Jargon Made Easy

To help you to understand the different designs and style of rigid box that we can offer, have a look at our handy guide below. This should help you to make the right choice in terms of your requirements.

If you're still not sure, if you have any queries or are interested in purchasing from our product line, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team who will be on hand to assist you.

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Glossary of Styles and Terms

  • Artboard

    Artboard is a solid board made from 100% primary fibre, for extra strength, with the same finish on both sides. It is predominantly used in the printing industry for book covers or business cards.

  • Ballotin Box

    A two-piece, lift-off cover box, with base sides that slant outward at an angle and a regular straight-angled cover.

  • Base

    The lower or receptacle portion of a paper box.

  • Bromide

    A high quality black and white representation of the finished artwork.

  • Buckram-Embossed Papers

    A very popular covering paper with a textured finish, available in a wide range of colours.

  • Bundling

    Wrapping several finished boxes in paper or plastic for shipment or storage.

  • Caliper

    This describes the thickness of material and is measured in microns (mic) which are equal to 1/1000 of a millimetre. For rigid boxes with flat faces, 1000-2000mic board would normally be used depending on the size of the box. Anything thicker than 1000mic cannot be curled, so this would be the maximum thickness for curved or oval shaped boxes. Cartons would be made from a maximum of 900mic board. Transparent items would normally be made from 240mu PVC.

  • Carton

    A pack which is cut from one piece of material, generally has one glue seam and can be supplied flat-packed.

  • Castcoated Board

    A high quality folding boxboard coated to produce a high mirror gloss finish, available in a variety of colours.

  • Chamois

    A form of leatherette with a sandgrain embossing pattern. It is available in a wide variety of colours and is an attractive and economical covering material.

  • Chipboard

    The basic recycled paperboard material used for the super structure of rigid boxes.

  • Clamshell

    A one-piece container consisting of two halves joined by a hinge area which allows the structure to come together to close.

  • Closing

    Placing lids on bases.

  • Cut Card Platform/ Plinth

    An insert made of a piece of card or PVC, usually with a hole of a particular shape cut out of it to support the object to be put in the box. Card platforms can be lined or unlined and can also serve as a shoulder. Alternatively, to make it more decorative, the platform could be covered in satin.

  • Cutting Tools

    Die-cutting tools are required for the cutting and creasing of box components. The design is normally produced on a CAD machine but the box is normally made by hand.

  • Easels

    Supports attached to box to sustain upright position for display purposes.

  • Embossing

    Process of imprinting paper to create a raised pattern or design.

  • Films

    The production of films is a necessary intermediate step between artwork and plate-making during print origination. In the case of four colour process, an image is scanned and separated into four films which carry the ink strength for each of the four colours. These are then combined during the printing process to reproduce the original image.

  • Finishes

    Printed paper or board can be coated using machine varnish (matt or gloss), UV varnish (high gloss) or film laminate (high gloss or matt).

  • Flange

    A flat piece of covered card which would normally be 10-15mm bigger than the base or lid size and is fixed on to the base or lid of the box. It creates a more classical feel to the box and is usually intended as a decorative feature.

  • Flap Lid

    Lid having no sides or ends and hinged to base.

  • Flock

    A velvet-like finish which can be produced on paper for box covering or on PVC for use in vacuum-forming.

  • Foilboard

    Refers to any base board laminated with a metallic foil.

  • Folded Card Divider

    A simple, attractive and cost effective way of presenting products in a carton or rigid box without the expense of a vacuum-formed insert.

  • Folding Carton

    A generic term for any style of pack which can be supplied flat.

  • Folding Boxboard

    A high quality board made which is stiffer and smoother than white lined chipboard. Folding boxboard is normally used where direct contact with food is involved.

  • Grain

    The direction of the majority of the fibres in the board. The significance of the grain direction is that board can only be curved in one direction and not the other.

  • GSM

    This stands for Grams per Square Metre and gives the density of the board or paper.

  • Hinge

    A method of attaching a lid to a base.

  • Insert (platform)

    Any construction of paperboard or other material placed or sometimes glued in a box to locate and secure product.

