As a custom manufacturer, we make every item from scratch, using the finest materials available for each application. Because of the unique requirements of every project, we have a number of approval processes in place to assure that you get the quality product you expect from us. The approval processes vary slightly depending on the type of item.
Prototypes for Order Approval
When you place a production order for any item, we will provide a prototype of the item for you to approve prior to production. A structural prototype can always be provided for size, style, and material approval. There are some limitations on what can be provided for graphics approval on prototypes. The following is a brief description of the kinds of prototypes we provide for the types of products we produce.
For plain, unprinted items, you will receive a structural prototype in the same size, style, and material as the production order. The only possible exception to this is in the case of special order materials that we may not be able to acquire in a size to make a full size prototype. In these cases, which are rare, we will at least provide a sample swatch of the material and a structural prototype for size and design approval.
For items made with custom colored corrugated materials, you will receive a structural prototype in the same grade as the actual material. You will also receive a color drawdown swatch of the color on the same paper stock as the actual material. Full sized colored prototypes are not available.
For items with flexographic print, you will receive a plain structural prototype for size and construction approval, as we cannot make flexographic printed prototypes. We always provide a color pdf proof that will show the size, position and approximate color of the artwork. We can provide samples with digitally printed artwork pasted up on a structural sample, but in many cases it will not be representative of the final product.
For items with lithographic printing, we’ll provide a structural prototype with digitally printed graphics, based on your final artwork. We use state of the art digital printers to produce our prototypes, but they will differ slightly from the final production product. See the section below titled Digital Printing and Prototypes for more information.
If you wish to have a sample of an item we have quoted before making the decision to place a production order, we will be happy to provide one. Because of the number of requests, and the time and material demands on our Design and Graphics departments, we charge a nominal fee for this service. The cost varies, depending on the type of product, the size and complexity, number of parts, and whatever graphics, if any, are required. A general price schedule is listed below.
Since we do provide prototypes for approval as part of our order process, and we want you feel you’re making a good investment in a paid sample, we’ll refund the cost of the sample if you place a production order* for the same item within 30 days of the sample order.
*Note: An order is not considered officially placed until an Order Confirmation and Purchase Agreement have been signed and returned, and a secure form of payment is on file in our office.
Commercial / Industrial Samples
(Includes any style from our Commercial / Industrial category)
Single Piece, Plain, Small (1-3 sq. ft. area) $20.00, plus shipping.
Single Piece, Plain, Medium (4-7 sq. ft. area) $25.00, plus shipping.
Single Piece, Plain, Large (8-11 sq. ft. area) $35.00, plus shipping.
Extra Large Samples Priced Individually.
Two Piece, Plain, Small (1-3 sq. ft. area per piece) $30.00, plus shipping.
Two Piece, Plain, Medium (4-7 sq. ft. area per piece) $40.00, plus shipping.
Two Piece, Plain, Large (8-11 sq. ft. area per piece) $50.00, plus shipping.
Extra Large Samples Priced Individually.
Samples of items having three or more parts will be priced on a per piece basis, based on the size of each piece.
Adding graphics to a sample can be done at an additional cost, based on your requirements.
Our Graphics Department will be happy to give you a price, based on your submitted artwork.
Please note, we cannot make samples with flexographic print. flexographic printing can only be done at the press when the item is actually being made. We have provided numerous examples of one and two color Flexo printing in the Gallery area of this web site that show what you can expect in the finished product. We can mount a color representation of your artwork on the box for a nominal cost, based on the print area required.
Displays, Retail Packaging, and Full Color Prototypes
Samples and prototypes of items such as POP displays, retail quality packaging, and any item requiring full color graphics will be priced based on the project requirements. Prototype graphics are produced on one of our digital printers, and mounted by hand to the corrugated substrate. A small to medium sized retail prototype with full graphic coverage will cost in the neighborhood of $100-$150, depending on actual size. Prices for larger items such as POP floor or counter displays vary greatly, depending on the amount of graphics and number of component parts. If your project requires the services of our structural designer, additional costs may apply.
Digital Printing and Prototypes When making prototypes that include graphics, we use digital printing technology. Digital printing differs from lithographic printing in that it prints much like a desktop ink jet printer, but with much higher resolution. The toners used to print digitally are different than the solvent or soy based inks used in lithographic printing, and digital printing cannot be “tuned” as with lithographic printing. Therefore, there will be a slight difference in some colors between the prototype and the litho printed product.
Special Materials Some special corrugated materials are not always available for samples. This includes materials with heavy mediums, Michelman coating, colored corrugated, and higher test double wall materials. Special materials are made on a production order only basis at the mill level.
Material swatches are usually available, and we will make every effort to obtain them in a size that you can approve.