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How to Select Bottle Cap and Neck Size?

-Monday, January 19, 2015

“BRI”ef: 106 - Packaging Options Direct – Guide to Container Neck Finishes

At Packaging Options Direct, we know choosing the right container can be tricky with all the different options on the market. From glass to plastic, bottles to jars, there are so many choices available; and in my previous “BRI”ef’s I’ve given some information to help you choose the best packaging for your needs. However, once you’ve decided on your container, you also have to choose the right style of closure, and you want to make sure it’s the right fit. As an Account Coordinator, I find that one of the questions I hear the most is “How do I know which closure to buy?” So I offer you this “BRIef guide to selecting the correct closures for your needs.

Selecting Cap and Neck Sizes

The first step is understanding what size closure will work with the jar or bottle you have selected. On our website, we list each container’s thread finish in a couple different places on the product page. One of those places is at the top of the page underneath the main product description; usually listed as two numbers with a hyphen (example: 28-400). We also have two rows in the product table that provide this information. One row called “Neck Finish” and the other called “Neck Height Dimension”. But what do these numbers mean?

Cap and Neck Sizes Example

When looking at a bottle or jar, the neck finish (or the “28” in the example above) refers to the outer diameter of the container opening from the outer thread to the outer thread (the thread being the spiral bump that holds the cap on the bottles). When referring to lids, this same number is used to denote the nominal diameter across the inside of the cap, but without the thread included, just the inner wall of the cap to the inner wall on the opposite side.

The second number provides much more information. It refers to the standard dimensions as determined by industry trade groups; either GPI (Glass Packaging Institute standard) thread finish for glass bottles (as in the “400” in the example above) or SPI (Society of Plastics Industry) for plastic bottles. These dimensions and features include the height of the cap, and the style of threads on the cap or container.

Cap and Neck Size Dimensions

Two of the more common thread styles are continuous thread, which is a finish that has one thread that spirals downward toward the shoulder of the container; and a lug thread, which is a finish of three or four separate threads.

Thread Styles

Other common container finishes are: cork finish, a smooth finish in which a cork fits; swing-type, which are lids that have hinges much like our Kilner jars; and crimp closures which require special machines or tools to apply, much like beer bottle crown caps.

Cap and Neck Finishes

Once you have an understanding on how to select the right size closure, you have to decide on the type of closure you want. Do you want a plain continuous thread closure, or something with more finesse for dispensing? Atomizers (also known as fine mist sprayers), lotion or treatment pumps, droppers, spout closures, flip-top (also known as snap-top or snap-type), press tops (also known as disc lids), turrets (also known as flip-spout lids), and flapper lids can all give your container a more user friendly edge. Lids with a plastisol liner can give you the vacuum seal functionality of a canning lid, like those often found in the kitchen or canning section of your local retail or grocery store.

Types of Dispensing Lids

As always, I am happy to help any time our valued customers have questions. Please feel free to call us at (855) 754-3728 if you should ever need assistance with choosing the correct closure for your specific needs.

As an added bonus, sign up to receive our upcoming Buyers Guide Checklist and FAQ's PDF for FREE!



Color Me Confident - “BRI”ef: 105

-Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The various colors of our European bottles, Boston round bottles, and bullet bottles look beautiful; but did you know they can also have a very interesting effect on the perception you wish to give to your customers?

Clear

Clear bottleClear (also known as flint when referring to glass), natural, and amber colored containers are common in the world of packaging. But you can also find packaging that has a great range of colors. At Packaging Options Direct, you can find containers in clear, amber, cobalt blue, green, white, purple and natural. The colored bottles being popular for items sensitive to light, as the colors provide UV filtration. But did you know that color can speak to your customers on another level?

Amber bottle

Amber

Amber (or sometimes considered brown) packaging represents caution, comfort, earthliness, energy, maturity, reliability, seriousness and strength. Amber packaging is good for products that are organic, natural and wholesome. Amber is also a classic and old world color that can give your product a feeling of timelessness. Amber can be functional by hiding dirt, but can also be seen as dirty depending on how deep or brown the container is; so caution should be used when choosing brown packaging, and ensure that your closure, label and accents help to convey the appropriate message. The advantages to packaging in amber colored containers is that they offer protection from ultraviolet (UV) light and can give products like essential oils, medicines and the like a longer shelf life. Amber glass is typically made of soda-lime glass combined with sulfur, carbon and iron salts and can range from being yellowish to almost black in color, depending on the amounts of minerals added.