  • Knock-down Box

    A two-piece telescoping box with a rigid cover and a base (also in rigid-weight board) that folds down flat for easy shipping. The base can be constructed in several styles with folding tabs and collapsing corners. The assembled box looks and feels like a rigid box and can be used to protect delicate items.

  • Label

    A plain or printed piece of paper attached to a box, distinct from top or bottom wrap.

  • Leaf Stamping

    Process using heat and pressure to apply thin pieces of metal foil to a printed wrap to create a shiny area of design or print. Leaf stamping is often combined with embossing to make a logo or design “pop”.

  • Leatherette

    An embossed paper which is made to look similar to leather.

  • Lid (cover)

    The upper or covering portion of a rigid box.

  • Lid Support (ribbon stop)

    Tape or ribbon to hold hinge lid in position when box is open.

  • Lifts

    Pieces of ribbon, cloth, tape, or paper attached to trays for convenience in removing from base.

  • Lining

    Lining is the term applied when the inside of a box or platform is laminated with paper or other material.

  • Loose Wrapping

    Process of covering a lid with paper on a wrapping machine or by hand, with the adhesive applied so as to adhere the edges only.

  • Machine-Made

    This term describes a box where all the manufacturing processes are performed by machines such as cutting and creasing presses. Cartons and flat-packed ballotins would fall into this category.

  • Metal Clasp

    A metal clasp is a decorative method of securing a lid.

  • Metal Hinge

    As the name suggests, this is a small brass hinge mechanism designed for use with rigid boxes and lids. Hinges generally allow lids to open either through 180 or 90 degrees.

  • Neck

    A tray inserted in a base to form a shoulder box, attached by adhesive, and extending above the base into the lid when box is closed.

  • Nesting

    Placing trays or covers of the same size, or boxes of varying sizes, one within another.

  • Padded Top

    Tops covered with paper or cloth with one or more layers of wadding or other padding material underneath.

  • Papers

    Various sorts of paper commonly used as wraps in the manufacture of set-up rigid boxes include: book, label, manila, and kraft, and can be finished with UV or aqueous coatings, foils, brush finish, embossing, printing and drum or cast coating.

  • Partitions (dividers)

    Slotted pieces of chipboard fitted together to form a series of compartments, and placed in a base without being attached thereto.

  • Pantone Reference (PMS)

    The Pantone Matching System is a universally accepted colour matching guide offering a very extensive range of colour shades, each of which has a specific ink recipe and can be reproduced accurately.

  • Paper/Fabric Hinge

    A paper hinge is made up of two pieces of card joined on both faces by covering paper. A small gap of a few millimetres is left between the card pieces, which then acts like a hinge along the line of the join. A fabric hinge works in the same way and provides added strength. Paper or fabric hinges would normally be found in boxes with flat hinged lids or in the spine assembly of a book box.

  • Piping

    This is an effect which highlights the edges of a box. It is created by first covering a box in a base paper, say a gold chamois, and then applying the main covering paper in the form of patches and bands rather than full covers. This allows the base paper to show through at the edges of the box giving the appearance of piping. Any colour can be used as piping.

  • Plates

    Plates are used in the printing process to transfer an ink image onto the board or paper. Printing plates are sheets of treated aluminium alloy on which the print image is chemically etched and one plate is required for each colour required to be printed.

  • Powder Drum

    A closed rigid box made of lightweight paper that holds powder and can be easily popped or cut by consumer. The drum keeps powder contained and can be made in round or rectangular shape.

  • Projection Edge

    A narrow, shelf-like protrusion around the base of a box, either round or rectangular, designed to give a unique look or increase the box’s stability.

  • Pulls

    Metal handles or pieces of tape or ribbon attached to a tray that is to function as a drawer.

  • PVC Window

    PVC windows are normally found in cartons where it is important that the product is visible. They can be positioned on a single face or can be wrapped around two or three faces of the box. They can also be designed such that they simply slot into place rather than having to be glued in. PVC windows can also be very effective in the lids of rigid boxes.

  • Ribbon Stays

    These are customarily used with hinged boxes and lids to limit the extent to which the lid can open. Their purpose is to ensure that the hinge mechanism is not subjected to any unnecessary strain, as this might otherwise result in the hinge being gradually worked loose and thereby affecting the way the lid closes.

