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Pushing the Envelope Beyond Ordinary

Custom Envelope Terms - what do they mean?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Aug 31, 2018 3:05:56 PM

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The world of print buying which includes envelope buying has its own set of terms which are sometimes not easy to figure out.  Many people who find themselves assigned the task of buying print and paper are often confronted with sometimes inscrutable language thrown at them by vendors who are not considering their audience.

One of my pet peeves in general is the use of jargon especially in business and government.  Sometimes specialized terms are necessary in certain situations, for instance in certain technical applications.  The digital revolution of the past 25 years has meant that most of us had to learn about things like RAM and gigs.  It’s just part of the evolution of things.

However, I suspect that sometimes people use terms in which only a select group are familiar either by habit or perhaps as a way to make themselves look important.  After all, if you don’t know what X, Y or Z means then you’re just not as informed as you should be and I have something over you, right?

Well, having gotten that off my chest, back to envelopes and print buying!

Here are a few things you might hear or read in a quote with a quick explanation:

OS & OE - These are abbreviations for “open side” and “open end”.  In the envelope world, open side means the opening (or flap side) is on the side of the envelope that has longer dimension.  So, for instance, a 9 x 12 open side envelope means the flap is on the 12 inch side. This is also called “booklet style” (don’t ask me why).  So open side and booklet mean the same thing.  Open end means the opposite; the opening or flap side is on the shorter dimension side of the envelope.  So that same 9 x 12 envelope listed as an OE would have the flap on the 9 inch side.  Open ends are also called “catalog style” (again, don’t ask) – same thing. 

These terms are useful, even essential when describing what you’re looking for.  I can’t tell you how many times a buyer has said to me, “the flap is at the top of the envelope”.  “Top” is obviously a relative term.  Using either open side or open end as descriptors eliminates all question and confusion.

Note:  one thing to watch out for is that “OE” sometimes will mean “outgoing envelope”.  In this context it describes the envelope that is mailed to the customer usually with a return envelope inside.  You’ll generally only see that used in quote requests. It doesn’t refer in any way to the size or construction of the envelope.

Window Measurements – This is an area that often causes confusion between buyers and vendors.  There’s a certain method which envelope converters use that tends to eliminate confusion.  You might see this wording in a quote for a custom window envelope:  “Window measures 1-3/8” x 4”, ½” L, 7/8” B.”

The 1-3/8” x 4” describes the overall size of the window; width (north/south) first and length (east/west) second.  The second group of numbers describes the position of the window.  Window position is always described by the distance from two edges of the envelope in question.  The letter L simply means “Left”. In the example above, the window is placed ½” inch in from the left side of the envelope. The letter B means “Bottom”.  So in the example above the window is placed 7/8” up from the bottom of the envelope.  Envelope converters will ALWAYS measure and describe windows in this fashion. The only thing you’ll have to take into account is that the flap of the envelope has to be on top as you’re doing the measuring. 

There is one exception to this which refers to what is called a “Vertical Window”.  I’ll get into that in the next blog post.

In the meantime, feel free to pose any questions about this or any other envelope terms you might find confusing. I’ll be happy to answer any of them. No charge!

Topics: Open Side, Open End, custom window envelopes, custom envelopes, Catalog Envelopes, Booklet style envelopes

Top 5 Reasons to Use Tyvek for Your Next Mailing

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jul 25, 2018 11:37:13 AM

DuPont’s Tyvek has been around for many years and has a reputation for durability and functionality in the mailing world. It’s a synthetic material which is also used as a first layer to wrap houses which gives you an idea of the durability part.

Tyvek is more expensive than regular paper envelopes but it has one property that makes it well worth considering for mailings; it’s a lot lighter than paper.  Most large envelopes used for mailings are either 28# or 32# weight.  Tyvek’s most common weight is 14#.  So simple math says it’s half the weight or less of paper envelopes.  Going to the next ounce in postage costs around 21 cents per ounce.  So for 1,000 envelopes, you’re saving around $210 per thousand in postage by avoiding the increase in weight of the mail piece – pretty impressive.

