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How to Choose the Best Inks for Cardboard Materials

person holding cardboard box with mailing label and ink printed on it
Several factors determine which inkjet inks are best for your secondary cardboard packaging:

  • Type of Cardboard – Are you printing on coated, matte, or glossy cardboard?
  • Ink Durability – What kind of performance do you need from your ink, and what characteristics does it need to have?
  • Intended Use– How are the ink and cardboard material being used? What environmental conditions will the ink need to endure?

Inks for Printing Barcodes and Tracking Information

The type of cardboard on which your barcodes and tracking information are printed will determine the best inks for your marking and coding needs. Different formulations of black inks produce varying results for glossy, coated, and porous plain brown boxes.

Cardboard Type Ink Types Printhead Technology
Glossy cardboard or cartons Solvent-based inks
Coated cardboard or cartons Water-based inks
Oil-based inks
Porous Cardboard Oil-based inks
Water-based inks

Inks for Branding or Visual Appeal

High-quality inkjet printing can differentiate your brand and products when printing shorter runs onto cardboard boxes and promotional corrugated materials.

Certain inks are ideal for achieving quick turnaround when using industrial inkjet systems to print cardboard packaging and point-of-purchase displays. When integrated with variable data, digital printing enables and simplifies the mass customization of packaging used by retailers and eCommerce businesses for shipping products.

These cardboard-compatible inks are available in black, CMYK, and spot colors. Kao Collins also offers color matching to ensure these inks meet brand guidelines and specifications.

Cardboard Type Ink Types Printhead Technology
Glossy cardboard or cartons
Coated cardboard or cartons
Water-based inks
Oil-based inks
Porous Cardboard Water-based inks
Oil-based inks

Inkjet Inks for Printing Point of Purchase Displays

Industrial inkjet printing produces visually appealing promotional signage on cardboard displays for convenience stores, home supply stores, movie theaters, and trade shows. Our UV-curable and LED-curable inks deliver vibrant, high-intensity results that dry quickly on glossy and coated cardboard surfaces.

Cardboard Type Ink Types Printhead Technology
Glossy cardboard or cartons
Coated cardboard or cartons
Water-based inks
Oil-based inks

Let Our Ink Experts Find Your Ideal Solution

Contact Kao Collins for technical assistance for choosing the right ink for the best performance on the cardboard substrate.

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