Blue

Blue bottleBlue (known as cobalt in the packaging industry) is the color of sand and sky. It is the color symbol of cleanliness, confidence, faith, honesty, intelligence, loyalty, reliability, trust and wisdom. It is also commonly associated with calmness and relaxation. Blue packaging can be used to promote items which are associated with these traits. For example, you can use blue bottles to promote items associated with cleanliness (cleaning products, and vodka); air and sky (perfumes, air conditioners); and finally water and sea (mineral salts, water, salt scrubs). Blue is a masculine color and highly accepted among men; although women must be highly favorable to blue as well since it is the most universally liked color. The color blue should be avoided when promoting food based items, as blue has been known to suppress the appetite; however if paired with vibrant colors such as blue or red; your package could easily have a high impact look.  Like amber bottles, blue bottles offer protection for light sensitive products. Blue glass is produced when adding small amounts of cobalt minerals to soda-lime glass.

Green jarGreen

Greenis the color of nature, and in turn symbolizes balance, harmony and health. It also symbolizes dependability, freshness, growth, security and wealth. Green is often used in the advertising of drugs and medical products, as well as products that are nature friendly, known today as “green” products. Adding silver to your packaging (on labels or with closures) can give your product a sense of elegance and sophistication.  Green packaging can also be beneficial for organic and garden products, and since it is colored, it can provide moderate protection against light. Green colored glass is created when soda-lime glass is mixed with iron oxide and chromium, manganese, didymium or uranium. The specific color of green depends on which mineral was used in making the glass.

Purple

Purple bottlePurplesymbolizes creativity, magic, mystery, nobility, power, royalty, spirituality and wealth.  It combines the stability associated with blues, and the energy associated with red. A Purple Heart is a great example of purple being a sign of nobleness and respect. When combining purple packaging with silver or gold accents you can give your products an appearance of extravagance, luxury or premium quality. Spiritual or “new age” products are often packaged in purple or contain purple accents as the purple provides a sense of individuality and uniqueness. As the color purple represents a union of the body and soul, it is the perfect packaging color for holistic products. Pairing purple with red accents can provide a feeling of energy and excitement, while paring it with green or blue will give your customers a feel-good impression. Purple packaging can provide moderate protection when used for products that are light sensitive.

White tin canWhite

The color white is a symbol of equality, goodness, innocence, light, perfection, purity and simplicity. Wedding and christening dresses are great examples for the ideal of white representing innocence and purity. Generally speaking white gives off a positive feeling; but it can be seen as safe and unrefined. The beauty in white packaging is that white can act as a blank canvas, and can be dressed up in a number of different ways. You can keep the white in its simplistic state and give your product a feeling of cleanliness, simplicity or sterility. When using white packaging with food based products, it has been commonly associated with low-fat and dairy products. When pairing white with red decoration, you can add a sense of excitement to your product. When paired with black, you give your product a sense of sophistication and elegance. As most packaging that is white is solid in nature and omits light, they are good for products that are sensitive to light.

Black

Black is in a league of its own. It is symbolic of authority, control, elegance, formality, mystery, and power. Black packaging tends to make a statement in and of itself, as it appears more expensive and have a higher perceived value. For example, American Express offers their “Black” card to their most prestigious customers and often “Black” Tie Affairs are thought to be highly elegant events. Black can have a downfall, so caution should be exercised when used in packaging. It can be perceived as mysterious; which although mystery can sometimes be good, it can invoke feelings of fear, and intimidation. Pairing black with various colors can send a multitude of messages to your consumer. When adding gold or silver decoration to your black packaging you can create a look of elegance, and sophistication. When paired with red, your can give your product a sexual appeal. Pink and purple decoration with a black package can attract a female market, and give your product a softer or more striking appearance depending on the shade of pink or purple.  Black containers, like the white, tend to be solid in color and not transparent, and therefore provide great UV protection for products that are light sensitive.

