Dull & Plain = Big Money Savers!

Sure, these may look like dull and plain cartons, but these are money-saving bad boys of packaging! An e-commerce platform (you know who we are talking about!) charged a customer for the overall outer dimensions of a plastic pouch, including the air inside the plastic bag that was supposed to protect the products during shipment.

That customer approached Norka looking for different ideas. Our team developed a carton that fit the products precisely with improvement—by reducing the need for all the costly air as padding, printing a one-color item (for easy warehouse fulfillment), and solving this supply chain issue in less than five weeks (including providing mockup samples, art proofing, and production)!

With this ever-growing segment of this product, our customer is delighted to be able to order higher volumes at the best pricing and select the product in releases from Norka’s vast warehouse space.

The world of e-commerce doesn’t always need full graphics, but it DOES need tremendous and cost-effective solutions.

Let us know how we can assist with retail packaging as well as the ever-evolving e-commerce world – and streamline costs with the design and manufacturing capabilities found at Norka!

Meet Jeff Berger, Structural Design Manager

Meet Jeff Berger, Structural Design Manager
Norka would love to introduce one of our most critical employees – Jeff Berger, Structural Design Manager. Jeff has been with Norka for over four years now and brought a fantastic wealth of knowledge and experience to us – and has allowed us to step up our service offerings to our customers. His favorite part of being a designer is when the response to a design or mockup is “this is EXACTLY what we had in mind!” Although there are always challenges in design, a daily challenge for Jeff is being able to strike a balance between what the customer wants and what is actually able to be achieved in production – sometimes, there is a balance that needs to happen between the initial design and what is machinable – but he is so creative and forward-thinking that solutions are found easily.

Customers come with a series of needs and his job is to always understand that this is an ever-evolving process of creation as needs – and the market – are always changing. Asking too MANY questions is never a bad thing, as far as Jeff is concerned – what is critical is knowing how many factors are taken into account in the overall design process: manufacturability, cost efficiency, structural integrity, uniqueness, eco-friendliness, sustainability, theft prevention. The list goes on! Whatever your folding carton packaging needs, know that we have an amazing resource in place to be able to think outside the box (yes, we had to go there), get your products packaged for maximum shelf impact – and count on the rest of the Norka team to deliver the results faster than the current market. Contact us today to learn how we can refresh, revise, redesign and recalibrate your packaging needs!



Meet Peter Berg, Quality Manager for Norka Inc.

Meet Peter Berg, Quality Manager for Norka Inc.

PB: Quality is about opportunity – for Norka AND for our customers.  We are committed to delivering defect free cartons, on-time, and within budget, that not only meet, but exceed our customers’ expectations. Whether it is a basic straight-line carton without print, a complex auto-bottom with an inner cell and elaborate art, or a blister card with gloss UV, we are confident we can produce high quality paperboard packaging to help market any brand. This is an opportunity for our customers to set themselves apart from their competitors at retail or e-commerce markets.

As a company, Norka has made large investments in training our employees and purchasing new testing equipment to guarantee the packaging we produce is the highest quality, with consistent color, and opens properly on any automated filling machine or by hand. Our cartons are tested and statistically analyzed by our Quality department to prove our product is manufactured to the highest level of industry standards, both color and functionality. Does the carton function properly and does the carton look awesome? Yes and yes.  It’s as simple as that.

Being the Quality Manager, and working directly with the sales team, I feel personally responsible for the product we deliver to our customers, day in and day out. I enjoy problem solving and take massive pride in the work we do at Norka.  Outside of work, I enjoy golfing, spending time on the lake with my family, and working in my yard. Like a printing geek, my favorite color is Reflex Blue.


E-Commerce Packaging and Online Shopping Patterns

E-Commerce Packaging

E-Commerce for 2021 and beyond – the impact on companies in the Consumer Packaged Goods space and how to respond to changing consumer buying patterns through your packaging

COVID-19 and the resulting changes in consumer buying habits continue to redefine so much of what was “normal” just a short year ago. Social distancing and the need for continued convenience have led to a marked increase in online ordering and grocery delivery. By 2023, online grocery spending will reach $129 billion, nearly 10% of total grocery sales.

