Have Questions About Custom Packaging?

You've come to the right place. Answers to some of the most common questions about custom packaging are below. If you don't find your answer here please contact us to talk with one of our knowledgeable packaging consultants.

There are two basic options for ordering printed packaging:

  • Custom Packaging
    Custom packaging products that are manufactured to order including custom printing, special finishes, and custom sizes and features.
  • Semi-Custom Packaging
    Custom printing on products that are already made (in-stock products) using ink printing, foil hot-stamping, or digital printing.

Custom Packaging involves printing on a base material (paper, plastic, fabric, paperboard, etc.) and then converting the material(s) into the final packaging product, like a bag or box. This method of creating Custom Packaging allows for advanced printing processes and unique sizes, shapes, and details on your packaging products. Custom Packaging is very efficient and allows larger volume orders to be printed quickly.

Custom Packaging products can be printed from edge to edge with full color graphic designs. This can include printing on the sides, bottom, or interior of a packaging product. Printing processes can include ink printing, hot-stamping, embossing and debossing, special finishes and laminations, UV varnish, and much more. Custom Packaging can also include choosing specialty features, inserts, bag handles, and other unique details for your products.

Most Custom Packaging orders ship from overseas and can take several weeks to ship after they are manufactured.

Custom packaging is a great choice when you:

  • Need large quantities of packaging
  • Need custom sizes, finishes, materials, colors, or features for your packaging
  • Need full-color advanced printing or printing on all sides and/or the interior of your packaging
  • Want a lower per unit price when ordering large quantities

Semi-Custom Printed Packaging is when your logo or design is printed onto packaging products that have already been made, as opposed to custom manufacturing your products to order. Printing methods for Semi-Custom Packaging include foil hot-stamping, ink printing, and digital printing.

Semi-Custom Packaging is a great option for smaller quantity orders, or if you need your packaging within a shorter lead time. There are some printing limitations with Semi-Custom Packaging, which our consultants and graphics department will explain thoroughly.

Most Semi-Custom printing methods involve one-at-a-time imprinting. Which means someone must hand feed or position each individual item to be printed. This means your cost per unit may be higher than other methods, but if you need Semi-Custom Packaging based on your circumstances it is your best option for customized packaging.

To your customers, Semi-Custom Packaging will look like Custom Packaging. The main difference is the printable area limitations and what in-stock products are available to be printed upon. If your artwork is a multi-color design, has tight printing registration of colors, or artwork with screens or grey tones, our Packaging Consultants and Graphics Department will discuss the best possible print options for your project. At Morgan Chaney, we print the majority of Semi-Custom Packaging in-house and we pride ourselves on the excellent print quality we routinely achieve.

Semi-custom packaging is a great choice when you:

  • Want a smaller quantity of packaging
  • Need your packaging more quickly (within a few weeks)
  • Have a simple graphic design or logo to print
  • Want packaging that is made in the USA (be sure to specify this)

At Morgan Chaney, we don't just provide custom packaging to our customers, we provide valuable consulting, design services, and order management. We don't think of our business as transactional, we assist our customers throughout their packaging journey and create lasting partnerships. We offer creative packaging solutions to our customers that help them improve their branding.

Whether you have ordered custom packaging before or are completely new to the concept, we will provide you with guidance and options every step of the way. We will do our best to educate you about the processes and products you might be interested in. We have an obligation to tell you up front what we can and can't do before you order and give you accurate information. We will stand behind solving any problems if they should happen to occur.

The cost for customizing your packaging depends upon the quantities, artwork, materials, product style and printing methods you request. Because each project is unique, they are quoted individually based on all of these factors.

Our packaging consultants will guide you through the entire process including your pricing and quantity options.

The typical final project invoice will be for 1) the actual quantity produced of the product (they are subject to overrun and underrun quantities) 2) shipping costs, if any, and 3) on new or revised orders, artwork, printing plates and possibly cutting dies.

The minimum quantities for custom packaging vary based on the type of product, the printing techniques used, deadlines, and other factors. Our product gallery pages have estimated minimum quantities on each page to help you plan your project.