I truly hope that you are gaining some insightful information to make your packaging decisions less stressful. I am learning new things every day and I hope you are too.  If you haven’t checked them out already, read my previous blog posts “Packaging Categories”, “Shaping Up” and “Style Is More than Clothes” for useful information on choosing your packaging. I hope you join me next time and, as always, I am happy to help any time you have questions. Please feel free to email us or call us at (855) 754-3728 if you should ever need assistance with choosing the correct product for your specific needs. Should you have any questions about this blog, or ideas for future please email me at brianne.livas@packagingoptionsdirect.com, and type BLOG TOPIC in the subject line.

Style Is More than Clothes - “BRI”ef: 104

-Friday, November 7, 2014

When most of us think about style our first thought it about the latest runway fashion, which in the long run trickles down to what clothes we put on each day. Style plays a very important role in the world of packaging and much like dressing yourself to impress, you have to dress your product to impress too.

Packaging comes in a huge assortment of styles and choosing the right style for your product is important. You want your packaging to make a statement. In my previous blog “Shaping Up” I discussed the shapes of bottles; and each of those shapes can be further subcategorized into style. In this “BRI”ef we are going to review the more popular styles of bottles and jars to give you a better insight into the world of packaging.

Round Bottles

Round bottles can be a vague description, but when we refer to bottles as Boston rounds, Imperial rounds or Modern rounds we can greatly reduce the number of returns we get on a search.

Round Bottle Styles

Boston round bottles have a round cylindrical shape with a short curved shoulders. These bottles are a very popular style as they are great for a variety of uses: aromatherapy, apothecary, and medicinal; and everything in between. A fluted Boston round bottle is similar to a regular Boston round, but has gradually tapered shoulders versus the short curved shoulders of a standard Boston round.

Sauce bottles, carafes, and decanters can be used interchangeably for a sauces, beverages, and syrups. They can come with a continuous thread or lug finish, which makes them great for use in the kitchen. The primary difference between a sauce bottle and a decanter is that a sauce bottle tends to have an indented label panel; and decanters are more decorative and are specifically made for liquor or wine.

Bullet bottles, also commonly known as Imperial rounds or Cosmo rounds, are tall narrow bottles with gradually slopped shoulders. The difference between the three styles really comes down to which manufacturer made the bottles. Bullet bottles are usually made of plastic and due to their slim and stylish look, are great for a multitude of uses.

Cylinder bottles are tall and narrow, like Bullet bottles, but have squared off shoulders and straight sides. Also like Bullet bottles, they tend to come in plastic.

Jugs can come in glass or plastic, and in either case, always have a handle for the ease of use. Great for bulk products or beverages, the bottles large capacity makes them ideal for a number of purposes.

Round Jars

Like bottles, jars come in so many shapes and sizes. Round jars are pretty common.

Round Jar Styles

Paragon and economy jars are great for canning and preserving. Paragon jars are usually tall and narrow, where economy jars can vary slightly in shape and tend to have a slight shoulder; unless they are wide mouthed as pictured above.  They can come with either a continuous thread finish or a lug finish.

Double wall jars are plastic jars that have an inner and outer wall. They tend to give an appearance of larger volume and tend also protect the contents of the jar due to the dual walls.

Spice jars can come in glass or plastic and though they can be square, round or unique with an area specific for a label, they almost always come with a finish fit for snap on fitments.

Wine Bottles

Wine Bottle Styles

Claret bottles tend to have a short neck, short shoulder, and a long body; and are also commonly known as a Bordeaux bottles. These bottles are good for red wines and blends such as Cabernet Francs, Cabernet Sauvignons, Malbecs, Merlots and Petit Verdot.

Burgundy bottles, which are ideal for Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, have a short neck, long sloping shoulder and short body. The difference between the Burgundy bottles, Hock bottles and your traditional Champagne bottles it the body of the bottle itself. Champagne bottles have a wider body than Burgundy bottles, while Hock bottles tend to have a more slender body.

While both Claret and Burgundy bottles were typically found with cork finishes, they can now also be found with continuous thread or Stelvin finishes.

You can also find stylish liquor bottles, that don’t necessarily fall into a wine bottle grouping, and because of their uniqueness they are classified as liquor or decorative bottles.

As we are learning, there are endless shapes and styles to bottles and jars as new molds and designs are made every day; and I am sure there are many that this short blog didn’t touch on. I wanted to at least give you an idea as to what the various shapes and styles look like; and how to tell them apart.

