Packaging 101 – The terms you need to know

Packaging 101 – The terms you need to know

When looking for the ideal way to package a product or a project, it can quickly be overwhelming. Terms and lingo are used that you are not always familiar with, causing even more confusion. You can rapidly resort to choosing something that is not quite what you had in mind, leaving you disappointed and unsatisfied. If only there were a way to know what each packaging term meant before the point of no return. Now there is!  A quick glossary of the most common packaging terms and techniques can help any beginner navigate through the packaging dictionary to find the best solution for their project needs. There is no need to be the new kid on the block any longer!

  • Dieline/Diecut

As a customer, you might be looking to get a package printed a certain way. This is where dielines come into play. Think of a dieline as a cookie cutter, it serves as a package template that guarantees an accurate layout for a printed product. It would therefore illustrate where the folds and cut lines would be in a flattened format.

  • Enhanced printing

You are perhaps looking to take your packaging to the next level and really make it stand out. Our team of experts can help you enhance the printing with several techniques such as hot stamping, metallic ink, embossing etc. and let your creativity speak for itself.

  • Lamination

The word lamination is most commonly used in the printing industry. It refers to the process of enclosing and bonding printed material between two pieces of plastic film. This technique is used to protect a printed piece from any damage such as stains, moisture or wrinkles. This inevitably leads to durability and strength of the print, at a reasonable cost over time. Let your printed project stand out and seal the deal.

  • Lot/SKU

All inventory needs to be identified to minimize any confusion or error. SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit and refers to the identification code relating to an individual product. On the other hand, a lot number is a number given to a group of products that have common characteristics such as material or manufacturing location.

  • Mock-ups 

Is the suspense getting to you? Do you just want to know what a finished package will look like before it goes to print? This is where mock-ups come in handy. A mock-up is a realistic representation of what the product will look like. It is a visual aid to help you envision what the final result will be.


  • Paperboard 

Thicker than paper, paperboard is a paper-based material that is more rigid and foldable. It is still considered to be lightweight and easy to cut regardless of its thickness. Typically used to package products, paperboard is available in different grades depending on your packaging needs. From Solid Bleached Sulfate to Corrugated Fiberboard, Netpak offers an array of paperboards to choose from.

  • Paperboard Gauge

Thickness is a crucial property of paperboard as a variation in it can have an effect on such things as the permeability or stiffness of the finished package. The paperboard gauge is a thickness tester that measures the width of paper and cardboard and is widely used in the packaging industry.

  • Specs (Specifications)

Let’s be specific! Specs or specifications define parameters used by the customer to verify the product of a supplier upon delivery. It is essentially a statement relating to the materials, dimensions, etc. of the package being built.

  • Varnish

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but also in the hands of varnish. A varnish is a thin-protective layer that is applied to a printed project for protection or esthetic purposes. It enriches the visual appearance of the print or package, as it increases the perceived quality of the project. There are several types of varnishes available and are usually an affordable means to enhance the beauty of your package.

So, if you are new to the world of packaging, you don’t have to worry about learning a new language. With the right service and the knowledge of the industry lingo, you will be speaking like one of our own in no time.

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