Adhesive: substance capable of adhering one surface to another

A.I. Files: Adobe Illustrator Artwork (AI) is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing single-page vector-based drawings in either the EPS or PDF formats. The .ai filename extension is used by Adobe Illustrator

Ballotin Box: A box with base sides that slant outward at an angle and a regular straight, 90° cover. Slant sides allow for nesting of bases

Base: The lower portion of a paper box

Basis Weight/Grammage: the measurement of mass per unit area is expressed in pounds per thousand square feet or grams per square meter

Blank – Unfinished, flat sheet of corrugated or fiberboard.  In set-up boxes, blank is a diecut or scored and corner-cut flat, ready to be formed into a box

Bleed – To print the area beyond the cut or score edge 

Bundle: a shipping unit of two or more articles or boxes wrapped or fastened together by suitable.

Burst Strength: the force required to rupture linerboard or combined board, using hydraulic pressure measured by a Mullen tester

CAD (Computer Aided Design) – Process of using a computer to create a design or shape for a die layout

(Folding) Carton: a folding box made from box board

Caliper – The thickness of the board, usually expressed in thousandths of an inch, or “points”

Chipboard – A paperboard made from recycled paper stock, generally kraft in color

Clamshell: A one-piece box part with the ability to be entirely closed on itself to house a product

C1S paper – Paper that is coated only on one side.  Necessary to have an uncoated side available for the gluing/laminating process

Corrugated Board – Two flat facings of linerboard, each glued to a side of fluted corrugated medium

Crush resistance: the force necessary to crush a small on-edge sample of containerboard may be used to predict the edge crush resistance (ECT)

Diecut – The process of cutting raw material to a desired shape using a cutting die (steel rule imbedded into hardwood)

Die Cut (DC) Tray: A shaped and folded box part made of chipboard that holds products; can be plain, lined or wrapped

Dimensions – The three measurements of a box, given in the sequence of length, width, and depth using inside dimensions; The length and width are figured as the open face of the box

Doublewall – adding another corrugating medium and a third flat line 

Dust Lid: A creased and folded clear piece commonly made of acetate that protects and displays product inside box; can also be stamped

DXF:  AutoCAD DXF (Drawing Interchange Format, or Drawing Exchange Format) is a CAD data file format developed by Autodesk for enabling data interoperability between AutoCAD and other programs

ECT (Edge Crush Test) – Measures the amount of force needed to crush on-edge combined board

Embossing: Process of imprinting paper to create a raised pattern or design that stands out tactilely and visually compared to the flat printing surrounding it

Flaps: Extensions of the side walls that close a box

Flexography: type of rotary letterpress printing using flexible plates and fast drying, water based inks

Flute – The wave shaped pressed into the medium ( E flute approx. 1/16”, B flute approx. 1/8”, C flute approx. 3/16” and doublewall approx. 5/16”)

Four-color Process/Process Printing : full-color images are created by four halftone plates, using the four subtractive primary colors: cyan, yellow, magenta and black

Hinge Lid – Lid of box attached to base along one side

Insert – Material designed to support, position or cushion an item, ex. corrugated, foam, chipboard

KDF (Knocked Down Flat) – Boxes in the flat form

Kraft: designates pulp, paper or paperboard produced from wood fibers by the sulfate process

Label – A printed sheet of paper that will be glued to a substrate

Laminate – The process of gluing one substrate to another

Lithography: a printing process using a plate that has been chemically treated so that the image to be printed is receptive to ink, while blank areas repel ink

Medium – The paperboard used to form the fluted portion of corrugated board

Manufacture’s Joint: the part of the box where the ends of the scored and slotted blank are fastened though by gluing

Mullen Test – Measures the force required to rupture linerboard when under pressure, related to a box’s ability to withstand external and internal forces, bursting strength 

Offset: a printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from the plate to a clean cylinder, which in turn transfers the image to the sheet of paper or paperboard

Pad: a corrugated or solid fiberboard sheet or sheet of other authorized material, used for extra protection

Partitions/Dividers: Slotted pieces of chipboard or SBS fitted together or creased and folded to form a series of compartments in a base. Can be glued in place or not

PDF: a file format that provides an electronic image of text or text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted

Reverse out print – Print that has been cut out of the background color, or the absence of ink

Rigid Box: 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 chipboard covered in a paper wrap, and use heavier-weight board than folding cartons

SBS (solid bleached sulfate) – Solid white bending board, milled from bleached virgin wood fiber

Scoring – A crease in the board to facilitate folds

Shoulder box – Lid of box does not overlap the base, the  boxhas a 2nd, shorter liner or tray wrapped and glued inside the base, creating a lip and support for the lid to rest on the base tray

Singleface – One medium (fluting) is glued to one flat sheet of linerboard, leaving the fluting exposed

Sleeve – A tubular form, open at both ends, that slides over a box for protection

Substrate: the base material on which a substance is applied

Slit-score – A cut made in fiberboard extending through only a portion of the board, creating a fold

Slot: a wide cut or pair of closely spaced parallel cuts including removal of a narrow strip of material

Substrate: the base material on which a substance is applied

Telescope – The distance a lid covers over the base

Thumb notch – A half-moon cut in the side of a lid, done for ease in opening–cut made after lid is wrapped

Tightwrapping – The process of covering a chipboard lid or base with paper, tightly, with 100% glue coverage

Turn-Ins: The ends of the wrap that are glued around the edge and to the interior of the box to insure strong adhesion. Typical automated turn-ins reach 5/8” into the box part from its top edge

Wadding: A lightweight woven form of jeweler’s cotton mainly used in jewelry box applications to cushion and display product

Warp: a deviation from the original or true plane of the surface. This may cause crushing of the corrugated medium during printing

Wrap – Paper that is adhered to the outside or inside of a box

Bratwurst – a favorite of boxmakers everywhere


Information and illustrations used with permission from the Fibre Box Association. Fibre Box Handbook is copyright ©2005 Fibre Box Association. All rights reserved. www.fibrebox.org