The sleek look and smooth feel of Tyvek is pretty much guaranteed to get your mail opened.  It prints really well – even with full ink coverage.  Your brand will stand out and be noticed and the recipient will understand that this is not just any mailing, but rather something important that deserves his attention.

It’s virtually impossible to tear which makes it ideal for mailing anything that has rough or sharp edges; like a spiral bound booklet for instance.  It’s also water resistant which ensures it will hold up and look better when delivered especially if it’s raining!

Tyvek envelopes from Elite Envelope

Tyvek is available in a wide range of sizes; from small, credit card size envelopes up through jumbo sizes as large as 22 x 27 inches. Tyvek envelopes are also available with side expansions up to 5 inches for bulky packages. 

 And, perhaps surprisingly, Tyvek is 100% recyclable. A nationwide recycling program collects used envelopes and recycles them into other useful materials. Tyvek itself is contains an average of 10% post-industrial waste content.

 

Topics: Tyvek envelope printing, tyvek envelopes

Envelope Converting Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jun 22, 2018 3:13:33 PM

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Envelope converting is the process by which sheets of paper are made or “converted” into envelopes. The sheets can be plain or printed.  Machines which make envelopes can do so from paper rolls (which avoids die cutting as a separate function) or from die cut “blanks” which are fed into the machine and glued and folded.

Most converting jobs are ordered by printers. Generally speaking a printer will know the process and be able to speak the same language as the envelope converter and give him what he needs in order to produce the job properly.

However, there are many smaller users; small business owners, graphic designers to name just a couple, who might require a converted envelope and may not understand how to avoid the pitfalls that could occur as part of the converting process.   For those folks and any others who might not be that familiar with the process, you can obtain a list of converting tips here. But in addition, here are the three most common errors in the envelope converting process.  Keep these in mind when designing and ordering your custom envelope.

  • Error #1 – Not designing to the converter’s layout sheet.

Always ensure that the sheets are printed in strict accordance with the layout/template provided by the envelope converter.  If you don’t get one at the time of the order, ask for it. The converter knows how the job is to be laid out for best results.  And if you’ve ordered the envelope before from a different converter, don’t assume that their layout will apply to a different company.  Even if it’s a standard size like a #10, things like flap sizes can vary from company to company depending on their particular die.

  • Error #2 – Not accounting for the inevitable manufacturing variation and tolerances.

As I’ve covered in previous posts, there is variation inherent in both the cutting and folding of an envelope. If you are printing an envelope that has color which bleeds to one of the folding edges, you must wrap-around the image by at least 1/8” to ensure no white space shows.   The only way to significantly minimize this variation without the wrap-around is to individually die cut each envelope prior to folding. This is a much more costly process and not feasible on a large order. Plus, because of the folding variation, you’re still not going to get them all perfect.

  • Error #3 – Not leaving a no print area where glue meets ink.

If your envelope has full ink coverage all around, you must leave a space – called a no-print area – on the side flaps where they meet the back panel and also on the back panel where it meets the flap. This is where the glue is applied to hold the envelope together and seal it. The adhesion property of the glue is significantly lessened when it is applied on top of heavy ink coverage.  The layout provided by the envelope converter should have these areas marked off but if they don’t, make sure you ask.

Paying attention to these three points will allow you avoid the most common problems on an envelope converting job.  Feel free to e mail me at jerry@eliteenvelope.com if you have any other questions. I’d be happy to answer them for you.

Topics: envelope converting, envelope converting mistakes, custom envelopes

Full Color Envelope Printing - Digital or Offset?

