Many of our clients think that creating a luxury carrier bag is simply a case of spending lots of money.
This is completely wrong.
I have seen carrier bags that cost £4 per bag and look awful. I have also seen bags that costed £0.40 and they look amazing.
The key to creating a luxury carrier bag is about getting the right balance of elements. Of course, the more you spend the more likely the bag is to look luxurious but it is not guaranteed.
The most important part of creating a luxurious bag is the paper that is used. It should be a long fibre paper which means that it feels crisp and tight. This paper is hard to tear and has the feel of a really good quality material.
Leaving the paper un-laminated gives the bag a natural feel and it’s what most luxurious brands are doing with their carrier bags. They are also adding a texture to the paper but this does add quite a bit to the cost.
If you do decide to laminate the bag, generally a matte lamination looks more sophisticated than a gloss lamination. A lamination also protects the bags from dirty fingers, grease marks and the rain. However, it does mean the bag is less environmentally friendly.
The next stage to creating a luxury bag is as important as the paper; The design or graphics. Most brands choose to have something simple on the front and the reverse of the bag. This can look really nice but only if the print technique is a bit special. Simply printing a logo onto the front and the bag will probably look quite cheap.
I always recommend a foil embossed logo which gives a nice contrast against the paper of the bag. Be careful about the foil colour that you choose as some foils can look really shiny and cheap. Satin or matte foils are the best.
So now you have a nice carrier bag, made from beautiful paper and an embossed logo on the front. The carrier bag is starting to look quite luxurious and hasn’t cost much. But this is where lots of brands and their appointed factories or designers fail; the handles.
Carrier bag handles need to reflect the quality of the paper. Too often, we see a nice bag but with some really cheap plastic handles. Don’t do this! Instead go for a nice cotton handle with PP inside. This means the handles feel strong and the ends can be heat sealed. Make sure the handle length is tested before placing the final order.
Finally, think about how the handles are attached to the bag. If the bag is designed to carry quite light items, choose to have the handles threaded into the top turnover. This is a bit more expensive but it does gives the carrier bag a really minimal, sophisticated look.
Finally, make sure the base board and especially the top turnover of the bag uses string reinforced card. The thicker the better. This will make the bag feel nice and sturdy.
For that X factor – think about a little detail that makes your bag unique. Consider having metal eyelets where the handles go, perhaps a little swing tag off the handles, a message on the base board, a printed ribbon to tie the bag….there are so many options to choose from and it doesn’t add much to the cost.
And that’s it. This will guarantee you a really nice carrier bag. However, once you have done all this, don’t go onto Alibaba.com and find the cheapest factory to make it for you then complain that China or wherever is rubbish at Quality Control..yawn…yawn…yawn.
You need to find a manufacturer that understands how to make luxury carrier bags and has a good portfolio of clients they have made bags for. Most factories THINK they can make luxury carrier bags but in reality they can’t because the devil is always in the detail!
So to summarise:
1) Choose a really nice paper that doesn’t need laminating
2) Make sure the design looks sophisticated
3) Foil print and emboss the logo on the front and back of the bag
4) Choose your handles carefully
5) Add a detail or something unique to make the carrier bags different