Styles of Boxes

Styles of Boxes

One of the major contributors to the versatility of cardboard is the ease with which flat sheets can be cut and formed into an immense range of package styles. People often see style as a cost restriction, however this can often be offset by the added features and advantages such as greater strength, less board used, market appeal, end use features and closures.

The “International Code for Fibreboard Cases” adopted by Standards Australia in 1971 outlines the numbered code system developed to allow communication on box styles irrespective of the language used in individual countries.

We have outlined the common styles in this guide.


Slotted Styles

This style is made from one piece of corrugated board which is scored and slotted for assembly. These styles are glued at the manufacturing joint, and usually require tape to secure them closed top and bottom.

The most common of all corrugated box styles is known as a Regular Slotted Carton (or RSC). The style name on our Box Calculator is 0201 Regular Box.

The outer top and bottom flaps meet in the middle when assembled. There is a glue flap which is pre-glued in manufacturing, and the box arrives to you flat. In order to secure the top and bottom flaps closed, you use tape to seal.

This style of box is highly efficient to manufacture, with little waste and generally no set up costs. It is suitable for a variety of sizes if the ratio of length x width x depth is balanced. If the height is too small, this will cause the glue flap to rip when assembled.

An alternative to the RSC, the Full Flap Regular Slotted Carton has extended top and bottom flaps which are the size of the width of the box. The style name on our Box Calculator is 0203 Full Flap Box.

The outer top and bottom flaps overlap each other entirely, unlike the RSC where they meet in the middle when assembled. There is a glue flap which is pre-glued in manufacturing, and the box arrives to you flat. In order to secure the top and bottom flaps closed, you use tape to seal.

This style of box is suitable for a variety of products that require additional carton strength. The ideal size of a Full Flap Box is a balanced ratio of length x width x depth. If the height is too small, this will cause the glue flap to rip when assembled.


Self Locking Styles

These styles are die cut from a blank sheet of corrugated board and are folded to assemble a completely closed box. They often have locking hinges, handles, and tabs incorporated. Other alternatives include crash lock or self lock bases which “snap” together for ease of assembly without tape. 

A common mailer design, the 0427 Tuck in Tab is a self locking box which has 2 sides which fold over and lock into tabs, and a hinged lid with winged panels which tuck into the front of the box. The style name on our Box Calculator is 0427 Tuck in Tab.

The box arrives to you flat. In order to assemble, please watch our assembly video for step by step instructions (coming soon). The 0427 is suited for long and flat products, with a recommended height below 100mm. If the height is too large, or not in ratio to the length x width, this style will not configure properly. For these cases, an 0471 style can be used an alternative. 

This style is particularly stable and suitable for the safe shipping, transport, and storage of large and flat products. Due to the secure closure, it is also recommended for shock-sensitive goods such as electronic products.


Telescopic Styles

This style consists of two seperate pieces, generally a top and bottom piece as the lid and base. These styles are great for heavy objects that are difficult or awkward to lower into a conventional box (such as a television, mattress, etc). The product sits in the base and the lid is placed over it.

The Half Slotted Carton (or HSC) is the same as RSC but without one set of flaps, leaving the top uncovered. The style name on our Box Calculator is 0200 Half Slotted Box.

The bottom flaps meet in the middle when assembled. There is a glue flap which is pre-glued in manufacturing, and the box arrives to you flat. In order to secure the bottom flaps closed, you use tape to seal.

This style of box is mostly used as a base for storage bins, tray or as a throw away lid for shelf ready packaging. It is suitable for a variety of sizes if the ratio of length x width x depth is balanced. If the height is too small, this will cause the glue flap to rip when assembled.


Folder Styles

The 0409 Five Panel Folder (5PF), also known as an envelope box, has a 5th panel that covers the entire top of the box. The name of the style on our Box Calculator is 0409 SPF Wrap.

When sealed, three sides have several layers of board which provides extra strength. These boxes are shipped to you flat, there are no pre-glued panels, and you will require tape to close. Please watch our assembly video for step by step instructions (coming soon).

This style is suitable for long and skinny items, such as televisions, picture frames, posters, hardwood flooring etc.

The 0401 style has a couple of common names; Maltese Cross, One Piece Folder, or a Packing Wallet. The style name on our Box Calculator is 0401 Postal Mailer.

It is a single piece of board, cut to a cross shape, which creates a flat bottom. The extended flaps are scored, often at multiple heights, so that they wrap and enclose the item within.

This type of packaging is ideal for flat goods such as; promotional gifts, clothing, books, folders, documents, CDs, DVDs, or calendars, with a recommended height below 100mm. If the height is too large, or the product going inside the box is not flat, this style becomes difficult to secure close and will use too much waste board and therefore not be economically priced. For these cases, an 0201 style can be used an alternative.


Want to learn more?

  • Learn about Styles
    Learn about Styles
  • How to Measure
    How to Measure
  • Print Specifications
    Print Specifications
  • Custom Boxes
    Custom Boxes
  • Manufacturing Process
    Manufacturing Process
  • How to find the perfect box
    How to find the perfect box
  • What is Corrugated Cardboard
    What is Corrugated Cardboard

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