Feeling Krafty? – Things to Know About Printing on Kraft
Things to know when printing on Kraft:
- Kraft is an alternative to bleached board.
- Board color variation.
- The challenge of muted colors.
- The feeling of Kraft’s natural fibers.
When a product is created with natural or environmentally sourced resources, and/or with sustainability in mind, the packaging should reflect the story the brand is trying to tell. Printing on Kraft is a great way to match the natural focus of the product with the packaging.
Kraft is the alternative to bleached board.
The vast majority of packaging is printed on SBS Board (Solid Bleached Board) because it provides a clean white surface. The environmental benefit of printing on Kraft instead of SBS is the absence of bleach in the board, removing the use of the chemical and the extra resources that are required when bleaching the board.
Board color variation.
One of the largest challenges when printing on Kraft is variation in sheet color because the sheets are built up of fibers from any number of recycled materials. The sheet color can vary from roll to roll. It can be very challenging making sure each printed sheet looks the same because the exposed Kraft could be a different color. Color variation because of the natural fibers in Kraft can also cause color variation in the ink colors. Ink colors will show up differently on different shades of Kraft background.
The challenge of muted colors.
Colors printed on Kraft are muted compared to colors printed on white SBS. There are ways, though, to counteract the muting colors. For example, printing the image two times in white, then printing the color image on top of the two hits of white. Printing two hits of white provides a clean foundation for the image colors to be built on top of. Colors on Kraft will never be as bright as colors on SBS, but that can be part of the appeal to the consumer and more on brand for the product.
If a company is choosing to print on Kraft the printing manufacturer must be prepared and aware of the color challenges that occur.
The feeling of Kraft’s natural fibers.
Not only does printing on Kraft look more natural and sustainable, it feels more natural to the touch. When you pick up a Kraft box you can feel the fibers of the board. The natural feel of Kraft feeds consumers tactile sensory which can make the product that much more intriguing to the consumer.
Printing on Kraft is not best for every project, or for every company, but if the circumstances are right it can be the perfect way to display sustainability. It can help companies align another aspect of their product development with other environmental efforts. It can also help catch the eye of consumers who make purchasing natural products a priority.