800-446-1552 Contact Us

Packaging FAQs

All About Packaging would like the opportunity to help you with any questions you may have or challenges you are facing. Please give us a call or feel free to check our list of packaging FAQs pertaining to thermoformed and paperboard packaging solutions.

What is thermoforming?
Thermoforming involves heating plastic and using vacuum and air pressure to form the heated sheet onto the surface of a mold. The part is then cooled so it holds a custom shape for product retention and display. Thermoformed packaging often takes the form of hinged clamshells or blisters/trays.

Do you vacuum form?
Vacuum forming is a simplified form of thermoforming using only heat, vacuum and atmospheric pressure to form a thermoplastic part. All About Packaging uses compressed air in addition to heat and vacuum to form parts (thermoforming). Forming at higher pressures allows thermoformers to achieve a greater degree of detail than vacuum formers.

What is a clamshell?
A thermoformed clamshell is a shell of rigid plastic that hinges in the middle to retain a product and graphic insert(s). Clamshells typically start out as a sheet of transparent thermoplastic that is heated and formed into a detailed shape to allow for the desired level of product containment. Tri-fold clamshells have three shell segments connected by two hinges.

What is a blister?
A thermoformed blister is a shell of rigid plastic utilized to retain product. Thermoformed blisters can be the inside or the outside of a package. Blisters are made from a sheet of transparent or colored plastic that is thermoformed into a specific shape and can have custom finishes for sheen and texture if desired.

What size orders do you run?
We have low minimum-run order quantities so we can service all your custom packaging needs. From 500 to 500,000 pieces, All About Packaging is your trusted supplier for custom packaging.

What are your standard lead-times?
Lead-times vary depending on the complexity of your packaging project. Standard lead-times for printed items are 2-3 weeks; for thermoformed items 3-5 weeks. We work with our customers to deliver high-quality packaging within reasonable time frames and strive to deliver each package with an exceptional level of service that you will come to expect from All About Packaging.

What types of plastic do you use?
We stock PET (recycled and virgin) and PVC (recycled, virgin and impact modified) thermoplastics in a variety of gauges. We can thermoform nearly all, widely available thermoplastics. Contact us with your thermoforming needs and we will find a solution.

Are the materials you use recycled/recyclable?
We incorporate both recycled (post-consumer and post-industrial grade) and virgin materials in our packaging. See our sustainable packaging page to see the other ways we are going green in the packaging industry.

Do you print on plastics?
We partner with trusted outside suppliers to provide you with printed plastic solutions. All About Packaging can help coordinate with those suppliers on joint projects so you only have to deal with one point of contact.

What industries do you work with?
We work with nearly any industry that requires custom printed paperboard or thermoformed packaging. We are a one-stop solution for your complete packaging needs.

What type of packaging would be best for my product?
Choosing the right packaging for your product can be a daunting task. Let one of our expert packaging sales engineers walk you through the process of choosing the right fit for your product. Our packaging experts will make recommendations based on your needs for product visibility, retention, graphics and budgetary constraints to achieve a solution that is best for your company.

Is there a correlation between packaging design and product sales?
There are many factors that determine product sales. Perhaps one of the most profound is the visual impact of your product packaging amid a sea of competitors. You only get one opportunity to draw your customer’s eyes to your product and only a few seconds to do it in—having a well-designed package with visual impact will set you apart from the competition. When seconds count, make your impact by collaborating with All About Packaging to design and produce your packaging.

How much does packaging cost?
The cost of packaging is based on a number of factors including:

  • Package complexity
  • Materials used
  • Order quantity

We generally see a range of packaging prices between 2% and 10% of a products’ retail price with higher price-point items toward the lower end of the range.

What is tooling?
Tooling is the required manufacturing components that alter raw materials into finished products in a repeatable way, such as printing plates that print the same images onto a multitude of cards, molds that form a multitude of clamshells in the same shape, and trim dies that make cuts in the same place on a multitude of parts. In most cases, tooling specialized to a specific product or product line is necessary, though we are always on the lookout for ways to consolidate tooling between similar products to reduce cost.

How much does tooling cost?
Tooling costs vary with the type of packaging being produced. Typically, printed item tooling can range from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars depending on the size, number up (number of packages made with a single impression) and complexity of the printed package. Thermoformed tooling is typically several thousand dollars; the average ranging from $3,000 – $6,000.

What is the difference between a folding carton and a corrugated box?
The main difference between a folding carton and corrugated box is the material. Folding cartons are made from solid, folding grade paperboard that’s 10pt to 24pt thick. Solid paperboard can be coated or uncoated, bleached or unbleached, virgin or recycled. Folding cartons can be direct printed with a wide variety of specialty coatings.

Corrugated boxes are made from corrugated fiberboard, which is not solid like paperboard, but is a lamination of heavy paper on both sides of fluted board and often offers more structural support for heavy or large products. Corrugated boxes can be direct printed, on uncoated paper, or can have a secondary printed coated paper laminated to the uncoated fluted board if full-color graphics are desired. All About Packaging’s design team will work with you to determine the best substrates available for your packaging needs.

What is a display card?
A display card is a printed piece of paper or cardstock intended to provide pertinent product information to a consumer. Display cards can be inserted into clear packaging such as a clamshell or serve as a structural piece to hold the product in a blister or tray such as in the case of a seal blister or trap blister package. Display carding can be printed as simple or as detailed as the customer desires using a wide variety of ink colors and coatings.


Call Today!

Telephone: 920-830-2700
Toll Free: 800-446-1552
Fax: 920-830-2701
Email: Info@aapack.com

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 1272
Appleton, Wisconsin 54912-1272

Street Address

2200 West Everett Street
Appleton, Wisconsin 54914