Mailers) close completely and snugly without any tape, but we do recommend some form of closure to keep things safe and tamper-evident in transit if they'll be used for shipping without protective external packaging.

Assembling boxes in a cold warehouse?

Sometimes temperature can affect the adhesion of tape and labels. If you are assembling your boxes in a cold warehouse, especially if using common packing or shipping tapes with rubber or hot melt adhesive, it can be more difficult to get tapes and labels to stick on printed surfaces.