Posted by Jerry Velona on May 21, 2018 2:04:52 PM

Envelopes have typically been printed either flexographically (rubber or plastic printing plate) or offset (metal plate). Those two processes (in addition to flat sheet printing/converting) are still the most common for the vast majority of envelope printing.  Today’s post however deals with the world of digital envelope printing and how that can be used to your advantage for full color envelope printing.

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Flexographic printing for envelopes is generally only economical on larger runs of approximately 100,000 or more. Since digital is only economical on smaller runs, we will only focus on comparing it to offset printing.

Digital envelope printing is done electronically. There are no printing plates. The printer automatically sends out the proper mix of colors to achieve the image that was programmed.  Digital envelope printing can be done with toner (like most desk top digital printers) or with later models that use ink jet technology where the color is “sprayed” onto the envelope.

In the world of envelope printing and envelope converting, digital printing is only economical on very small quantity jobs – generally under 5,000.  The quality is comparable to offset although many prefer offset or lithographic quality.  There is a different look to digital envelope printing – a little shinier perhaps.   From the strict standpoint of quality, the one possible advantage of digital printing is that there would be less variation over the course of the print run given the fact that offset printing requires continuous fine adjustments in the ink/water mixture.

Mostly the advantage of choosing digital custom envelope printing over offset boils down to cost. It’s much less expensive to set up and run a job digitally.  So, the fewer envelopes you require, the more it makes sense to print them digitally.  Once the quantity gets to around 5,000, offset becomes more advantageous cost-wise and as the quantities increase, the unit cost of offset printing decreases significantly. Digital printing unit pricing stays relatively constant regardless of the increase in quantity.

Recent advances in digital printing for envelopes such as the I Jet can print full color images that bleed right to the edge. Previously this could only be done by printing flat sheets and converting at a much higher cost.   Another advantage to the ink jet digital approach is it can print on regular poly window envelopes.  Toner printers generate much higher heat in order for the toner to adhere to the paper. This can melt regular windows.  Lastly, envelopes printed using digital ink jet technology can be run through laser printers for variable addressing. This is great for direct mail printing and is not possible with toner-based digital printing.

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Elite Envelope provides a wide range of digital envelope printing options.  We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have on the right way to go.

 

Topics: digital envelope printing, offset printing, custom envelope printing

 Envelope Converting Defined – part 2

Posted by Jerry Velona on Mar 14, 2018 4:02:50 PM

In my previous post, we took the converting process from the point where the printer prepares the sheets and ships them to the envelope converter. Once the sheets are received, the envelope converting process for custom envelopes actually begins.

The first step is die-cutting the envelope blanks out of the sheet.  The envelope company will use a steel die – resembling a cookie cutter (see picture below). This is also sometimes referred to as a “high die” as the sides are generally around 4 inches high to account for the size of the ream being cut.

Depending on the quantity of the envelopes to be converted, the die-cutting will be either done by hand as the picture shows or in an automated fashion using a programmable hydraulic press (PHP).  The hands-on method allows for a little more accuracy and individual adjustments on cuts which can be improve the results on certain jobs. Once the envelope blanks are cut out of the sheets, they are stacked and ready to be fed into the folding machine.

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Some tips to ensure a problem-free converting experience:

Always ensure that the sheets are printed exactly per the layout/template provided by the envelope converter.  If you don’t get one at the time of the order, ask for it. The converter knows how the job is to be laid out on the sheet for best results. Going by the layout and submitting a proof sheet for prior approval can prevent many of the most common errors.

As I’ve covered in previous posts, there is variation inherent in both the cutting and folding of an envelope. If you are printing an envelope that has color which bleeds to one of the folding edges, you must wrap-around the image by at least 1/8” to ensure no white space shows.   The only way to significantly minimize this variation without the wrap-around is to individually die cut each envelope prior to folding. This is a much more costly process and not feasible on a large order. Plus, because of the folding variation, you’re still not going to get them all perfect.