Join me next time when I discuss how the color of your containers plays a role in helping you sell your products. Until then, I am happy to help should you have questions. Please feel free to email us, or call us at (855) 754-3728 if you should ever need assistance with choosing the correct product for your specific needs. Should you have any questions about this blog, or ideas for future please email me at brianne.livas@packagingoptionsdirect.com, and type BLOG TOPIC in the subject line.

Shaping Up - "BRI"ef: 103

-Thursday, October 23, 2014

In the last BRI”ef, we reviewed packaging categories. These are the general terms used to describe a package, such as bottle, jar, jug, etc. Once you know the general category of container you are looking for, the next step is to determine what shape of container you want.

Shapes

Square, oval, round and oblong are the basic shapes in packaging and are pretty simple to understand, as they are shapes we’ve been taught from as far back as we can remember. However, there are many shapes in the packaging and container industry.

6 oz Antique Green Glass Cork Top Pyramid BottleTriangle and pyramid bottles (shown on the left) are occasionally seen in the design of bottles. Used mostly in perfume or decorative bottles, the unique shapes give a high-class look to products making them highly desired.

9 oz Dodecagon Clear Glass JarMore complex shapes such as hexagon, octagon, dodecagon and spherical can be seen as well, primarily in jars used for canning and candle making. Hexagon jars have six sides, while octagon jars have eight and dodecagon jars have twelve (shown on the right). Sphere or globe shapes are usually found in perfume or decorative bottles.

Additional terms to know

16 oz Clear Glass French Square BottleContainer manufacturers also take shapes a step further by incorporating beveled or squat into their descriptions. A beveled bottle (like the one pictured to the left), is a bottle that has intersecting angles reduced to less than a right angle, or more simply put the square corners of the  bottle have be slanted.  A squat bottle is short in height when compared to a large diameter. 

Other terms that define bottles shapes include straight sided (meaning the walls of the jar or bottle run straight from top to bottom), and cylinder.

Save time and money…

Having a general idea of the shape and category of container you desire helps to narrow down your search for the perfect bottle. Much like walking into any department store, it helps to have a general idea of what you are shopping for. Knowing you want clothes or more specifically a pair of jeans, helps lessen the amount of time spent shopping. As we go through the “BRI”efs, it is my hope that you will be able to further define your search for packaging; ultimately saving you time and money on that perfect packaging look you desire. Join me next time as I discuss the various styles of packaging; from Boston rounds to Spice jars. We will be reviewing what makes each style special.

Feel free to email us or call us at (855) 754-3728 if you should ever need assistance with choosing the correct product for your specific needs. Should you have any questions about this blog or ideas for future posts, please email me at brianne.livas@packagingoptionsdirect.com and type BLOG TOPIC in the subject line.

Packaging Categories - "BRI"ef: 102

-Friday, October 3, 2014

Categories in the container and packaging industry are general terms used to describe a package. Bottles, jars, cans, jugs, pails, drums, and tubes are just a few. They are very broad terms which do not provide much information; but in understanding basic packaging categories, you can begin to narrow the search on the specific item you want for your product.  At Packaging Options Direct, our product line is mostly comprised bottles, and jars; with a few others mixed in.

In this second “BRI”ef, I want to provide you with a better understanding of the basic categories used for packaging. If you need to reference our first “BRI”ef  “Introduction to Packaging”, click here.

Bottles

Glass and Plastic BottlesBottles come in a variety of materials. Aluminum, glass and plastic are the most common, and each type of material has its own sub-type. We’ll get into material types later. Typically speaking, bottles have narrow mouths; which means the opening of the bottle is roughly one half the diameter of the container or smaller.  Bottles are primarily used to store liquids of various viscosities like beer, shampoo, and even ketchup. Bottles can come in an endless number of shapes, and sizes; and take a wide range of closures and finishes.

 

Jars

Glass and Plastic JarsJars usually have a wide mouth; meaning the mouth opening of the jar is roughly half the diameter of the body of the jar, or larger. Jars are most commonly found in glass and plastic and, like bottles, can come in a variety of shapes though the most common are straight sided or economy style canning jars (commonly referred to as Mason jars). Jars usually have continuous thread or lug finishes; and though they are typically cylindrical, they can come in other shapes.

 

Jugs

Glass JugJugs are more oblong, are usually thicker near the middle than the top, and will always have handles. Jugs are usually a half- gallon or larger and come in glass or plastic. The normal finishes on Jugs are a continuous thread finish, though they have also been known to come with smooth finishes for use with corks or as those seen on large water jugs (like Sparkletts). Liquid storage is the most common use for jugs.

