Packaging Terminology – Glossary

by | 14 Sep, 2020

Are you confused by packaging terminology? Use this table below to decode the bulk of the jargon.




This is additional image area which allows trimming to cut into the bleed when colour/images are designed to the edge of the sheet.


(Grey board, quite limp)


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black – the four colour process system widely used to achieve the majority of colours.

Crash Lock

A type of box base, which forms automatically when you form the box, a more involved gluing process too.

Die cut

The process of converting sheets to a flat box by cutting it to shape using a metal die (or punch)

Envelope Base

As the name suggests, an envelope style tuck in which holds more securely than traditional tuck in.


Folding Box Board


A separate die cut piece of card to hold your product within the box.


An offline process where foil is applied using heat and a foiling die, leaving a reflective finish

Four Colour Process



Cream Back

Grain Direction

Paper is made of long fibres, the grain direction determines which way they appear across the sheet.


Grams Per Square Metre – the weight of a material

Hard Sized 

Card for Fridge / Freezer use


White backed folding box board

Inkjet Proofs

A part of the proofing process which achieves a close colour match of the final product.


A plastic film with gloss of matt finish which covers the whole sheet


Printed inks that hold a metallic flake.


Microns are the thickness of the material (more common in packaging)

Pantone Colours

The colour mixing system most widely used for spot colours


Similar to fitment, though usually at the base of a box.

Reverse Tuck In

When a box has a tuck in at each end the open at opposing hinges.

Ripped Proofs

These proofs have been run through a prepress system to identify potential file issues.

Side Seam Glue

This as it sounds, is a one glued seam to form a box, very common

Spot Colours

Mixing and printing specific colours (not CMYK)

Tuck-in Flap

A traditional tuck in lid used for lids and sides to seal a box.

UV Varnish 

An off-line thick varnish which is UV cured 


Gloss or matt clear varnish Printed on press


White lined Chipboard