The reason for minimum quantities is because each custom printed project takes a certain amount of time and materials to complete, and manufacturing facilities must make decisions based on their overall production capacity. Minimum quantities are required to help prevent waste and optimize efficiency.

The time from ordering your custom printed packaging to delivery varies based on the type of printing and customizing being done. Always discuss your project details with your packaging consultant for the most accurate lead time information.

  • Semi-Custom Printed Packaging usually takes 2-4 weeks after approval. Reorders may require less time depending on production schedules
  • Domestic production usually takes 3 weeks to 8 weeks after all artwork and prototype approvals.
  • Imported products (Custom Packaging) usually take 8-14 weeks depending on the product and using ocean freight for shipping.

Please note that typical lead times are subject to change, especially during the holiday season. It's best to plan ahead!

Over and under runs are final production quantities that can be more or less than the original quantity you ordered of each item. It is detailed in our proposals as a plus or minus percentage. You are billed pro-rated for the actual shipped amounts. (Semi-Custom Packaging orders are usually produced in exact or very close quantities to the original order request.)

Over and under runs happen because of the way custom printed packaging products are produced. Many items factor into the reasons why this happens. A specific amount of material is allocated to each job. If the job takes a while to set up and a large amount of material is wasted during the set-up process, you will receive less than ordered. If the set up goes very smoothly and there is very little waste, the job may be produced with higher quantities than ordered. The over and under run percentage is the minimum and maximum amount of product you will be responsible to pay for.

Please note you will only be billed for what we make and ship. If you order 10,000 bags and receive 9,000 bags you will only pay for 9,000 bags. If you ordered 10,000 bags and receive 11,000 bags you will pay for 11,000 bags.

Have Questions About Supplying Artwork for Custom Packaging?

You've come to the right place. Answers to some of the most common questions about supplying artwork for custom packaging are below. If you don't find your answer here please contact us to talk with one of our knowledgeable packaging consultants.

Yes, you can. We highly recommend requesting artwork specifications and/or templates from our in-house graphics department before your artist begins designing your project. Artwork for custom packaging requires specific guidelines, and you can save time and money by ensuring your artist has the correct specifications to complete your design. Our in-house design team will then check your artwork to ensure that printing specifications are met. Please email your preliminary art file to your Packaging Consultant. If it's not usable or needs further work, we will give you requirements or instructions on how to have your artist make the adjustments.

Designing your logo and branding for packaging requires knowledge of printing methods and packaging materials. We have you covered with an in-house design team that will create and customize design options to fit the packaging of your choice. We can produce renderings and spec art of your projects to help aid your creative vision.

Yes, manufacturers within the packaging industry have different printing capabilities. Please call your Packaging Consultant to discuss your project and printing requirements to get the correct templates.


Our Art Department is Mac-based and we utilize the lastest versions of Adobe programs. Our preferred software is Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Photoshop & Adobe InDesign may be accepted but is not recommended. For all other software, save or export as an .eps file. These files generally work as long as they are saved or exported as an eps and not just renamed.


VECTOR: Vector artwork is digital art composed of mathematical lines and curves. As a result, vector images can be reduced or enlarged in size indefinitely, without any loss in image quality.

  • Adobe Illustrator AI
  • EPS & PDF (with Illustrator editing capabilities)
  • Corel Draw exported as a EPS or PDF file

All fonts must be converted to outlines, or the font files must accompany the art files. All placed raster images must be embedded.


RASTER: Raster artwork is any digital art composed of horizontal and vertical rows of pixels. Raster images requiring enlargement will have a loss in image quality.

  • Photoshop (PSD)
  • TIF or JPG (JPG is accepted but only as a high resolution image) No web images.

All raster files need to be created at 300 ppi (dpi) minimum and to the desired imprint size. If the artwork needs to be enlarged to fit a particular imprint size, the art may pixelate. Placed raster images must be embedded.


WEB IMAGES: Any file format saved at 72 ppi (dpi) or lower.


MICROSOFT OFFICE: Microsoft Office programs are not considered Graphic Software.

  • Microsoft Word, Microsoft Power Point, etc.

Word documents may be accepted for general copy only.

Yes. Please contact your Packaging Consultant for an email address or the URL to our large file FTP site.