Cardboard Culture

Cardboard types and how to design with them

Cardboard is a resistant, light, economical and very versatile material that has multiple uses in fields such as industry, furniture and even architecture.

Big shark designed with corrugated cardboard
Cartonlab prototyping workshop. (Murcia)

There are several types of cardboard and many possible applications. Cardboard sheets are made by superimposing paper fibres and are classified according to their internal structure.

1.-Corrugated cardboard or corrugated cardboard

This is the cardboard format you have seen a thousand times in the boxes that protect delicate items, or the ones you are looking for when moving house. Beyond packaging, corrugated cardboard has other interesting applications.

Corrugated cardboard types

What is it like?

Corrugated cardboard consists of two main elements:

Ondas y grosores de tipos de cartón.

Liners and mediums are glued together to form layers. Depending on the number of layers, we differentiate between the following types of board:

corrugated cardboard furniture design detail
Detail of furniture made of corrugated cardboard.

You will like corrugated cardboard because…

It is versatile and easy to achieve

With corrugated cardboard you are on the safe side. With the right structural design it offers many possibilities. From small creations to pieces of furniture and stands, it is also the most common cardboard format.

stand euskadi fitur carton
The gigantic rocks of the Euskadi stand at Fitur were made with corrugated cardboard.

Combines lightness and resistance

The OHM shelf is a good example of simple and functional design. Made of 7 mm thick BC cardboard, it weighs nothing and supports up to 250 kg.

You have a thousand ways to design with it

By gluing overlapping layers you get a dual aesthetic and practical purpose. The Cantilever chairs are an example of how to take advantage of the texture provided by the cardboard wave.

corrugated cardboard chair design by layers

Folding: In creations like the low poly animal figures we work the art of folding with complex and eye-catching polygonal designs.

big cardboard dog designed with corrugater 3mm cardboard

It adapts to anything

A stand, an exhibition, or even scenographic projects like this TV show set. Large format polygonal decorative elements, stools for the audience, table for the interviews… all produced with corrugated cardboard.

tv design stage produced with cardboard by cartonlab

2.-Honeycomb cardboard

With the honeycomb cardboard you get a great rigidity with the lowest possible weight . Initially developed for theaeronautical sector, due to its resistance, compression, flexion and lightness.

What is it like?

Its internal structure is made up of hexagonal honeycombs, which cushion impacts and provide thermal and acoustic insulation. And as it is a hollow structure, it is really light.

honeycomb cardboard panel
Inner hexagonal lattice of the honeycomb panel

Another interesting feature of this material is that it always shows the same finish on the edge. This way you get a homogeneous look in any direction of cutting the board.

honeycomb cardboard panel for exhibitions
Displays of ‘Spices: the universe of flavour’, with the honeycomb edges visible.

You will like the honeycomb cardboard for…

Unbeatable weight/stiffness ratio

Obviously, it is the must of this material that tips the scales when deciding on its use. On the other hand, this cardboard is not the most suitable for folding or for making “V” cuts.

No sagging!

The rigidity of the panels prevents large elements from sagging , which is why we love it for displays, signage, banners, three-dimensional lettering and banners.

Mostrador corpóreo con nido de abeja como tipo de cartón
Corporeal counter-corporal for public attention in CEMEX event

Nidocraft is one of the leading manufacturers of honeycomb in Spain. For them we designed the project “Good Vibes”. A stand built as a tunnel formed by a succession of undulating layers of cardboard.

Ideal for large structures of interlocking pieces

Togetherness is strength. A light and strong material such as honeycomb works perfectly for making large interlocking parts.

Honeycomb panel cardboard structure booth for trade show

A sample? In this stand for Pink Lady in Paris we simulated an apple tree forest made of cardboard. Large columns as trunks and a large roof formed by the tops of the trees.

Honeycomb panel cardboard structure booth trade show

It is manufactured in sheets with a thickness between 6 and 70 mm. Some of the most outstanding brands are Falconboard, Beelite, Nidokraft, Hexacomb, L’hexagone, Yamaton, etc.

3.-Honeycomb panels

The industry is constantly developing new board formats. Sometimes new materials are obtained by combining and improving existing technologies. This is the case of honeycomb panels.

celular cardboard panel xanita type
Honeycomb board is ideal for achieving smooth curved folds.

What are they like?

We could say that this cardboard is a hybrid between corrugated cardboard and honeycomb. Some of the most prominent manufacturers of this type of material are Re-board (Sweden), Xanita (South Africa), Buigiordano (Italy) and Green Board (China).

buigiordano carton cardboard
Buigiordano, one of the honeycombs with the highest thickness.

We like them because…

reboard panel design for trade show modular booth
Stand for the Northern Design fair made with Reboard.

4.-Cartonboard and solid board

If you are looking for the right material for small designs and light packaging, these two options offer you what you need.

Cardboard is the thin cardboard that you find every day as packaging, stationery or in handicrafts. It is very flexible, folds easily and can be handled with a pair of scissors or a box cutter.

rabbit cardboard mask design lowpoly
Rabbit masks, one of the most widely distributed cardboard designs.

Solid board is made by pressing several layers, almost always from 100% recycled cardboard. It has many applications in bookbinding, packaging, toys, protective corner protectors and even in ecological cardboard hangers, perfect for event slogans.

cardboard hanger clothes cartonlab
Compact cardboard hangers will help you organise in a sustainable way.

Do you have a project in mind?

Cardboard offers you endless possibilities to surprise and captivate. Contact us and we will help you develop your ideas.