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Envelope Basics

A finely crafted envelope is often your first impression; unfortunately it is often an afterthought in the design process. American Printing can provide you with the information you need to choose wisely, specify accurately and make the most of that first impression.

Openings

Envelopes can be manufactured in an almost endless number of sizes and shapes. It is important to specify how the envelope should open for aesthetic reasons as well as for functional considerations. Almost all envelopes stem from two basic constructions: they are either open side or open end.

Open Side and Open End EnvelopesOpen end envelopes have the opening and seal flap on the short dimension and are well-suited to hand insertion applications. Large open end envelopes are called catalog envelopes.

Open side envelopes have the opening and seal flap on the long dimension and are ideal for automatic insertion applications and well-suited for hand insertion applications.

 


 

Construction

PARTS OF AN ENVELOPE

Envelope Parts

SEAM STYLES

Seam Styles

FLAP STYLES

Flap Styles

 


 

MeasuringHow to Measure an Envelope

• Always measure an envelope with the flap at the top

• Envelope size is always stated in inches with the shortest dimension first

• The overall size is measured from the top fold to the bottom fold and from one side fold to the other

• Flap length is measured from the top fold score line to the tip of the flap

• Seal gum is measured from the edge of the seal flap to where the gum line stops

• Throat depth is measured from the top fold score line to the top of the bottom flap

• Side flap is measured from the side fold to its farthest point at the envelope center

 


 

Closures

The standard closure for envelopes is a gum seal but many other options exist—pressure sensitive, self adhesive, latex, metal clasp and string and button.

Envelope Closure Types

 


 

The Inside Story

SECURITY TINTS

Inside solid or patterned security tints are a popular method for adding privacy to check envelopes and other mail. There are many standard tint patterns available. In place of generic tints, customized tints can also be designed. These can include logos or messages that show through a window. Remember that full coverage of darker ink colors may show through the envelope paper, detracting from the envelope’s appearance. Special patterned security tints are available upon request.

Security Envelopes

Lined EnvelopesLINERS

Lined envelopes can make a big impression. Though they are most commonly used for invitations they can also be used for letters, holiday cards and so much more. Envelopes can be purchased with colored paper, foil or specialty liners laminated to the inside of the envelope. Patterned and decorative liners can also be added to standard envelopes (pre-cut liners with adhesive).

 


 

Windows

Windows can be any shape and run parallel or perpendicular to the seal flap. Windows are generally parallel to the seal flap but other variations include perpendicular, square, oval, pistol grip and rounded. To ensure an accurate quote on a special window, it is advisable to scan and/or email a drawing to inside sales. Custom window shapes can be made in any shape and size. When ordering window envelopes be sure to specify size, position, window material and shape.

Window Envelopes

MEASURING A WINDOW

• Always measure a window envelope with the flap at the top

• Window size is always stated in inches with the height first, then length

• Position is stated relative to the left and bottom flaps of the envelope A commercial flap envelope with a standard window has a 1.125 x 4.5 inch rectangular window with rounded corners. It is positioned .875 inches from the left fold and .5 inches from the bottom fold.

How to Measure a Window Envelope

 


 

Mailing

The United States Postal Service (USPS) establishes regulations for the mailing of business and personal correspondence. The Domestic Mail Manual provides a comprehensive list of business mailing requirements including bar coding, graphic restrictions, acceptable areas to place the address and mandatory unprinted zones. Order the manual or view the latest envelope design requirements online at usps.com. While there, read or sign up for Deliver magazine, the leading online resource for mail marketing strategies brought to you by the USPS.

The envelope mailability template is a convenient guide to the proper ratio of a mail piece’s length to height. It shows the minimum size of an acceptable mailing piece and the dimensions that are subject to a surcharge for first or third-class pieces weighing up to one ounce. The USPS requires a height-to-length ratio to fall between 1 to 1.3 and 1 to 2.5. Mailing pieces that are outside these ratios will be subject to a surcharge. On this template, a standard envelope will have an upper right corner that falls within the shaded area.

TO AVOID A SURCHARGE

• Minimum of 3.5 x 5 inches

• Maximum of 6.125 x 11.5 inches

• Maximum thickness is .25 inches

• Aspect ratio (length divided by height) fall between 1.3 to 1 and 2.5 to 1

Mailing Ratios

 


 

Standard Styles and Sizes

The look, feel, and color of an envelope can improve response rates, present a particular image, or evoke a desired emotion. When designing an envelope consider the printing process, color, texture, recycled content, and paper weight to eliminate show through and minimize mailing costs, budget, deadline and if the perception of quality is important to the intended audience.

Save time and money by using standard sizes. For best results, the envelope should be at least .25 inches longer than the longest insert. Recommended clearance from top to bottom is no less than .25 inches.

When having an envelope quoted, remember to specify paper grade, finish, shade, basis weight, size, flap opening, seam construction, delivery date, quantity, packaging requirements and any special requests such as windows, non-standard glue placement or printing type and location.

 

COMMERCIAL FLAP

For a variety of business and personal correspondence, including invoices, statements, stationery and direct mailings.

Commercial Flap Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
6 1/4 3.5 x 6 3.25 x 5.75
6 3/4 3.625 x 6.5 3.5 x 6.25
8 5/8 3.625 x 8.625 3.5 8.325
7 3.75 x 6.75 3.5 x 6.5
7 3/4 3.875 x 7.5 3.75 x 7.25
monarch 3.875 x 7.5 3.75 7.25
9 3.875 x 8.875 3.75 x 8.625
10 4.125 x 9.5 4 x 9.25
11 4.5 x 10.375 4.25 x 10.125
12 4.75 x 11 4.5 x 10.75
14 5 x 11.5 4.75 x 11.25
     

EURO FLAP

The modern choice for stationery and cards features a distinctive deep flap with a rounded tip.

