Blister packaging is a type of packaging produced by heating a sheet of plastic and moulding it into shape to form a bubble or pocket the ‘blister' that completely covers the product.
A traditional blister pack is known as a face seal blister and has a cardboard back. The plastic blister is fixed to the front of the cardboard, to contain and protect the product. You can read more about the different types of blister packaging below.
The blister can be made in any shape a uniform shape to protect tablets, for example, or an unusual shape to protect a less consistently shaped product, like the football figurines shown in the image below.
The most common types of blister packaging are as follows:
The plastic blister is moulded around the product and heat-sealed to a cardboard backing. This type of blister packaging is fairly inexpensive and so is generally used for products made in large volumes.
The blister surrounds not only the entire product but the card backing too. The plastic is either heat-sealed to the card or slid through additional plastic pieces on each side. This type of blister packaging is used to make the packaging stronger (the corners are harder to bend, for instance) and better-looking.
Like the full-face seal blister, the blister covers the full size of the card. But rather than be heat-sealed to the card, it has flanges that wrap around it. The card is slid, and sometimes stapled, into place.
A trapped blister is almost the same as a traditional blister pack but the plastic part that sticks to the cardboard has another piece of cardboard in front of it that fits around the shape of the blister. The plastic is then trapped between two pieces of cardboard. The top piece of card is die-cut to fit the blister where the product sits. As this type of blister packaging uses no heat-sealing methods, it's cheaper to produce than those methods that do. This makes it more tamper-proof as it becomes obvious if the front cardboard has been ripped. It also looks better as it covers the plastic.
A hinged blister where two sides fold together to create a closed container. Clamshell packaging is explained in more detail below.