Using Warning Labels in Your Box Designs

Amanda Pharis -

Say goodbye to keeping stickers around in your warehouse when you incorporate your labels into your shipping box design. Printed right on the box, each warning is consistent and printed clearly for package handlers to see. Create unique labels for each SKU or category you offer your customers, tailored to best ensure your product arrives in mint condition. 

When do certain symbols or labels pertain to a product? Let’s dive into what different symbols mean, and how to get the most value out of the printing real estate for your shipping box. 

Fragile And Handle With Care 

There are an infinite number of ways to demonstrate and alert handlers to the fragility of certain items. Always include adequate dunnage in your shipping box; including fragile or handle with care icons doesn’t guarantee someone will heed the boxes’ warnings.  Use an overabundance of caution when shipping liquids or glass - effective and clear icon warnings can increase the chances of your product staying intact. 


Weight And Team Lift 

Including a heavy weight or team lift icons alerts handlers to get assistance before attempting to lift the package to avoid injury. If your printed box consistently carries a set weight, including the gross weight in your design with the icon in proximity is even better. 

A note regarding “Light Weight” 

While not often noted in regular, everyday packaging, products that are significantly lighter than the box volume might otherwise suggest, it's recommended to include a feather icon as a courtesy to package handlers and couriers. This would include super or hyper-light materials and fabrics (or even if you’re just shipping air).

Element and Environmental Warnings

You’re probably familiar with the umbrella symbol frequently seen on many shipping boxes: there are only so many ways to iterate keep dry as a graphic. Water isn’t the only element to protect your boxes from. Using temperature labels can keep handlers and shippers aware of environmental needs your package may have. If using refrigerated logistics, it is possible to keep your product at an even, maintained temperature (barring technical failures) during its entire shipment to prevent freezing or melting of your product. Keep sheltered icons can work to keep your boxes from being stored in direct sunlight and prevent your product from baking.   


Handcart and Stacking Alerts

Some odd shaped products can create unevenly distributed weight in the box, and as a courtesy again to package handlers, including icons that show uneven weight can prevent injury to themselves and damage to your products. Include top heavy, or light side here icons to show the weight distribution and prepare box handlers.  Products that might collapse under stacking forces should include do not stack or a stack limit icon to show box handlers the best, safest way to store the product in boxes. A stack limit icon demonstrates visually how many max boxes can be stacked before becoming a tipping or overhead hazard.

Box Cutter and Puncture Warnings

If your product is easily ripped, damaged or punctured, incorporate cut here or do not cut icons to aid recipients opening the box without damaging the product inside. Arranging and packing your box in a way that prevents accidental damage is best, but including a warning graphic is a heads up to the user to use precaution.  

Interested in designs for your shipping packaging? Contact our designers today