 

Cans

Plastic PailCans, like bottles and jars, come in a variety of materials and have just as many uses and styles. Paint cans are the most common, however they can come with screw cap finishes, in oblong and cone shapes or can even be square. Pails and drums are types of cans. Pails, also commonly known as buckets, often come in plastic or steel. They are deep, cylindrical containers that are normally made of metal, plastic or wood. Pails are often known to come with handles and have tight fitting lids with gaskets that provide an airtight seal. Pails are good for storing liquid and solid items. When people think of small versions of pails or buckets, you often think of tubs.  Drums are made of steel, stainless steel, plastic, composite or fiber. They come in open, closed or tight heads, and can be round or square, lined or unlined, seamed or unseamed.

 

Tubes

Plastic TubeTubes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. The two main characteristics of tubes are those that have one end that is crimped and others that stand on their caps. Tubes have a large variety of applications and are often used in toiletries, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, household products and more. For more information on cans, pails, drums or tubes, you can contact our parent company TricorBraun.

 

Now that you have an idea of the general categories that you containers fall under, we can start to look at sub-categories, finishes, closures and so much more. Join me next time as we continue our journey through the world of packaging, and as always, I am happy to help any time you have questions.

Feel free to email us or call us at (855) 754-3728 if you should ever need assistance with choosing the correct product for your specific needs. Should you have any questions about this blog or ideas for future posts, please email me at brianne.livas@packagingoptionsdirect.com and type BLOG TOPIC in the subject line.

Introduction to Packaging - "BRI"ef: 101

-Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Meet your Account Coordinator BriHi! My name is Bri (pronounced Brie, like the cheese) and I’m the Account Coordinator at Packaging Options Direct. I am your go-to person for all things packaging. I'm always happy to assist customers in placing orders but my first priority is helping you understand packaging itself. So I have decided to put together a series of blog posts called “BRI”efs; which will cover all sorts of topics about your packaging needs.

Today’s “BRI”ef is a simple introduction to the world of packaging. Packaging comes in all shapes, styles, materials, finishes, colors and capacities; with just as many finishes. Over the next few articles, we will touch on all of those elements.  

Categories

Glass BottlesContainers are often placed into a category and then sub-categorized by shape and style. Categories are general terms such as drum, pail, tube, bottle, etc. They are very broad terms which do not provide much information. When helping you determine what kind of item you are looking for, I usually try to refer to the sub-category of an item.

Shapes

Shape is a good place to start when trying to determine the look you want. Containers come in all shapes, the basic shapes being: round, square, oval and oblong. Other shapes, such as beveled, add to the many options available.

Styles

The Style of a container can vary from one manufacturer to another, but often it’s more the name than the actual style that is different; as different manufacturers tend to use fancy names for their versions of any particular style of bottles.  A good example of this is Imperial Rounds, Bullets and Cosmo Rounds. All three styles look the same, but are called different names depending on the maker.

Openings

Openings have two basic types: wide mouth and narrow mouth. The term wide mouth refers to any container which as opening roughly half of the diameter of the container or larger. An example would be a one gallon jar often used in pickling. The term narrow mouth describes a container whose opening is roughly one half the diameter of the container or smaller. Beer bottles, and Boston round bottles are perfect examples of containers with a narrow mouth.

Other options…

Materials, Finishes and Colors round out the major components of packaging and each have their own specific function on your packaging.

Product attributesAs you get to know more about the packaging you are looking for, you will be able to use that knowledge to streamline your search on the Packaging Options Direct website. You can use the search feature at the top of the website to look for any of the key attributes located in the diagram on the left, or you can find Material and Style listed in our product attributes key; which you can use to filter products on our site (as shown in the diagram to the right) to find exactly what you are looking for.Product Filters

I will be touching on each of these items individually or at least in smaller and more direct groupings, in my upcoming posts. Should you have any questions regarding packaging that I might be able to address in the blogs, please email me at brianne.livas@packagingoptionsdirect.com and type BLOG TOPIC in the subject line. I’m excited to see what you want to learn about the wonderful world of packaging!

Keep coming back to our blog to get the latest news and helpful resources we’ve put together for you. Visit PackagingOptionsDirect.com/Blog

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