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Gift Boxes UK – Discover Your Ultimate Guide


Key Terms Used In The Gift Boxes UK Manufacturing Industry

Are you new to the world of gift boxes UK and keen to expand your knowledge? Here we present an overview of some of the key terms used in the industry, to ensure that you have learnt everything you need to know about gift boxes UK, before you take the plunge and buy your branded packaging. This guide is easy to understand and definitely worth sharing with your colleagues and friends!

Business Woman Artwork

This relates to any text, photos or graphic illustrations which are to be reproduced on the gift boxes UK.  For foil blocking, artwork should be supplied black on a white background as a high resolution PDF file or an Adobe Illustrator. ai or .eps file with all fonts outlined or set to curves (the latter ensures that the fonts are embedded in the file so that they display correctly when the file is opened).  For digital printing or lithographic printing, a template is supplied which the artwork is placed upon, ready for printing.


Gift Boxes UK are made from recycled grey chipboard.  The board thickness is measured in microns. Generally, bespoke gift boxes UK are produced from board which is between 1000 microns and 3000 microns thick, (1000 microns = 1 millimetre).  The board used to manufacture the gift boxes is either white lined or black lined.  Therefore, the interior of the gift boxes will either be white or black unless they are lined in a coloured paper.  The size of the box and its contents will dictate the thickness of the board used.


The section of the image that extends beyond the trim marks on a page.  This specifically relates to gift boxes UK that are covered in either a digitally printed wrap or a litho printed wrap.


The abbreviation stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K).  Full colour (or 4 colour process as it is also known) printed images consist of these component colours. CMYK specifically relates to gift boxes UK that are covered in a printed wrap.

Digital printing

A modern printing method which is Ideal for short runs, digital printing uses large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers.  Images are supplied to the printer in digital format (e.g. a PDF or Adobe Illustrator file). A printing plate is not required which reduces costs and saves time.  It should be noted that digitally printed material does not give as high a quality finish as litho printed (as outlined below).

Foil Blocking

Foil blocking a logo involves transferring an image to the paper surface by a combination of heat and pressure. In order to foil block an image on to the paper, the following components are required – a printing block (also known as a ‘die’), some foil which carries the pigment and a machine to complete the process.

Foil blocked gift boxes UK

Foil blocked Gift Boxes UK

The block is mounted on the printing machine and heated to the correct temperature. The paper is then positioned on the table of the machine. The two are then brought together with some pressure, and with the foil between. The combination of heat and pressure releases the pigment from the foil and transfers the image to the paper. Foils can either be metallic or solid colour.  Foil blocking is considered to be the most cost effective method of transferring artwork to the box paper covering, on smaller runs.


Also referred to as a cutting die, cutting tool or cutting knife, a cutting forme is a steel tool which contains a blade which is utilised to cut the gift box template out of the board.

Gift Box With Lid

The most widely used and economical style of gift box, which consists of a base with either a full or partial depth lid which can be removed entirely.

Gift Boxes UK with lift-off lid

Rigid Gift Box With lid

Hinged Lid Gift Boxes UK

Much the same as a gift box with lid, except one side of the lid is hinged.  A three-sided hinged lid has the three remaining sides overhanging the base at either a partial or full depth.  A hinged lid with magnetic closure gift box has a hinge on the top of the base with a flap at the front of the lid with a hidden magnetic closure.

Gift Boxes UK With 3-Sided Hinged Lid

Rigid Gift Box With 3-Sided Hinged Lid


The elements inside the gift box, which are designed to hold an item in place, or provide some form of cushioning for the contents of the gift box. Examples include a foam insert for a USB stick / DVD, or a bottle. Card inserts are often used in gift boxes UK to hold a brochure or membership card in place. Satin linings with bead cushioning are a popular choice to cushion glass or ceramic items.

Gift boxes UK with die cut foam insert

Gift Box With Die Cut Foam Insert


The process of applying a thin layer of clear plastic to the printed paper used to cover a gift box. Giving a luxury finish, paper can have either a matt lamination or a gloss lamination.  It should be noted however, that a matt lamination offers less protection due to the tendency for it to mark and scratch more easily.

Litho Printing

Also known as lithographic printing and offset printing, this is centred around the principle that oil and water do not mix.  Rollers on the press, moisten the slim metal plates with water and ink.  The plates contain the graphics information (both images and text).  The oil-based ink adheres to the image area and the water to the non-image area. The oil- based inked area is then moved to a rubber cylinder and then onto the paper as it moves around the cylinder.  The process is referred to as “offset” because the image doesn’t transfer straight from the plates to the paper.  Instead, it is offset or moved to another surface as the intermediary.

The litho printing process is more cost effective on larger quantities, due to the fact that the majority of the cost is contained in the set up. Offset printing gives high quality, vibrant, precise colour images and photographs, and is excellent for reproducing fine details.

Pantone® Colours

An industry standard collection of colours that can be accurately matched.  The Pantone Color Matching System allows graphic designers to “colour match” particular colours and is nearly always used in branding.

Pantone Matched Gift Boxes

Shoulder box

Shoulder gift boxes have an extra tray insert or ‘shoulder’ which fits inside the base. There are two variations – a non-exposed shoulder box (as shown below) where the lid and base meet flush and an exposed shoulder, where the shoulder is visible between the base and the lid.  Where a contrasting shoulder colour is utilised, a band of colour can be seen around the middle of the box. Another option is a shoulder box with a hinged lid.

Rigid Shoulder Box

Rigid Shoulder Box


A rigid slipcase is used as a cover to protect a book or a CD / DVD box set. The example below shows a rigid slipcase with an additional pull out tray.

Rigid Slipcase With Pull Out Tray

Slipcase With Pull Out Tray

Spot UV Coating

A varnish applied to the gift box paper covering which is cured by UV light, drying instantly.  This varnish can be applied to plain white paper, but is frequently applied to paper which has been colour printed  The result is a shiny effect with the added benefit of sealing in the colour and protecting the printed paper beneath it.  Although UV coating can be applied to a whole area, the term ‘Spot UV’ specifically refers to when particular areas are coated, to highlight individual parts of a design.  It should be noted that the Spot UV process can intensify the colour of the print beneath it. Spot UV coating is usually carried out with the litho printing process, as outlined above.

When sourcing gift boxes UK, we hope that you find the above information helpful and of course, if you would like a quotation for bespoke gift boxes please click here to provide further details about your requirement.


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