Today more than ever, companies need innovative solutions that can streamline their operations and boost their bottom line. One such solution is digital unit cartons, also called folding cartons. From design to distribution, this versatile, digitally printed packaging option offers a multitude of benefits that can revolutionize the way products are presented and delivered to consumers.

With a strong focus on sustainability and cost-effectiveness, digital folding cartons provide brands with the opportunity to showcase their products in an eco-friendly and visually appealing manner. The design possibilities are virtually endless, allowing for creative, customized packaging that can capture the attention of potential customers with highly targeted versions.

In highly competitive markets, buyers of digital folding cartons can give brands the competitive edge they need to stand out from the crowd. Here are several ways to take advantage of the benefits of digitally printed unit cartons.

Key Benefits of Digital Folding Cartons (Unit Cartons)

advantages of digital folding cartons (unit cartons)

Digital folding cartons offer many advantages over traditional print packaging methods.  Some are only available in a digital printing process. Three of the primary benefits of digital packaging include:

  1. Customization and versioning
  2. They are affordable
  3. They can produce both short runs and medium runs

Customization and versioning

One of the key benefits of digital folding cartons is the ability to create highly customized packaging that stands out on the shelf. With the ability to print variable data, such as personalized messages or unique QR codes, digital folding cartons open up endless marketing opportunities. This level of customization not only enhances the visual appeal of the packaging but also helps businesses connect with their customers on a more personal level.


Another advantage of digital folding cartons is the cost savings they offer. Unlike traditional printing methods, digital printing does not require expensive plates or setup costs. This makes it a more cost-effective solution, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses.

Great for short runs

Additionally, digital printing allows for smaller print runs, eliminating the need for excess inventory and reducing waste. With digital short-run folding cartons, companies can produce packaging in smaller quantities, as and when needed, reducing storage costs and maximizing efficiency.

Below we go into more detail on each of these digital product packaging benefits.

Streamline the Packaging Process with Digital Print Packaging

streamline the print packaging process

Efficiency and speed are, of course, key factors in staying competitive. Digital folding cartons offer the opportunity to streamline production processes and save valuable time. Unlike traditional carton manufacturing methods that involve sometimes lengthy setup and production times, digital printing offers faster turnaround.

Also, with digital print technology, designs are printed directly onto the carton material without the need for costly printing plates. This eliminates the need for complex setup processes and reduces lead times significantly. The streamlined production process not only saves time but also allows for greater production flexibility and responsiveness to market demands.

Digital folding cartons are also highly versatile when it comes to design modifications. With digital printing, changes can be made on the fly, allowing businesses to adapt their packaging designs quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s adjusting product information, incorporating new branding elements, or personalizing packaging for specific promotions, digital folding cartons make it easy to stay agile and responsive to market needs. This flexibility lets businesses experiment with design variations to cater to specific target audiences, enhancing their overall brand experience.

Carton Design Flexibility and Customization Options

Another key advantage of digital printing for folding cartons is the design flexibility they offer. With digital printing technology, it’s easy for companies to test many versions of its packaging to determine which resonates best with their target audience. Whether it’s a luxury brand seeking elegant and sophisticated packaging or a playful brand aiming for bold and vibrant designs, digital folding cartons can quickly bring any vision to market.

Digital product packaging also offers the opportunity to incorporate interactive elements. By leveraging technologies such as augmented reality (AR) or near field communication (NFC), and QR (Quick Response) Codes, businesses can create immersive brand experiences for their customers. These interactive elements can range from product demonstrations to virtual try-ons, to exclusive content or promotional offers. By integrating digital elements into their packaging, businesses can enhance customer engagement and create memorable experiences that go beyond the product itself.

NFC codes also help to track products from manufacturing to the store shelf.  This data gives insight for logistics and marketing purposes.

Sustainability Benefits of Digital Printing of Folding Cartons

sustainability benefits of digital units cartons (folding cartons)

As sustainability becomes increasingly important to consumers, brands want packaging solutions that align with their clients’ environmental goals. Digital print packaging offers a more sustainable alternative to traditional packaging methods.

The eco-friendly nature of digital folding carton suppliers shows up in three ways:

  1. In the print production processes
  2. In the papers (substrates) used
  3. In folding carton inventory

Print production process

With digital printing, there is no need for printing plates, which reduces material waste and the need for additional harmful chemicals. Unlike other printing methods, there is no set up (make ready) needed. This reduces material and chemical waste.

Sustainable papers

Digital folding cartons can also be produced using a wide range of eco-friendly materials that are recyclable or biodegradable, further minimizing their environmental impact.

