Many people are unsure about the correct names for packaging. This makes things difficult for them when they are trying to ask for specific packaging but don’t know what it’s called.
The following guide is not designed to be a comprehensive listing of all packaging types or styles, it is simply here to help people identify and learn the names of some of the basic categories of common packaging.
Included are links to articles, where appropriate, that will offer more detailed and comprehensive information about types and styles of packaging.
Rigid Boxes (Also Called Set-Up Boxes)
Again, this is not a definitive selection of rigid boxes, these are merely but a few examples to give you a visual idea of what is meant by the term “rigid box”.
Rigid Boxes tend to be used as packaging for more expensive items as there is often some (or even a lot) of hand labor involved. These boxes do not fold down or collapse for shipping or storage; once they are erected into box form, they stay that way, hence the name “Rigid Boxes”
Folding cartons are, arguably, the most common type of box that the average consumer is exposed to the most often.
For more detailed information check out this article on folding cartons
And for a gallery of different folding carton styles and their names, click here.
Corrugated boxes can be used as both shipper boxes (master packs) and as retail packaging.
For a more in-depth look at corrugated boxes click here.
For a gallery of different corrugated box styles and their names, check this out.
Thermoform (Blister Pack)
Thermoform refers to, essentially, a clear molded piece of plastic that is custom-formed to hold a product. A backing card made of paperboard that contains the graphics and marketing information is then added. Thermoform not only protects well, but offers a full or partial view of the packaging contents to the customer.
There are many varieties of thermoform packaging, but most of the time they are blurred into one family with the loose term: blister pack.
The following would be considered blister pack alternatives, Skin Packaging and Stretch Paks®
For a pretty thorough article about thermoformed packaging (blister packs etc), be sure to click here.
Bags (Flexible Packaging)
Bags used as retail packaging, also referred to as “flexible packaging”, can be made of paper or plastic and can be single layer or multi-layer (lined). Sometimes the term “Co-Extruded” is used but only in reference to plastic (not paper) bags.
The subject of flexible packaging is incredibly varied and complex. But here, classifying “bags” into just a few popular and common categories will be more useful for most people who are seeking flexible packaging and need to know the basic names.
Stand-Up Pouches (sometimes called Barrier Bags) (multi-layer, very commonly used with food or perishable products)
To see the different stand-up pouches styles, see this article.
Woven Poly Bags (very strong bags used for heavy products generally over 25 lbs or more, i.e. bird seed, gravel, pet food, soil, etc)
For more information on woven poly bags, look here.
Home Textile and Garment Bags (pillow bags, apparel bags, cosmetic bags, kits, etc.)
Header Bags (single layer, mostly for non food or non perishable items, these would be hung from the header hang tab in retail stores)