And, did you know that for the 2020 holiday season, more than 75% of customers shopped online? With the continuing rise of e-commerce, consumers no longer feel the same drive to visit brick-and-mortar stores when what they are looking for can be delivered right to their doors.

In just one month, a survey of U.S. adults revealed a vast shift from physical to digital shopping. Check out these significant results:
On March 10, 2020, 13% of consumers reported online shopping purchasing events. On April 10, 2020, that number increased to 41% of consumers moving towards online shopping and purchasing portals one month later.

Groceries are far from the only products that U.S. internet users have delivered directly to their doors during the pandemic. Here’s the percentage of adults and what they now actively purchase online:

Online Shopping Patterns

online purchase categories

Chance is? You are one of these shoppers.

What’s driving this dramatically increased change in buying behaviors?  You cannot overlook the role that a global pandemic has had on the retail in-store level’s massive changes.

This trend does not only impact giant retailers. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also adapting, with nearly two-thirds expecting to lean more heavily on online sales in the future. How much will U.S. SMBs rely on e-commerce post-pandemic?

Here’s what one survey showed as the future predictors:

30.7% Rely the same amount on e-commerce

34.8% Rely somewhat more on e-commerce

31.6% rely much more on e-commerce

3% rely much less on e-commerce

That is absolutely noteworthy!

Based on the new consumer buying habits and patterns, it is highly likely that these numbers should remain consistently on the increase for the future than the pre-COVID-19 established shopping behaviors. 

With this drastic increase and move to e-commerce platforms for so many businesses, let Norka help with a new look at your folding cartons for the e-commerce selling space. 

Do you need all the bells and whistles for printing and finishing required for shelf space and visibility? Do you need sturdier folding cartons that will need to survive shipping in smaller corrugate cartons – and not have the solid, safe surroundings shrink-wrapped with bumpers on a pallet? What can the Norka team provide as you expand further into this E-Commerce space?

This market change has been a boon for packaging and points the spotlight of sustainability on the industry. Brands are using paper packaging as a sustainable choice to get their products delivered to customers. And with so many options available to the brand owner, let the Norka team help you with the myriad of details to provide folding carton packaging cost-effectively as well as adhering to sustainability requirements. According to Nielsen, in 2018, 81% of global consumers felt strongly that companies should help the environment. We are here to help and fully support the best packaging practices and what you need to know. 

Call us today to get some new designs started for this ever-changing E-Commerce world. 

Click here to download this case study.

Spot Color Printing vs. CMYK Printing

Which Color Process is suitable for your project?

At Norka, you can expect color accuracy, sharpness, and high quality. Our in-house prepress printing department ensures your art files are produced with predictable, accurate results. Whether printed using spot color(s), CMYK, or both, our skilled team will put “pop” in your packaging. See the color process methods explained below.

CMYK or 4-Color Process MethodCMYK or 4-Color Process Method:The most common method of achieving color in printing is CMYK, four–color process, or even just process; all colors are printed in dots. The mix or overlapping of these colors creates a full-color wheel spectrum. See image example.

Advantages: This process is ideal for high-graphics or photographic-type images that have a ton of color depths. CMYK is the best method to achieve realistic-looking photographs on a printed piece. It uses less process, less screen for print; it can minimize costs and increase print productivity.

Disadvantages: Due to the colors being a mix of dots over dots, there is a higher chance of color variations.


Spot color printingSpot Colors: Spot color printing uses a color system of solid or premixed colors known as Pantone Colors applied only to the area of the assigned color. When printing in a single (spot) color, there will be a separate plate and a single run of the process. If there are two colors, there will be two plates and two runs, and so on. See image example.

Advantages: Spot printing, colors are exact and accurate to the original design because they are assigned their specific Pantone number. Pantone Color is a standardized color matching system, utilizing the Pantone numbering system for identifying colors. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers can reference a Pantone numbered color, making sure colors match without direct contact with one another. The spot color method does not require the mixing of ink and guarantees an actual consistent color in every production run. Spot Colors are generally less expensive when printing three colors or less.

Disadvantages: Spot Color printing is not a great fit for digital print.

Are you interested in learning more and seeing what Norka can do for you? Contact our printing and packaging experts today!