How to Choose the Base Color for Your Custom Shipping Boxes

choosing a base color for your box

While some of us might not think twice about the color of a product’s packaging, studies show that branding colors can boost consumers’ brand recognition by up to 90%. The psychology of color can play a large role in consumers’ buying or passing on certain products. Understanding the subliminal messaging of colors can help a business build its brand more effectively and score more sales.

Choosing the right base color for shipping boxes is a significant first step for companies looking to use color for their brand’s advantage. Discover the key differences between the two most common base box colors — brown kraft and white — as well as what brand messages other box colors convey and whether you can ship custom boxes.

Brown Kraft Shipping Boxes vs. White Shipping Boxes

Brown kraft and white are the most common shipping box colors because they are the two most naturally occurring colors of corrugated board. Choosing any other color for a shipping box requires printing the color onto the corrugated board. Typically, this process involves printing the color onto mottled white cardboard.

If you would rather stick with a more standard brown kraft or white box, consider the differences between the two.

Brown Kraft Shipping Boxes

Brown kraft is the light brown color that cardboard naturally gets after corrugated cardboard’s pulping process. Using brown kraft cardboard as shipping boxes creates a simple, stylish and familiar look to consumers. The minimalistic look of a brown kraft shipping box helps brands look professional and polished.

Recently, brown kraft boxes have become increasingly popular as a sustainable shipping material. Because these boxes are made by recycling the natural materials of pulverized and blended wood pulp rolled into brown filament, they are relatively eco-friendly. Brown kraft boxes are even biodegradable and decompose quickly.

Brown kraft boxes are highly customizable. Companies can have whatever logo or design they wish printed on a brown kraft shipping box. The versatile customization offered by brown kraft boxes means businesses can choose whatever size, style and shape their boxes come in.

In particular, brown kraft is the ideal shipping box choice for a company with a logo that matches this description:

  • The logo is black or mostly black.
  • Any colors in the logo are highly saturated, including greens, purples and deep blues.
  • If the logo includes red, or is a muted brick or burnt red shade, rather than a bright red hue.
  • The logo does not include any shades of yellow or orange.

White Shipping Boxes

Most shipping boxes are a mottled white shade, which gives the box a slightly off-white appearance. Unlike white printing paper, which is fully bleached, a white shipping box maintains darker undertones of brown kraft coloring. White shipping boxes can provide a more striking aesthetic due to their clean and crisp appearance.

White shipping boxes can be an excellent fit for many brands, especially those with the following characteristics:

  • Logos that are brightly colored or feature bright pops of pink, bright red, light green or any neon colors.
  • Any logo design that includes a gradient or several different colors.
  • White logos outlined in a darker color.
  • Companies that desire for the whole shipping box to stand out.
white shipping box

Benefits of Choosing Colored Over Plain Mailer Boxes

When it comes to picking your company’s mailing boxes, you’ve got the choice between colored or plain. Both basic and bright options can be the right solution depending on your shipping needs and industry — but custom colored mailers have a few key advantages over the plain alternative.


No business wants to miss an opportunity to get their brand out there and make a name for themselves. Colored mailer boxes offer some extra pop and personality that a plain box cannot. The colors you choose will differ depending on your industry, product and brand. While some companies go for vibrant colors, others find a more subtle, earthy hue represents their company’s persona.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Add a logo or image to your custom colored mailer for a unique finishing touch. By choosing a colored option, your customers will get a sense of what sets your company apart before they even open the box.

Today, it’s easier than ever to operate as a virtual retailer. Depending on your industry, a shipped package may be the very first opportunity to get your products physically in your customers’ hands. A quality colored corrugated mailing box can enhance customers’ shopping experiences in a memorable way. Going the extra mile with eye-catching packaging can go a long way in helping you stand out from your competitors.

Brand Recognition

If you’re an online retailer or offer a subscription service, your packaging is more important than ever. Your choice of packaging is a valuable opportunity to show your customers that you care about their experience from start to finish. By adding your logo and sticking with a consistent and memorable color palette, customers will begin to recognize your package from the first glimpse. On your company’s end, producing and customizing a large number of corrugated mailers will help you maximize efficiency and keep your branding consistent.

What Are the Best Colors for a Shipping Box?

Along with the practical considerations of how your box color of choice goes with your logo, your box color can affect consumers’ feelings. Although there are no rules against any base color for a shipping box, some colors are better suited for certain purposes, including the product or service.

Selecting the right shipping box color can help build your brand and inspire more sales or customer loyalty. The right box color will complement the product’s coloring and work nicely with the brand’s story.

The following cheat sheet can help you pick the best colors for your box:

  • Black and white: Both black and white are associated with minimalist design, which can help a company appear more reliable within a competitive industry. Specifically, black signifies control, causing consumers to perceive the product as their most dependable option. White is often tied to cleanliness, making the product seem pristine and top-tier.
  • Red: A bold color like red will help a product stand out and potentially even appear more attractive. For food packaging, in particular, red can be a smart base color choice because it is a common color for many of the freshest, most natural foods.
  • Green: This is a solid color choice for a brand that wants to market its products as environmentally friendly or ethically sourced. “Going green” with packaging will help a company convey its sustainability and passion for protecting the planet.
  • Brown: This is another natural-looking, eco-conscious shipping box color choice for companies. Because brown kraft boxes are completely recyclable and easily reusable, sending merchandise in brown boxes is an effective way for a business to get the brand message across that it cares about the earth.
  • Blue: Often, blue can instill consumers with a sense of trust in a brand. Darker shades of blue can make a product come across more serious, making it a great box color for companies catering to working professionals or older demographics. A lighter hue of blue is more playful, which is effective for targeting younger shoppers.
  • Orange: Brands that want to communicate vitality, spontaneity or youthfulness should consider using orange shipping boxes.
  • Pink and purple: Both pink and purple are commonly associated with luxury and do well when used to package higher-end products. Because pink tends to signify femininity, the color is perfect for beauty products like makeup or hair-care items.
  • Yellow: As a bright, sunny color, yellow tends to evoke feelings of happiness. Yellow is an excellent base color choice for engaging younger demographics or packaging products marketed for their affordability.

Ultimately, choosing the shipping box color that is best for your brand comes down to personal preferences. Your shipping box design can be as colorfully complex or as neatly minimalistic as you’d like, depending on what brand message you’re trying to communicate. Keep in mind that the outside of your shipping box should complement the box’s contents, so avoid colors that clash with the product.

Can You Ship a Colored Box?

Although brown kraft and white are the most common shipping box colors, there is a rainbow of other colors that a box’s base color could be. In fact, the United Parcel Service (UPS) will ship just about any type or style of shipping box as long as the package is labeled clearly and correctly. The box may also feature a logo in any color, so feel free to get creative when designing custom boxes.

different colored boxes

Order Your Custom Boxes From Custom Boxes Now!

Are you looking for a simple way to boost your business and encourage customers to keep coming back for more? Colored mailer boxes may be one of the easiest tools at your disposal. Choosing to ship your products in colored boxes can strengthen your brand identity while creating a positive, professional experience for your customers. Go above and beyond with your corrugated shipping boxes, and your customers are bound to notice. 

At Custom Boxes Now, we provide a wide variety of shipping boxes tailor-made to your requests. Our easy and effective printing can enhance brand messaging by placing eye-catching graphics on your shipping boxes. You’ll also get to enjoy our budget-friendly prices and environmentally friendly practices.

If you’re ready to create your custom shipping boxes, place your order with Custom Boxes Now! Start designing your shipping boxes today or contact us for more information.