Box cutters (also known as utility knives or razor knives) are everyday tools used in various industries for cutting materials such as paper, cardboard, wood, and plastic. They are particularly crucial in the packaging industry where they are used to cut boxes and cartons to size and to open them. The use of box cutters has had a significant impact on packaging design, with designers having to create packaging that not only protects the product but also allows for easy opening without causing injury.
Modern of Box Cutters
The modern box cutter was invented in the early 20th century by a company called the Sheffield Steel Products Company in Sheffield, England. This company was a major supplier of tools to the British military during World War I and was tasked with developing a tool that soldiers could use to cut through the thick canvas of their tents. The resulting tool was called the “Stanley Knife,” named after the company’s founder, Frederick Stanley.
The Stanley Knife was a huge success, and it quickly became the go-to tool for cutting various materials, including boxes and cartons. The knife’s design was simple yet effective, consisting of a retractable blade that could be locked in place when not in use. This design allowed the user to have the blade at the desired length, making it easier to cut through thick materials.
Impact of Box Cutters on Packaging Design
The use of box cutters has had a significant impact on packaging design. Packaging designers have had to consider the use of box cutters in their designs to ensure that the packaging is both functional and safe for the user. The following are some of the impacts that box cutters have had on packaging design.
Box cutters have influenced the design of packaging boxes. Packaging designers have had to create boxes that are easy to open without the need for excessive force or the use of a box cutter. In the past, boxes were designed to be sturdy and secure, with the focus being on protecting the product during transit. However, with the advent of box cutters, designers have had to consider the ease of opening the box as well.
Today, many boxes are designed with perforations or tear strips that allow the user to open the box without the need for a box cutter. This design not only makes it easier for the user to open the box but also reduces the risk of injury.
Box cutters have also influenced the selection of materials used in packaging design. Packaging designers have had to consider the type of material used in the packaging to ensure that it is durable enough to protect the product during transit and also easy to open without the need for a box cutter.
For example, some materials may be too thick or difficult to cut, making it necessary to use a box cutter. In such cases, the packaging designer may opt for a thinner material that is easier to cut with a pair of scissors or even by hand.
The use of box cutters has also led to the inclusion of safety features in packaging design. Packaging designers have had to consider the safety of the user when designing packaging that requires a box cutter to open. This includes designing packaging that has safety features such as rounded corners, smooth edges, and locking mechanisms to prevent accidental blade exposure.
Box cutters have also influenced the graphic design of packaging. Packaging designers have had to consider the placement of graphics and text on the packaging to ensure that they are not obstructed by the opening mechanism. For example, if a box has a tear strip, the designer may opt to place the graphics and text away from the tear strip to ensure that they are not damaged during the opening process.
Box cutters have also had an impact on the environmental aspect of packaging design. The use of box cutters may result in excess packaging waste, as the user may need to cut through multiple layers of packaging before reaching the product. Packaging designers have had to consider the environmental impact of their designs and come up with solutions that reduce waste and promote sustainability.
For example, designers may opt for packaging that is easily recyclable or biodegradable, reducing the amount of waste generated. Additionally, designers may opt for packaging designs that use minimal packaging or packaging that can be reused or repurposed.