The combination of digital printing process with sustainable paper results in a significant reduction in material waste, as well as a decrease in energy consumption and overall carbon footprint. In fact, studies have shown that digital printing can reduce material waste by up to 90%, making it one of the best sustainable options for the packaging industry.

Folding carton inventory

With digitally printed cartons, companies no longer need to stockpile the big inventories associated with offset or flexo printing. Bigger inventories typically lead to more waste when package versions expire or become obsolete. The fast turnaround of digitally printed cartons means they can be ordered on an as-needed basis. It’s ideal for companies that use lean manufacturing processes.

With digital product packaging, companies can easily showcase their commitment to sustainability and appeal to eco-conscious consumers.

Enhanced Branding and Marketing Opportunities with Digital Unit Cartons

marketing opportunities with digital folding cartons

With the benefits mentioned above, digital print packaging gives companies a powerful branding and marketing tool.

The highly customizable and affordable nature of digital printing allows for almost unlimited versioning of a package design. Versions, or segments, can be printed for SKU’s, geography or locale, product colors, flavors, models, and so on. Such highly targeted packaging is better at capturing the attention of the target audience. Targeted customization can move products off the shelf at a faster clip than generic packaging.

As mentioned earlier, digital printing of folding cartons offers enhanced marketing opportunities through the integration of technology. By incorporating features such as QR codes or augmented reality (AR codes), businesses can create interactive packaging experiences that engage and delight customers with more information or exclusive content.

Equally important is the chance to market the brands commitment to sustainability in carton print production, materials, and logistics. When brands use an eco-friendly unit carton supplier, they can lean on their packaging supplier to add value to their marketing.

Combined, these factors all make for a better customer experience, the kind that builds product loyalty for the long haul.

Quality Equal to Offset Lithography

One of the concerns brands may have when considering digital folding cartons is the quality of the printing. However, with advancements in digital printing technology, the quality of digital printing is now on par with traditional offset lithography and flexographic printing methods.

Digital printing offers high-resolution printing capabilities, ensuring sharp and vibrant images. With today’s color management methodologies such as G7®, consistent color is possible across all printing devices, processes, and substrates.  It’s comparable to conventional printing methods, allowing brands to maintain a consistent image across all their packaging, without the associated setup and cost limitations of offset or flexo.

Considerations for Choosing a Digital Folding Carton Supplier

When considering digital folding cartons, it is essential to collaborate with an experienced folding carton manufacturer that meets your specific requirements. Here are six key things to keep in mind when selecting a digital folding carton supplier:

1 – Experience and expertise in digital printing: Look for a provider with a proven track record in digital printing. Ensure they have the necessary experience and expertise to deliver high-quality results.

2 – Design capabilities: Assess the provider’s design capabilities, including their ability to handle complex artwork, variable data printing, and interactive elements.

3 – Material options: Consider the range of materials available for digital folding cartons. Ensure the provider offers eco-friendly and sustainable options that align with your brand values.

4 – Production capacity and turnaround time: Evaluate the provider’s production capacity and turnaround time to ensure they can meet your production requirements and deliver on time.

5 – Cost-effectiveness: Compare pricing options and consider the overall cost-effectiveness of the provider. Ensure they offer competitive pricing without compromising on quality.

6 – Customer reviews and testimonials: Read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the provider’s reputation and customer satisfaction levels.

The benefits of digital folding cartons show up in many ways from design to distribution. They streamline the production process, provide cost savings, and offer design flexibility and customization options. Additionally, digital folding cartons are sustainable, enhance branding and marketing opportunities, and offer quality on par with traditional printing methods. By choosing the right digital folding carton provider, brands can unlock the full potential of their products with this innovative packaging solution and gain a competitive edge in the market.

An experienced digital folding carton supplier like Clear Print meets all these requirements, and they can lead you to the results you want. Their more than four decades of award-winning folding carton printing and design experience are yours to lean on. They offer a wide range of sustainable print packaging materials and adhere to eco-friendly print production processes. They are well-known for the #1 On-Time Delivery record of never missing a fixed deadline in more than 20 years, as shown by their numerous client reviews.

The team at Clear Print is always available to discuss a company’s digital packaging needs. There are 3 ways to get in touch:

1 – Go here to send specs on your latest unit carton project and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

2 – Call 818-709-1220 to speak with a folding carton advisor.

3 – Email or use the Contact Us form.

Published On: February 20th, 2024 / Categories: Folding Cartons /