If your envelope has full ink coverage all around, you must leave a space – called a no-print area – on the side flaps where they meet the back panel and also on the back panel where it meets the flap. This is where the glue is applied to hold the envelope together and seal it. The adhesion property of the glue is significantly lessened when it is applied on top of heavy ink coverage.  The layout provided by the envelope converter should have these areas marked off.

If you’re looking to make a custom envelope that really stands out, consider dealing directly with an envelope converter rather than an envelope printer who doesn’t also make envelopes.  They will give you the expertise you need to ensure your job is a “cut” above. 

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Topics: envelope converting, envelope converting mistakes, custom envelopes, top quality envelopes, envelope converter

Envelope Converting Defined – part 1 

Posted by Jerry Velona on Feb 1, 2018 2:52:09 PM

The term “converting” in relation to envelopes is sometimes not well-understood. So, here’s a very simple definition: Envelope converting is the process by which sheets of paper are cut, glued and folded into envelopes.  An envelope converter is a company that has the machinery and personnel to do this. An envelope converter is the same thing as an envelope manufacturer. It’s a factory where envelopes are made.  To “convert” means to change. We envelope converters are “changing” paper into envelopes; hence the name.

An envelope conversion starts with sheets or rolls of paper. The paper can be unprinted, covered with ink on both sides or anything in between.  In either case the process is the same with a few modifications depending on the paper and whether or how it is printed.

Let’s take a simple, hypothetical order and go through it step by step to illustrate the process.

ABC Printing” has a customer who wants 5,000, 24# white wove, #10 standard window envelopes with full printing coverage on all sides.  Since the envelope is easily available as a stock item, ABC is wondering if Elite Envelope can simply print on the stock envelope.  This isn’t possible for two reasons: first, envelope presses cannot print full ink coverage on two sides of an envelope. For starters, there would be ink build-up, seam markings, ink rub-off and that’s assuming that the presses could even be set up to do it.  Second, because the customer wants the printing to bleed right to edge of the window all around, it’s impossible to print this without hitting the window occasionally.

This is a perfect example of an envelope job which must be converted. ABC Printing has the capability to print up to a 19 x 25 sheet size. Elite Envelope will supply them with a digital file showing the outline of the unfolded envelopes (called “blanks” in the envelope biz) set up in the proper position for printing. In this case, 4 envelopes can be printed on this sheet.   The diagram which shows how the envelopes must be placed on the sheet for proper conversion is called a layout. The printer must set the job up in the exact manner specified by the layout.

 Envelope blanks for converting-1.jpg

Once the printer sets up his artwork on the layout sheet, he will send a sample sheet to the envelope converter for final approval before printing.  The converter will inspect to make sure that the sheet matches the layout in all respects and, if so, will tell the printer the job is ready to print.

Because there is waste involved in the envelope converting process, ABC has been advised to include a certain amount of extra sheets. The smaller the order, the higher the percentage of extra sheets is required.  Also, jobs that have windows or that are on glossy paper will require higher amounts of waste sheets.   In addition to the regular printing sheets, they will also supply what are called “spotter sheets” which are regular press sheets with dots added in the 4 main corners of the envelope. The cutter will place the die exactly on the spots on the sheet to ensure a consistent and accurate cut.   

The printer will print the job and stack the sheets on a pallet making sure that the edges are jogged so that the sheets line up perfectly on top of one another. This is an important step taken to ensure uniformity in the cutting process. The printer will take care to pack the sheets on the pallet and strap them tightly so they don’t move in transit.

At this point, the envelope converter takes over. We’ll continue in the next blog post.  In the meantime, if you’d like more information on envelope converting, custom envelope manufacturing or envelope printing for that matter, just go to www.eliteenvelope.com .

Topics: envelope converting, envelope converting mistakes, envelope converting basics, envelope converter

What Does Booklet and Catalog Mean for Envelopes?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Dec 27, 2017 4:00:07 PM

Envelopes come in all shapes and sizes but like many specialty items, they have their own descriptive language.

