Exploring the 4 Popular Types of Paperboard Grades for Box Printing

Box Printing

For box printing, selecting the right paperboard grade is essential to ensure optimal durability, functionality, and visual appeal. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of paperboard and explore four popular types of paperboard grades commonly used in box printing. Gain insights into their unique characteristics, applications, and advantages as we help you make informed decisions for your packaging needs.

1. Folding Boxboard (FBB)

Folding boxboard, also known as solid bleached sulfate (SBS), is a versatile and widely used paperboard grade known for its excellent printability and surface smoothness. It offers a high level of stiffness and strength, making it suitable for various box types, including cosmetic packaging, pharmaceutical boxes, and high-end retail packaging. FBB provides an ideal surface for vibrant and detailed printing, ensuring your brand message and visuals are showcased with utmost clarity.

2. Solid Unbleached Board (SUB)

Solid unbleached board (SUB) is a robust and natural-looking paperboard grade that offers excellent strength and durability. Made from 100% recycled fibers, its brown or gray appearance characterizes SUB, giving it a rustic and eco-friendly aesthetic. It is commonly used for packaging applications that require structural integrity and protection, such as electronic device packaging, industrial packaging, and agricultural product boxes.

3. White Line Chipboard (WLC)

White lined chipboard (WLC) is a cost-effective and lightweight paperboard grade that combines a sturdy core made from recycled fibers with a white clay-coated surface. It balances affordability and printability, making it a popular choice for a wide range of packaging applications, including food packaging, toy boxes, and promotional materials. WLC offers good folding and creasing properties, ensuring efficient production processes.

4. Coated Unbleached Kraft Board (CUK)

Coated unbleached kraft board (CUK) is a strong and durable paperboard grade that combines the natural and rustic look of unbleached kraft with a smooth and printable surface. CUK is commonly used for premium packaging solutions, such as beverage packaging, confectionery boxes, and high-end retail packaging. It offers excellent protection against moisture and has a natural and organic appeal that resonates with eco-conscious consumers.

When it comes to box printing, choosing the right paperboard grade is crucial. The type of paperboard you select can greatly influence the durability, appearance, and overall quality of your boxes. In this FAQ guide, we’ll delve into various paperboard grades commonly used in box printing and provide you with valuable insights to make the best decisions for your packaging needs.

What is Paperboard?

Paperboard, often referred to as cardboard, is a versatile material made from compressed layers of paper pulp. It is widely used in packaging applications due to its strength, flexibility, and printability. Paperboard comes in various grades, each tailored to specific packaging requirements.

Understanding Paperboard Grades

Solid Bleached Board (SBB)

SBB is a premium paperboard grade with a smooth and glossy surface, commonly used for high-end product packaging. It is made from 100% bleached wood pulp, providing exceptional whiteness and printability. SBB is ideal for luxury items like cosmetics, electronics, and perfumes, where visual appeal matters.

Solid Unbleached Board (SUB)

SUB is an unbleached paperboard grade known for its natural brown appearance. It is manufactured from 100% recycled fibers and is favored for its eco-friendly properties. SUB is suitable for packaging organic and eco-conscious products, adding a rustic charm to the overall presentation.

Folding Boxboard (FBB)

FBB is a lightweight, yet sturdy paperboard grade, widely used for various folding carton applications. It typically has a coated top layer that ensures excellent printability while maintaining structural integrity. Someone commonly utilized FBB for food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and small consumer goods.

White Lined Chipboard (WLC)

WLC is a cost-effective paperboard grade with a white clay-coated surface on one side and a grey backing on the other. This grade balances functionality and budget-friendliness. They commonly found WLC in cereal boxes, shoeboxes, and other general packaging applications.

Coated Unbleached Kraft (CUK)

CUK is a durable paperboard grade with a natural brown appearance and a coating on one side for improved printability. We craft it from a blend of virgin and recycled fibers, making it a sustainable choice. They frequently used cUK for packaging heavier items like appliances, furniture, and industrial equipment.

How to Choose the Right Paperboard Grade?

Selecting the right paperboard grade depends on several factors:

  1. Product Type: Consider the nature of your product and its specific packaging needs. Fragile items may require sturdier board grades, while lightweight products can use lighter ones.
  2. Printing Requirements: If your packaging design involves intricate graphics and vibrant colors, opt for paperboard grades with superior printability, like SBB or FBB.
  3. Sustainability: For eco-conscious brands, choosing recycled and sustainable options like SUB or CUK can enhance your brand’s image.
  4. Budget: Evaluate your budget constraints and find the right balance between cost-effectiveness and quality.

Transition Words for Enhanced Readability

To ensure a smooth flow of information, we will use transition words such as “moreover,” “in addition,” “consequently,” and “furthermore” throughout this article.

It is essential to keep sentences concise and straightforward. Shorter sentences promote better understanding and engagement.


The world of paperboard offers an array of options for box printing, each with its own set of advantages and applications. Whether you’re seeking a premium and visually stunning solution with folding boxboard (FBB) or a sturdy and eco-friendly choice with solid unbleached board (SUB), understanding the characteristics and applications of different paperboard grades is key. Consider your specific needs and preferences to select the most suitable paperboard grade for your box printing requirements. Elevate your packaging with the right choice of paperboard, ensuring that your boxes not only protect the contents but also leave a lasting impression on your customers. If you prioritize a luxurious appearance and excellent printability, opt for Solid Bleached Board (SBB). On the other hand, if eco-friendliness is essential to your brand, consider Solid Unbleached Board (SUB) or Coated Unbleached Kraft (CUK).

Remember, understanding your product’s requirements, printing specifications, sustainability goals, and budget constraints will lead you to make an informed decision.

Choose wisely, and your packaging will not only protect your products but also leave a lasting impression on your customers. Happy box printing!

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I am Kate Johnson. In addition to my formal education in English Literature and Communications from a prestigious university, I have also pursued continuing education courses related to copywriting as well as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As a result of my knowledge and expertise in these areas, I successfully manage projects that require comprehensive research while delivering quality results within tight deadlines. Successful Story.Thank You

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