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BlistersWhat Is Blister Packaging?

Blister packaging, Blister Packs, or simply blisters, are terms used to describe several types of pre-formed clear plastic cavities typically used for securely packaging small consumer goods. Often these packages will hang on a merchandising wall. The components of a blister pack consist of a cavity, pocket, or bubble made from clear plastic and a backing (often a paperboard card). It is common to integrate a hanging element of various styles into either the plastic or the backing. Read on to see these effects.

Packaging Prototyping Icon

Bubble or Cavity

To design the bubble or cavity, VisiPak customers can send in a sample of the product to be packaged (or a drawing of the design). From either of these, a mold is engineered that will produce a clear, plastic bubble. The type of blister package chosen will affect the cavity design and this includes the type of material, such as PVC or PET plastic.

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Card or Backboard

While the transparent blister allows one to see the product, most blister packages also include some type of blister card or paperboard. This card (or cards) provides space for graphics and product information which serves to inform and grab the buyer’s attention.

Hanging Blister Icon

Hanging Element

Given that most blister packs are designed to hang on a merchandising wall, most are designed with some type of hanging feature.  Given that paperbaord can rip more easily than plastic, many blister packaging designs feature hang holes that are integrated into the plastic blister. Multiple hanging holes styles are available.   

Common Types of Retail Packaging Blisters

There are several different types of blister packaging – Face Seal, Full-Face Seal, Trap, and Slide. Each one has its unique qualities and price points, from entry level to high end.

Face Seal Blister

Face Seal Blisters

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Full Face Blister

Full Face Seal Blisters

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Trapped Blister

Trapped Blisters

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Slide Blister

Slide Blisters

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Features of Blister Packaging

Blister Packaging is an economical choice for the retailers and benefits the consumer as well. The product can be visually examined through the transparent plastic. The backing card is usually colorful and designed to focus on the features of the product placed between the blister and card. The blister tray is affixed to the card using heat and pressure to activate an adhesive (heat seal coating) on the blister card. The adhesive is strong enough so that the pack may hang on a peg, but weak enough so that the package can be easily opened. Sometimes, with large items, the card has a small window to allow the consumer to touch the product while still allowing it to remain secure.

Blister Cost Savings

Low Cost

Blister packs typically represent one of the most cost-effective methods for packaging a product.  Both the paperboard and plastic blister - which are available in different materials and thicknesses - are inexpensive.  Plus, numerous companies make equipment to automate the packing and sealing processes. 

Advertising Space

Advertising Space

Given that most blister packs are merchandised on wall displays, they often feature plenty of space for branding and marketing space.  Graphics on the cards can be used to help products stand out and may include promotional materials or advertisements to help build brand awareness.

Clear Product Display

Clear Display of Product

Most consumers believe it is important to see the actual product before making a purchase. Blister packaging allows shoppers to view the product and clearly see a well-protected product, making their purchase decision easier.  

Theft Deterrent Packaging

Theft Deterrence

Blisters are designed to provide a deterrent to theft by sealing or trapping the product between the blister and the card. Packages are typically designed to be tamper-evident to ward off temptation.  

Hanger Options

Slot Hang Tab

Slot Hang Tabs

Hook Hang Tabs

Hook Hang Tabs

Hole Hang Tab

Hole Hang Tabs

Fold Up Hang Tab

Fold Up Hang Tabs

Security Hang Tab

Security Hang Tabs

Applications for Blister Packaging

Blister carded packaging is used in a variety of markets and product categories, including:

  • Club Stores (typically trap blisters)
  • Major Retail Chains
  • Home Improvement, Hardware, Tools
  • Hunting and Fishing
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Health and Beauty, Cosmetics
  • Household Goods
  • Electronics
  • Office and Craft Supplies
  • Toys and Games
  • Automotive
Blister Packaging Applications

Pharmaceutical Blister Packs

Another type of blister pack that differs from most retail blister packaging are those designed for pills and tablets.  These pharmaceutical blister packs usually consist of a relatively thin blister tray that is lidded with a foil barrier.

These packs allow the medication or supplement to be pushed through the lidding material - providing the tamper evidence obviously critical for these items. This type of sealing is also good for protecting products against external factors like humidity and contamination, and can do so for extended periods of time. Opaque blisters also protect light-sensitive products from UV rays that can negatively affect efficacy.

Pharmaceutical Blister Pack

Blister Trays

The term "blister tray" is another type of blister packaging although we commonly refer to them as thermoformed trays. They are made on the same machines with the same types of plastics, so they are essentially the same as blister packs. The main purpose of a blister is to be sealed to a paperboard card or hung on a merchandising wall.

Still, Blister trays can still be lidded with foil, film or a thermoformed plastic lid.  They may function as packaging insert trays.  Or, oftentimes, they are used as shipping trays or material handling parts trays

Medical Tray

Steps in Developing a Custom Blister Package

1. Project Begins

2. Design

3. Prototyping

4. Tool Development

5. Part Production & Fulfillment

6. Repeat Orders

7. Lead Times

Typical business day lead times after PO and all relevant information has been submitted and acknowledged.

Our Work

Blister Packaging Gerber


Blister Packaging JB Weld

J-B Weld

Blister Packaging Ten Point


Blister Packaging SOG


Blister Packaging Grease Monkey Wipes

Grease Monkey Wipes

Blister Packaging Dr. Brown's

Dr. Brown's

Blister Packaging Natural Pain Relief

Lang Pharma Nutrition

Blister Packaging Fuji


Blister Packaging Strike King

Strike King

Blister Packaging Buck Knives

Buck Knives

Blister Packaging Socket Blocker

Socket Blocker

Blister Packaging George and Co. Games

George & Co. Games

Medical Tray

The VisiPak DifferenceComplete Service

From developing the design to specifying the material and providing prototypes, our team can assist you in every step of the packaging development process.

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