Here’s a quick tutorial on some of the most common envelope terms and what they mean.

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Commercial envelope sizes – Probably the most common envelope size is the standard number 10.  This envelope measures 4 1/8 inches in width and 9 ½ inches in length. I guess it’s called a #10 as that’s easier than a #9 1/2!  The is the envelope that is used when you are mailing a standard letter-size sheet of paper because when you fold that in thirds, it fits perfectly inside. The next most popular size would be the standard number 9. Care to guess what those measurements are?  Yes, that’s right: 3-7/8 x 8-7/8.  I guess whoever came up with these designations decided that using whole numbers that are close to the dimensions was easier all around. 

This type of rounding is consistent throughout all other sizes that are referred to by a number sign.  A #6 ¾ envelope measures 3 5/8 x 6 ½.  A #7 ¾ envelope measures 3 7/8 x 7 ½. Why not call them respectively a #7 or #8 envelope?  Well there’s already a #7 which measures 3 ¾ x 6 ¾ so that one is taken. A #12 envelope measures 4 ¾ x 11.   However, there’s already a #11 envelope and that one measures 4 ½ x 10 3/8.  Oh yeah, the #14 envelope measures 5 x 11 ½. So go figure!

Large envelopes – Envelopes measuring 6 x 9 or over are usually broken down into two types based on the location of the flap.  When the flap is on the shorter dimension side, the envelope is referred to as an Open End or Catalog style. When the flap is on the longer dimension side, it’s called an Open Side or Booklet style envelope. Those terms are interchangeable by style.

Again this is somewhat arbitrary.  Someone, somewhere (I’m going to try to track them down!) apparently decided that the long dimension is a “side” and the short dimension is the “end”; not to mention the curious distinction between booklet and catalog. I mean, is it OK to put a catalog into a booklet style envelope and vice versa?   I don’t think the Envelope Police will care one way or the other.

Seriously, I guess it’s necessary to have some type of agreed-upon standard as a basis for discussion which is how these came about.  Anyone who has spoken to a customer trying to describe their envelope saying, “well, the flap is on the top” can understand the need for that. “Top” and “bottom” are relative terms. Open Side and Open End are not.

 If you find all of this confusing and hard to remember, you’re not alone.  Elite Envelope & Graphics has put together a handy Envelope Buying Guide which lists all the standard sizes and all sorts of other useful reference information for those that buy and sell envelopes. It’s compact and can fit right in your desk blotter so you can take it out and sound like an expert when you’re talking to a customer or prospect.

Comment on this article and give me your address and I’ll send you one.

Topics: Booklet Envelopes, Envelope sizes, Catalog Envelopes, #10 envelope measurements, #9 envelope measurements

How to Properly Measure and Envelope

Posted by Jerry Velona on Nov 21, 2017 11:55:00 AM

Aside from the fact that many otherwise intelligent adults these days seem to have a problem using a ruler (don’t get me started on this one), there are some rules for measuring and identifying dimensions on regular, expansion and window envelopes which can make things a little tricky. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Generally, envelopes will never be identified by a unit of measure smaller than one-eighth of an inch.  That’s because there is a tolerance of plus or minus one-sixteenth of an inch in all manufactured envelopes.   So, if you’re measuring an envelope and the width seems to measure close to say, 4-1/16 of an inch, the envelope will actually either measure 4 inches or 4-1/8 of an inch.  In other words, it was manufactured to either one of those sizes and because of the tolerance, it folded slightly larger or smaller. You would most likely go with whichever one happens to be closer; i.e. you’d round up or down. If the measurement is close to a standard size, then the “true measurement” of the envelope is probably the standard size.