  • Ribbon Tabs

    Ribbon tabs are most commonly used in boxes with hinged lids to help lift the lid.

  • Rigid Box

    This term is used to describe any box which cannot be supplied flat-packed. As a result, a rigid box would normally be stronger and often more elaborate than a carton of a similar size. A paperboard box that is constructed already- formed or "set-up" for use, as distinguished from a folding carton or a corrugated shipping container. Rigid boxes are made of heavier-weight board than folding cartons, giving them more strength.

  • Satin Box with Poly-Beads

    This is very similar to the satin ring but utilises a box to contain the poly-beads instead of just a card band. Its main advantage over a satin ring is that the insert may be removed from the box without the poly beads falling out.

  • Satin Covered Insert

    Expanded polystyrene, die-cut foam, or a vacuum-formed insert can be covered with satin to provide an attractive yet robust and protective bed for any fragile product.

  • Satin Covered Platform

    A cut card platform can be covered with satin to act as an attractive locating device for a specific product.

  • Satin Ring

    This is intended as a flexible insert for a rigid box where one standard box may be used for a number of different items such as crystal decanters or porcelain figures. The insert is made by constructing a band of card and stapling a generous piece of satin around the outside. Usually, a quantity of expanded polystyrene beads would be put into the base of the box and the satin ring would then be placed over them. When an object is placed on the satin, the beads will then mould themselves to the shape of the object. It is particularly useful if the same box is required to hold a range of different products.

  • Scoring

    Making knife cuts on chipboard (score marks) for the purpose of forming a bending line.

  • Shoulder

    A shoulder sits proud of the base of the box and is designed to allow the lid to locate flush with the base, such as with a hinged box and lid.

  • Shoulder Box

    Box having glued neck so inserted that ends and sides of base form shoulder upon which lid rests. Neck can be exposed or completely covered by lid.

  • Sifter Screen

    A mesh screen bordered by rigid-weight board used to filter powder in a cosmetics box. Can be made round or rectangular.

  • Sleeve

    A sleeve is a very versatile and useful accessory with applications ranging from the protection of a delicate item to an alternative for a lid. A sleeve can be made from card or PVC.

  • Slide Box

    Box in which a tray is inserted into a sleeve.

  • Stay

    Material used for reinforcing corners of base, lid, or tray. Material may be paper or milar or a combination of each.

  • Tassels

    Tassels are used as a decorative feature and can be very effective with elaborate boxes such as caskets.

  • Telescope Box

    A box in which the sides and ends of the lid are cut the same depth as the sides and ends of the base and the lid fits over base is known as a "full" telescope. When the depth of the lid is more or less than the height of the base, lid depth should be stated separately.

  • Thumbholes

    Thumbholes are most commonly used on boxes with full depth lids to make it easier to lift the lid.

  • Tight Wrapping

    Process of covering base, lid or tray with paper on wrapping machine, or by hand, wraps being in one piece and with the entire surface covered with adhesive.

  • Turn-In

    When a rigid box is covered with any covering paper or material, the turn-in is the strip of covering paper visible on the inside of the box where it has been folded in over the top edge of the box. The turn-in would normally only extend about 10mm below the top edge of the box but, where boxes are fitted with lined platforms, often the turn-in comes down below the level of the platform so that there is no white card visible at all. This is referred to as a deep turn-in.

  • Tray

    A receptacle for which no lid is made.

  • Vacuum-Formed Insert

    These inserts are most commonly used in chocolate boxes but are just as effective for a variety of other products, such as cosmetics. Vac-form materials are available in different thicknesses and in many colours such as gold, white, brown or clear as well as smooth or flocked finishes.

  • White Lined Chipboard

    This is the standard grade of board used in the manufacture of rigid boxes and many cartons. It is made from 75% or more recycled fibre.


  • Book Box
  • Clamshell design box
  • Sloping and chevron slipcases
  • Box and Lid using fitting as a collar
  • Box and 3 sided hinged lid
  • Box and 4 sided hinged lid
  • DVD slipcase
  • 4 fold gamesboard
  • Standard Box and Lid
  • Box and collar with metal hinged lid