Cardboard symbols explained

Here at aibox we love cardboard and great design, so naturally we’re interested in the symbols that often appear on cardboard boxes. We gotta admit though, there were a few even we didn’t understand before we looked into it.

Here’s 5 symbols that refer to the packaging itself;

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One of the most instantly recognisable and one that’s on our radar in a massive way, this symbol means that the product is 100% recyclable.

Note – it does not mean that the product is made from recycled materials.


2000px-Green_dot_symbol.svgTHE GREEN DOT

Easily confused with the previous symbol, this one actually means that the manufacturer has contributed to the cost of recycling.



International_tidyman.svgTIDY MAN

This guy slam-dunking his hanky has nothing to do with recycling, or basketball sadly, just here to remind you to use rubbish bins and not leave your boxes littering the street.



2000px-Resin-identification-code-1-PETE.svgPET (PETE)

A product showing this symbol is constructed from a type of plastic with a long, unpronounceable name that is 90% recyclable.



2000px-Keepdry.svgKEEP DRY

Quite simply, keep this box dry, out of rain but also out of damp places.




Here’s 5 symbols that refer to the contents of the box;



Mazel Tov! The cracked wine glass means the contents of your box are fragile and should be handled with care.

Not necessarily wine.


BSI_Kitemark.svgKITE MARK

The Kite Mark is the British Standards Institution’s mark of quality and safety.

This is not the mark you might have seen on Superman’s chest and it should be noted that it is not known whether the man of steel conforms to their standards.


lionmark-300x212LION MARK

Similar to the Kite Mark, the Lion Mark is a symbol of quality and safety, but specifically refers to the British Toy and Hobby Association’s regulations on children’s toys.



This packaging contains foodstuffs which must be kept at a certain temperature.

We thought we knew this symbol already, but weren’t aware that the numbers on it actually change specific to each package.


2000px-WEEE_symbol_vectors.svgWEEE SYMBOL

WEEEE! Ahem. Stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Again, not a reference to recycling per se, but an indication that the product must be disposed of in a safe way. You’ll typically see this symbol on battery packaging, as batteries should not be disposed of in either a regular dustbin or your domestic recycling.

Batteries can often be taken to your local supermarket, which has led to many people mistakenly believing they could only be disposed of in a Safeway. Please ask an older person if you are too young to understand this joke.

A really great piece of graphic design can instantly convey a universally understood meaning, but there are so many that it’s easy to get confused. Do you have any favourites?

2016-10-13T10:06:31+00:00 October 5th, 2016|Uncategorized|