Measuring a custom window envelope has a certain protocol.  On a regular horizontal window (where the longer dimension of the window runs in the same direction as the longer dimension of the envelope), you’d measure and state the smaller dimension (width) first: e.g. 1 x 3 ½ .  To measure the position of the window, measure the distance from the LEFT side of the envelope to where the window begins and then do the same thing from the BOTTOM of the envelope up to the closest edge of the window.  So, you might say that 1 x 3 ½ window measures 7/8 of an inch from the left and ½ of an inch from the bottom.  Sometimes if the window is placed closer to the top of the envelope than the bottom or closer to the right side of the envelope rather than the left, it is assumed that the measurement should be taken from the top or from the right. However, that is not correct from the envelope company’s point of view so even in those cases, it’s always best to measure the window positions from the left side and bottom side of the envelope.

 MeasuringWindowsCommercial2-1.jpg

Double window envelopes are measured in the same way. You just take one window at a time and then express them on your quote request as “top window” and “bottom window” or left and right window depending on the particular custom window configuration of the envelope.

Measuring an expansion envelope can be tricky because of the expansion panel (also known as a “gusset”).  On these types of envelopes there are three dimensions; width (the shorter dimension), length (the longer dimension) and thickness (measured when the envelope is fully expanded on all sides).  The easiest way to correctly measure an expansion envelope is to fully extend the side (expansion) panels all around. By doing that you create a small, three-dimensional “box” which shows you where the true edges are on all sides including the top where the flap is located.  Before the envelope is fully expanded, there are multiple score lines especially at the top of the envelope. It’s very common for these types of envelopes to be measured incorrectly by selecting the wrong score as the true edge. Puffing out or expanding the envelope solves this problem. You can now see where the actual edges are and can measure the length and width accurately.  Remember that the expansion is always the same on all sides.  A typical expansion envelope measurement might be expressed as 9 x 12 x 2.   The only other curveball on this is whether the bottom of the envelope is a “V-Bottom” or a “box-bottom”.  V bottoms are shaped like a V and don’t lay flat unlike a box bottom. If you are measuring an expansion envelope with a V bottom, you can get the true expansion dimension from the sides and the top.

 paper expanOpen_inSides-99F0-k.jpg

 

Topics: Measuring Envelopes, expansion envelopes, custom window envelopes, double window envelopes

Printed Envelopes – Top 5 most common mistakes

Posted by Jerry Velona on Oct 9, 2017 1:33:34 PM

Envelope printing can present some unique problems and issues mostly due to the construction of the envelope.  Here are some of the most common problems that come up and how you can avoid them.

 

Design for your budget - Envelope printing runs the gamut from a simple black return address to full coverage process printing.  Pretty much anything you’d like to print on an envelope is possible – at a price.  And that’s what anyone designing an envelope must keep in mind. Creating a champagne piece on a beer print budget will inevitably lead to frustration.  The best way to proceed would be to involve your envelope vendor at the design stage in order to get a realistic idea of what’s possible and then go from there.

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Choose the right print process – You might refer to my three previous blog posts which detail the most common ways to print an envelope.  A simple design at a small to mid-size quantity is going to be best done by offset printing.  If heavy ink coverage is required, you’re probably looking at printing on flat sheets and converting afterward.  Long run jobs with simple copy can be done most economically by flexo printing.  Your needs will be best met by a company that can produce printing in all three styles and has no vested interest in one or the other.

 

Know the limitations of each process

  •  If you’re offset printing on a made envelope, avoid heavy solids which might cause offsetting or seam marks showing through. 
  •  If you’re flexo printing, avoid fine lines and screens and halftones unless you’re planning on a very long run and a budget that can support the state of the art flexo technology that exists.
  • If you’re digital printing, you need to understand that the look of digital can be different than say offset. That means if you’re trying to match a couple of components, say custom letterhead and custom envelopes, you might need to print them both in the same process.  Also, if you’re printing digitally on window envelopes, you’ll need a special window material that is resistant to the heat caused by most digital presses.
  • If you’re printing on flat sheets and converting, areas of heavy coverage may need a coat of varnish to keep the ink from smudging during the converting process.  You’ll also need to make sure you factor in “knock-out” areas where the glue is applied so the envelope will seal properly.  “Knock out” simply means areas where there is no ink on the paper.

