Roastar 101: Create Your Custom-printed Packaging

April 19, 2023
Roastar 101 Part 3
  1. Blog
  2. Process

Transparency meets speed with our free and instant quoting tool!

Why we do it this way.

A free packaging quote gives our clients confidence that we’ll work well together – not just because the price is right, but thanks to our fast and easy quoting process. We ask all the important questions the instant they become relevant and never confuse you with jargon. We pride ourselves on being upfront about things like product minimums, quality and quantity tolerances, and other factors that will impact your order’s lead time.

Our online quote tool steps you through creating your custom-printed package, based on your needs and the "look" you want to create. Our experience, as well as consumer research shows that well-designed packaging doesn’t just make people more interested in your product, it compels them to feel a certain way – to share photos of your product packaging on social media, even. Basically, we’re saying your organic dog treats have influencer potential.

Oh, before we get ahead of ourselves, in the previous installment of this series, we reviewed Roastar sample packs. If you haven’t ordered one, we’re not sure what you’re waiting for – it’s awesome and free! Samples give you a great idea of how our packaging works with your product (and any other cool stuff you put in it, like pinecones or silverware). Alright, back to quotes!

Putting it all together.

Once you know the type of packaging you’re interested in, select your preferred option in our quote tool. Step by step, the process goes something like this:

Pick Your Package type
  • Bags, pouches, tin cans, beverage labels, paper tubes, and stickers are our current offerings. Each one breaks down into its own categories, mostly by shape or measurements. For cans, in particular, an important difference is whether we’ll print your design on the can itself, or give it a label.

Quantity Matters
  • Order quantity, that is. Different items have different minimums; gusseted bags set this lower bound at 500, but cans or stickers can come in batches as low as 100, depending on a few other details.

The Right Stuff
  • When placing bag and pouch orders, material selection is super important; some materials just aren’t built for highly acidic snacks, or treats that need to stay frozen (a warning symbol will pop up for risky pairings).

  • After we get your bag’s material and your desired dimensions, we’ll see what special features you might need; tin-ties, valves, zippers – the works.

Kinda Artsy
  • Finally, we just need a heads-up about artwork – namely, how many different versions make up your order. It’s not required at this point but helps us give you the most accurate quote. Artwork minimums vary, but they’re always clearly spelled out when you type in the number of unique designs you want. For example, our gusseted bags have a minimum order quantity of 500, but the minimum per art file is even lower at just 100 units per design! That means you can print 5 different designs with your order of 500 gusseted bags!

Nice work! All your choices have added up to a custom-printed packaging quote! Please play around with the quote tool and start thinking about what sorts of packaging make the most sense for your business. Review the Products and Materials guide in our previous installment, which walks you through all our awesome material options and special features. That should help a bunch as you build the packaging of your dreams!

Templates, tolerances, and timelines – oh my.

Now that you have your quote, you’ll see something we call a “tolerance range”. To put it simply, printing hundreds or even thousands of items means that some won’t quite make the cut in terms of quality – or things could go better than expected and some of your run’s “buffer” prints pass QA with flying colors.

Now let’s take a high-level look at everything that goes into a custom packaging order so you can be prepared.

Pretty meets practical.

Custom-printed packaging relies on custom artwork files. We recommend downloading our artwork template and working from it as you develop your designs – and here’s a handy guide on key design specs, in case you’ll be handling that part internally. We also endorse dozens of wonderful designers who’ve already done the Roastar rodeo!

After your artwork gets approved, we do two rounds of proofs (digital, followed by physical) so you can confirm that everything looks amazing. Our physical proofs are created on the exact equipment that your final order will be produced on to ensure the most accurate color. Choose between a free, flat-press proof, or a formed proof for an additional fee. The physical proof isn’t technically mandatory, but considering about 50% of our customers make some small, final tweak after receiving one, we think it’s a smart choice.

It won’t be long now!

Nice work - you have all of your artwork approved and are ready to place that custom printed packaging order! Roastar’s production lead times are measured in days, not weeks, and updated regularly. Taken together with design, art approval, proofing rounds, and shipping, you can expect to go from learning who we are to custom packaging on your doorstep in about four weeks. That’s how long just the shipping part takes if you place your order overseas – or with some of our competitors.

Some respect on blank packaging’s name.

To be perfectly fair, although our low minimums help to accommodate those just starting out, we understand that custom-printed packaging can be an investment. If you’re not quite ready, or need something in a pinch, we also offer high-quality blank packaging that’s in stock and guaranteed ready to ship, reducing cost and cutting total lead times to just days. Whether you’re sending ingredients to a warehouse, shopping for a reliable bag tape, or just a fan of elegant simplicity, we’ve got you covered!

Now, if you wanted some ways to accentuate your blank bags or promote your brand in the wild, look no further than custom stickers and labels. Planet Label, our sister company, lets you get super specific with your custom label options! Roastar’s stickers, meanwhile, can be cut to nearly any shape you need, ranging from roughly marshmallow-sized up to a square foot.

Go ahead, get inspired.

Pillar 3 Customer Images

That’s a wrap.

There you have it: getting a Roastar packaging quote, demystified. Why not try building out a “vision quote” for an order 50 times larger than anything you need today? See how many different artwork options that could accommodate.

While you wait to learn more about our artwork process in the next 101 post, you’re cordially invited to join our newsletter (unless you already have, in which case you’re the best). For the sake of your time and your inbox, we only share the choicest packaging tips, product updates, offers, and customer stories – and the occasional packaging meme. The sign-up link is waiting for you in the footer!

Click here to read part four of our Packaging 101 series. Still have questions? We’re always here to answer your lingering questions and help make the packaging process easier!

posted April 19, 2023