Plastic Buying Guide


The following is a list of 24 fundamental questions that you should ask before or during the plastic design process of your sleeve. It is not an exhaustive list, but we consider them all necessary for insuring a quality outcome. The bullets that follow each question represent a sampling of alternative answers or issues for the question.

These 24 questions are written for plastic sleeves that are used to hold an insert of some kind, regardless of the dimensions, but can be adapted for any application. Domino White Paper (DWP) references are given where applicable. Ask your Domino Plastics Professional for copies of applicable white papers.


  1. What are the dimensions of the item being inserted in the plastic sleeve (DWP: Design Basics)?
    • Length
    • Height
    • Width (even paper width can have an impact on the dimensions of your sleeve)
  2. What kind of material is the insert made of? (DWP: Design Basics)
    • Metal
    • glass
    • paper
    • wood
    • plastic
    • etc.
  3. What is the application of the fulfilled product (once the insert is in the sleeve, what happens to it?) (DWP: Design Basics)
    • Shipped and then hung using Job-Ticket hole - unbothered
    • Shipped and then hung using Job Ticket hole - frequently pulled off and on holder
    • Needs to adhere to wall with adhesive
  4. What are the objectives of the sleeve? (DWP: Design Basics)
    • Aesthetic Display - to show off the insert attractively
    • Protection from elements - extending the life of the insert
    • Water resistance
  5. What environments will the sleeve be exposed to before and after fulfillment? (DWP: Design Basics)
    • Climate
    • Moisture
    • Temperature
    • UV Light
  6. What is the stability of the insert size and shape? (DWP: Design Basics)
    • May expand or contract with temperature
    • May expand or contract with humidity
  7. How Secure does the insert need tbe be within the sleeve? (DWP: Design Basics)
    • Immovable within
    • Able to slide in and out with ease
    • Secure enough to remain in pocket while transporting or using, but able to be removed
  8. Will the sleeve require a secured or unsecured flap? (DWP: Design Basics)

  9. Indicate on the matrix below the archiving requirements of this application; how long does the insert need to remain in the sleeve and whether the insert will contain printing on it? (DWP: Archiving Issues with Plastics)
  10. Archiving Matrix:


  11. What are the Quality attributes that will most affect my desired outcome? (DWP: Design Basics)
    • Clarity
    • Consistency
    • Aesthetics
    • Strength
    • Durability
  12. How great is the impact if any of these attributes do not meet minimum standard upon delivery?


  14. How will the insert be inserted into the sleeve?
    • Automated fulfillment
    • Manual In-House Fulfillment
    • Manual on an as-needed basis
    • Use of Fulfillment House
  15. If fulfilled using automated fulfillment equipment - what are the requirements of the equipment?

  16. If manually fulfilled, what is the optimal delivered configuration for fulfillment?
    • Un-torn sheets
    • Individual pieces
    • "Ganged" vs "In-line" (referring the orientation of the products produced on a sheet)
  17. Fulfillment Tolerances - What is the degree to which the plastic sleeve can shrink before adversely effecting the quality and efficiency of fulfillment?


  19. What is the 'lead time' required (How soon does the product need to be delivered)?

  20. What assurances do you have for OTD (On Time Delivery)? What is the consequence of a late delivery? (DWP: The 10 Cent Calamity)

  21. Once fulfilled, how clear are my customer's expectations regarding the product's fitness for their particular use?
    • Extremely high
    • Low
    • Seemingly inconsequential
  22. Is this a one-time production or will this likely be repeated in the same or different quantities?

  23. What is the probability of the dimensions of the insert changing before final fulfillment?

  24. What is the probability of the dimensions of the insert changing after fulfillment?

  25. Are there any restrictions regarding the use of PVC, or other plastics that have been imposed by the buyer or user? (DWP: What's the Deal with PVC?)

  26. Is there an expectation that this product will be sold anywhere that is subject to EU or other standards?

  27. What levels of assurance does your manufacturer provide regarding the above questions?

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