 

Incorporate variation in your planning - One of the most popular designs for an envelope is the flap that is flood-coated in a solid color.  Most customers however are surprised that they cannot get every flap to print right to the score line.  The reason for this is laid out in my previous blog piece on the variation which is inherent in the process of printing and making envelopes.

 

Take everything into account

  • If you’re printing a piece on flat sheets with heavy coverage, understand that it takes at least a full day for the sheets to dry to the point where they can be converted.
  • If you plan to run your printed envelope through an ink jet printer for addressing, you might need to use a type of ink which can withstand the high heat of the digital printer. 
  • Rather than stamping or metering your mail, you might consider printing a postage-paid indicia right on the envelope to save time.

 

It’s always best to consult with an envelope converter before making any final design decisions.  A converter will be able to give you the proper advice based on their expertise in making and printing envelopes.

Topics: envelope printing, envelope printing mistakes, envelope offset printing

Envelope Printing – flat sheet printing and convert

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jul 25, 2017 1:36:41 PM

While offset and flexographic printing are the two main methods for custom printed envelopes, there is a third way which is very commonly employed; lithographic printing on large, sheet fed and web presses.

 mixing ink for flat sheet envelope printing

These presses are typically employed by printing companies which provide high quality, full color printing on sheets up to 28 x 40 or larger. If a customer has a custom printed envelope that requires full ink coverage on all sides or even very heavy coverage on just one side, then it must be printed on a flat sheet which is then die-cut and converted into an envelope.  (For more specific information on envelope converting, see the previous blog post here.  

There are two main reasons why this approach must be taken.  First, envelope printing presses like the most commonly used Halm Jet presses are not able to print full coverage on all sides of a made envelope.  As my previous post on flexographic printing explains, full coverage can be printed this way in-line but it’s only cost-effective at quantities of at least a few hundred thousand, usually more. 

The second reason is that when jet presses print heavy solids on a made envelope, there are potential problems.   Two of the main ones are seam marks and offsetting.  When a heavy application of ink is applied in this way, the seams usually become visible due to the combination of dense ink and the pressure of the print rollers.  Offsetting occurs when dense concentrations of dark ink are applied to an envelope. As the envelopes come off the press, they come in contact with one another before being scooped up in bundles and put back into a box. The rubbing or scuffing during this process causes the heavy ink solid to rub off onto the envelope next to it leaving a mark.

Offsetting can be mitigated or eliminated by using a UV dryer. This unit applies extra heat to the envelope as it comes off the press which can dry the ink sufficiently to prevent it from rubbing off.  This approach is workable but slows down the process and adds cost to the job.

Printing an envelope on a flat sheet and converting it after the fact eliminates any seam marks or offsetting. It’s also a better way to print full coverage on window envelopes.  Any envelope with a window needs a white border if it’s printed on a Jet press.  Flat sheet printing allows for the window to be cut out of the print solid during the converting process which looks much better.

Envelope printing with flat sheets and then converting is a more expensive way to go but yields excellent results and is very common in high-end direct mail pieces.  One of the disadvantages of this approach from a customer’s standpoint is that it almost always requires dealing with two different companies for the same job.  There are very few companies that have both the printing and envelope equipment necessary to do both components. (Elite Envelope happens to be one of the few companies that can do both under one roof with our combination of web printing and envelope converting).

Topics: envelope converting, envelope printing options, litho envelope printing, custom envelope printing

Yet Another Blog Post

From Jerry Velona - co-owner,

Elite Envelope & Graphics, Inc.

Jerry offers pertinent, often useful information on envelope converting and printing, web printing, direct mail, the post office, songs that have to do with mail and letters, digital overload and much more!

(Non-spam) Comments always appreciated.  Spread it around!

 

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