Euro Flap Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
4 baronial 3.625 x 5.125 3.5 x 4.875
A2 4.375 x 5.75 4.25 x 5.5
A6 4.75 x 6.5 4.625 x 6.25
A7 5.25 x 7.25 5.125 x 7
5 1/2 5.5 x 5.5 5.25 x 5.25
A8 5.5 x 8.125 5.375 x 7.875
A9 5.75 x 8.75 5.5 x 8.5
     

 

SQUARE FLAP

The modern choice for stationery and cards features a distinctive deep flap with a rounded tip.

Square Flap Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
monarch 3.875 x 7.5 3.75 x 7.25
9 3.875 x 8.875 3.75 x 8.625
10 4.125 x 9.5 4 x 9.25
     

 

A-STYLE ANNOUNCEMENT

For invitations, notecards, small booklets and promotional pieces and, more recently, for distinctive business stationery. This style envelope is enhanced by the use of text paper.

A-Style Announcement Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
A2 4.375 x 5.75 4.25 x 5.5
A6 4.75 x 6.5 4.625 x 6.25
A7 5.25 x 7.25 5.125 x 7
A8 5.5 x 8.125 5.375 x 7.875
A9 5.75 x 8.75 5.625 x 8.625
A10 6 x 9.5 5.875 x 9.25

MACHINE INSERTABLE

A-style envelope that will be mechanically inserted, has a shorter flap, like a booklet style envelope. Normally used for bulk mail and direct marketing campaigns.

Machine Insertable Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
A2 4.375 x 5.75 4.25 x 5.5
A6 4.75 x 6.5 4.625 x 6.25
A7 5.25 x 7.25 5.125 x 7
A8 5.5 x 8.125 5.375 x 7.875
A9 5.75 x 8.75 5.625 x 8.625
A10 6 x 9.5 5.875 x 9.25

BARONIALS

Deep pointed flap used for formal announcements and invitations.

Baronial Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
4 3.625 x 5.125 3.5 x 4.875
5 4.125 x 5.625 4 x 5.25
5 1/2 4.375 x 5.75 4.25 x 5.325
6 4.75 x 6.5 4.625 x 6.25
lee 5.25 x 7.25 5.125 x 7
8 5.75 x 8 5.625 x 7.75

SQUARE

Square flap and side seam construction for printing uninterrupted by seams. Requires a surcharge for mailing.

Square Flap Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
5 5 x 5 4.75 x 4.75
5 1/2 5.5 x 5.5 5.25 x 5.25
6 6 x 6 5.75 x 5.75
6 1/2 6.5 x 6.5 6.25 x 6.25
7 7 x 7 6.75 x 6.75
7 1/2 7.5 x 7.5 7.25 x 7.25
8 8 x 8 7.75 x 7.75
8 1/2 8.5 x 8.5 8.25 x 8.25
9 9 x 9 8.75 x 8.75
9 1/2 9.5 x 9.5 9.25 x 9.25
13 1/2 13.5 x 13.5 13.25 x 13.25

BOOKLET

For annual reports, brochures, sales literature and a variety of printed material. Can be used in volume mailings processed by inserting and sealing equipment.

Booklet Flap Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
4 3/4 x 6 1/2 4.75 x 6.5 4.5 x 6
5 1/2 x 7 1/2 5.5 x 7.5 5.25 x 7
5 1/2 x 8 1/8 5.5 x 8.125 5.25 x 7.625
5 3/4 x 8 7/8 5.75 x 8.875 5.5 x 8.325
6 x 9 6 x 9 5.75 x 8.5
6 x 9 1/2 6 x 9.5 5.75 x 9
6 1/2 x 9 1/2 6.5 x 9.5 6.25 x 9
7 x 10 7 x 10 6.75 x 9.5
7 1/2 x 10 1/2 7.5 x 10.5 7.25 x 10
8 3/4 x 11 1/2 8.75 x 11.5 8.5 x 11
9 x 12 9 x 12 8.75 x 11.5
9 1/2 x 12 5/8 9.5 x 12.625 9.25 x 12.125
10 x 13 10 x 13 9.75 x 12.5

CATALOG

For large document mailings including magazines, catalogs, sales literature and annual reports. The heavily gummed flap offers protection for heavy enclosures. Catalogs, in most cases, cannot be processed through inserting or laser printing equipment.

Catalog Flap Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
5 x 5 5 x 5 4.75 x 4.75
6 x 9 6 x 9 5.75 x 8.5
6 1/2 x 9 1/2 6.5 x 9.5 6.25 x 9
7 1/2 x 10 1/2 7.5 x 10.5 7.25 x 10
9 x 12 9 x 12 8.75 x 11.5
10 x 13 10 x 13 9.75 x 12.5
10 x 15 10 x 15 9.75 x 14.5
12 x 15 1/2 12 x 15.5 11.75 x 15
     
     
     
     

POLICY / COIN

Center seam with open end construction.

Policy / Coin Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
5 1/2 coin 3.125 x 5.5 2.875 x 5.25
7 coin 3.5 x 6.5 3.25 x 6.25
10 policy 4.125 x 9.5 3.875 x 9.25

REMITTANCE

Open side, side seam envelope with a large remittance flap.

Remittance Envelopes

ENVELOPE SIZE ENCLOSURE
6 1/4 3.5 x 6 3.25 x 5.75
6 3/4 3.625 x 6.5 3.25 x 6.25
9 3.875 x 8.875 3.75 x 8.625
     
     

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