Everything you Need to Know about Paper Bags


If you sell products, food, or other goodies, you need bags. You can even use them if you give away products at trade shows. Promotional paper bags are a great way to further your marketing, so why not take advantage?

While plastic bags are convenient, they aren’t environmentally friendly and they don’t help your business’s image. If you’re looking for a way to make things classier or you just want a distinct image for your business, learn how to choose the right paper bags.

What’s your Company Mission?

First, what type of persona does your company portray? Are you eco-friendly, environmentally conscious, or otherwise proving ways that your company cares?

You’ll want those beliefs to reflect in your packaging then too. Choose bags made from 100% recycled content so you stick within your company’s beliefs. Fortunately, 100% recycled bags are available in a variety of sizes and styles so you don’t have to sacrifice your company’s needs to stick within your mission and beliefs.

Think of the Sizes

Promotional paper bags  come in many sizes, from prescription bags to large carryout bags and everything in between. Think of what your average customer will carry out. Do you sell small (and light) items or large and heavy items? Do you sell a variety and need several sizes?

Don’t focus on the height or width of the bag alone, though. Think of the weight. Is a 4-pound paper weight good enough, or do you need something stronger? Think of your lightest and heaviest objects when deciding.

Handles or No HandlesNatural Kraft Paper SOS Grocery Bag (Size 1/6 Bbl.) - Flexo Ink

How will your customers carry the bags? Are small bags with no handles, but that folds over for closure good enough, or do you need carrying handles?

Are contoured carrying handles good enough or do you want tote style handles giving customers the option to sling the bag over their shoulder? Again, think of the products your customers will carry in the promotional paper bags . Is it something they are good with just holding in their hand or does it have a bit more bulk and requires shoulder strength?

Flat Bottom or Pinch Bottom?

Think about your products or the promos you’ll give away with your bags at trade shows. Do they require a flat bottom bag that opens up completely, allowing items to lay flat on the bottom of the bag? Do you prefer pinch bottom bags that have sealed bottoms? These are the bags you normally receive cards in at the grocery store. They are great for small items or items you need to keep safe from harm. 

Is Color a Concern

Remember, your bags are an extension of your brand and your mission. What branding are you trying to stick with? Your promotional paper bags should fall in line with it.

If you don’t have a lot of color or your business colors are neutral, natural or white Kraft paper may suffice. If you want a pop of color, or your business is known for a specific color, such as orange, pink, or red, choose bags in that color. 

Why should you care about the color? Think about when you shop at a store like Target. Can you instantly tell where the products came from without saying where you went? Yes, because the Target logo is on the bags. That’s what you need for your business, instant recognition. Not only does it help the branding, but it also helps market your business. 

Think about how often bags get reused, especially high quality bags. When customers reuse bags, it’s yet another way to market your brand. Even if the bag sits in their closet for a few months, it’s another marketing effort in the future that you don’t have to pay for – your initial investment keeps paying you back.

Do you Need Special Shapes?

While most products fit inside a rectangular bag, there’s something to be said about bags shaped for specific products.

Just like grocery bags are made for groceries and prescription bags are made for prescriptions, think of other unique bag shapes you could use. Do you sell wine? Get some sophisticated wine bags. Everyone recognizes the shape and gets excited when they see it, plus it keeps the wine bottle secure.

We carry a large selection of wine bags ranging from single paper wine bags to cotton 2-wine bottle holder bags or insulated wine totes. Think about the message you want to send and/or the branding you want to offer with your packaging and choose accordingly.

Are you Looking for Sophisticated Bags

If you run a high-end boutique or just want to keep up with your high-end branding, you may want bags with a sophisticated edge, such as the Everest or McKinley. These premium matte laminated bags have macramé handles and just give a different vibe than a standard paper bag. 

What Images do you Need?

Now, don’t think of just the bag itself. Think of the printing on the bag. This is your marketing or how others will get to know about your business. Think of it as a business card, but on a bag. You want the print to match your company’s branding.

Are you looking for standard ink printed bags or something a little fancier? You can opt for black ink printed bags, full color, foil stamp, or screen print. 

Just like when you choose your bags, think about what you want to portray when people see and/or use your bags. Are you a simple business that black ink printed bags fit in just fine with and even mesh well with your branding? Do you have a sophisticated business that requires uniquely shaped promotional paper bags and foil stamp or are you going for the eco-friendly look with reusable totes and screen print?

What Types of Paper Bags do you Need?

Whether you’re using your paper bags to give customers their purchases in or you’re handing them out at a trade show or other event, your choice of bags is just as important as any other marketing material you use.

Your bags are an extension of your company, what it stands for, and how you brand it. Don’t choose bags that don’t fit in with your company’s image or that don’t hold your product well. Remember, you want quality bags that make your customers realize that you see through every detail from start to finish. Your investment in the right promotional paper bags will give you more bang for your buck with your marketing dollars and help you spread the word without doing any additional marketing.

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Imani Wright
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