Cardboard Music Promotion | Aylesbury Box Company
Do you know the role that cardboard played in music promotion? Let us tell you how this cheap packaging material helped bands build fans!
cardboard, cardboard music, music promotion, cardboard records, music advertising, packaging material, printing cardboard, cardboard boxes, custom packaging, vinyl revival,
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Cardboard Music Promotion


Cardboard Music Promotion

For the first time in three decades, vinyl records are included in the list of items used to calculate monthly inflation in the UK. As a result of a resurgence in demand, 6.5 million vinyl records were sold in 2023. It seems that many people want a physical music collection, not just downloads. But, do you think we might see the return of cardboard records?

What are Cardboard Records?

Vinyl wasn’t the only material used to produce and play music on a turntable. You might find it hard to believe, but coated cardboard was also used! These records were usually created and given away to promote a band or album release.

In some cases, cardboard records were offered as freebies in cereal packets – cardboard music promotion! In the 60s, the Monkees and Jackson 5 were among the bands to record a cardboard single for a tuneful breakfast!

As you can imagine, the quality of these records wasn’t great and the cardboard was easily damaged. Essentially, they were a fun gimmick to be played and binned. As such, few of them still exist and that might not be such a bad thing.

A better use of cardboard is the record sleeves. The card helped to protect vinyl records from scratches and also provided a surface for stylish album cover designs. According to a Rolling Stone Magazine survey*, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beetles is the most iconic. This is closely followed by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Nirvana’s Nevermind. What would be in your top three?

Cardboard Music Promotion

Another way in which cardboard played a part in the music scene was in publicity posters. From the 1940s to the 1980s, there was no social media or internet to promote concerts, festivals and live performances. Therefore, cardboard music posters played a vital role in letting people know who was playing, where and when.

A common method of music advertising was letterpress printing onto cardboard. This made good re-use of a widely available packaging material, making posters cheap to produce. The cardboard was more durable than paper and it only needed a short life span. After a week or two, the event was over and the poster could be disposed of.

Printing Cardboard Music Posters

Letterpress printing was quite an art. Poster designers selected fonts to suit the genre of the band and catch peoples’ eye. Each letter is individually positioned to create the poster layout, before being secured in a frame. What’s more, the printer worked in reverse, with each letter going in backwards so it would be printed the right way around.

The printing block was re-inked many times over to print multiple posters on the print press. If illustrations were also used, these were created separately. Lino or woodcuts were often used, which were great for simple, bold designs.

What’s clear is that printing cardboard posters was a skilled and time-consuming job. We’re certainly glad for the advances in print technology. With the initial design setup, our machines can accurately print hundreds of cardboard boxes an hour, with minimal input from the team.

Cardboard Record Boxes for Vinyl E-commerce

Are you from a business that’s embracing the vinyl revival? If so, we can manufacture custom packaging for your e-commerce deliveries. Our postal boxes provide suitable protection for the records you send and can be printed with your branding.

To find out more and get advice on print finishes, give us a call on 01296 436888 or email




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