Clamshell packaging is a type of rigid plastic or cardboard material that encases the contents inside to protect them from damage during shipping and from theft on retail sales floors. They are commonly used for packaging CDs, DVDs, and video games as well as other items such as pharmaceuticals, bottles of vitamins, and even makeup compacts.
Clamshells are typically made out of injection-molded polystyrene (HIPS) or another type of plastic that is cut to size, scored, and thermoformed to create the case’s shape. The clamshell packaging design can range from simple to ornate depending on the type of product it is designed to hold, but all clamshells share one feature: they can be opened by first squeezing both sides and pulling open the front then pushing open the top.
Because clamshell packaging has been in use since the early 1970s, there are many types that have come and gone as technology has changed. Many companies have trademarked the clamshell design that they use for their products because it is a well-known and recognizable method of packaging goods. While plain or ornamental, clamshells are designed to draw the customer’s attention to the product inside, allowing them to get a glimpse of what is being offered before opening the package.
It is important to know how clamshells are made so they can be more effectively designed and still hold the product safely inside. CD clamshells, for example, must be opened by slightly bending the plastic casing before pulling it apart to prevent the disk inside from snapping in two. Some clamshell packages may require the use of a small tab to open them while others are meant to be broken apart once the customer has purchased them.
Different types of clamshells used for packaging include:
- Action Figures and Toys
- CD/DVD Clamshells
- Cosmetic and Toiletry Clamshells
- Ink cartridges, like those used in printers.
- Gaming systems—consoles, handhelds, and accessories
- Software packaging
Clamshells can be designed to have opening instructions on the back of them that show customers how to open the package without damaging it or the contents inside. Instructive packaging is another popular choice for software and video games that helps customers open the package safely.
So if you’re ready to get started or have questions about blister packaging, clamshell packaging, or any of our products and services, give us a call today to learn more and speak with one of our packing specialists!