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Pushing the Envelope Beyond Ordinary

Document Wallets Keep Your Papers Secure

Posted by Jerry Velona on Dec 7, 2018 3:02:05 PM

Yes, I know, you keep a lot of documents on your PC, laptop or mobile device these days.  But there are some things that just work better when you have the actual documents.  Sometimes actual signatures are required.  Or it’s just easier to pull them out of your file drawer rather than call them up on your device.  And even if you’re not of a “certain age”, sometimes it’s just better to read an actual, full size document rather than view on a 5” screen, especially if it contains fine print which these things often do.  Additionally, some other items, like key access cards or ATM cards need some protection when they’re being carried around or stored.

So, if you’re an auto dealer, law office, bank, hotel, funeral home, election agency or maybe law enforcement, you might just need a document wallet or folder made out of heavy paper, often in a custom size with printing.



Deal Jackets - For auto dealers, there are still a ton of papers that get generated at the purchase or lease of a car. Some of them are legally required so there’s no getting out of it.  Nothing like a slickly printed, heavy duty document wallet or folder for telling your customer you think of the little things to make their lives easier.


last will and testament

Last Will and Testament Envelopes– For law offices, paper documents are still a necessity. These wallet envelopes will give your clients a handy way to keep and identify important papers.  Custom printing ensures your contact info is always handy for them.

Valuable Paper Folders and Document Wallets or whatever they might be called are useful for all types of applications. 



  • Banks – for loan documents
  • Hotels – for access cards or gift cards
  • Funeral Homes – for cremation documents
  • Government Agencies – for office documents of all types like marriage certificates
  • Law Enforcement – for samples or evidence related matters


bank wallets

Because of the thickness of the paper, most of these products require individual die-cutting and sometimes hand folding and gluing.  Elite Envelope & Graphics has everything you need for a high-quality job.  Call or e mail us for more information and estimates.

Topics: document wallets, deal jackets, last will and testament envelopes, bank document wallets, valuable paper folders

What's Up with Paper Prices?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Nov 6, 2018 10:38:23 AM

Envelope blanks for converting-1

Anyone who's in the printing, paper or envelope business or in the position to buy any of those is already painfully aware that the price of paper has increased substantially over the past year and a half or so.  And there are predictions that the increases will continue into 2019. 

It seems counter-intuitive for the price of the essential raw material in our industry to be increasing so rapidly when many customer volumes are declining and companies are struggling to remain competitive in the digital world 

A Variety of Reasons Offered
There are many explanations we've heard.  Apparently the market for certain paper grades in other parts of the world is more robust and allows for higher prices so some of the paper is going overseas creating shortages domestically. 

Some analysts are saying that the price increases are the result of a greater demand due to the favorable macro-economic conditions of the past two years in particular. Paper mills are taking capacity offline and are betting that the market will absorb the increases without hurting overall demand. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that strong economic growth is causing prices to increase on a wide range of products from paint to a can of Coke. In general, companies feel confident that they can raise prices after a long period of low inflation and tepid economic growth and paper mills are part of that thinking. 

Our Commitment to You

Since most of our customers are in the trade, we are all feeling the same pain.  And that isn't to discount end users who are seeing their print budgets increase.  After fifteen years in the industry as an envelope converter and manufacturer and more recently a web printer, Elite is well positioned to help our customers weather this storm. We've always been strong financially and pay our paper vendors quickly which allows them to extend the most favorable terms to us and give us priority on shipments. We also employ a very productive staff both in our office and plant allowing us to do more with less.  All this plus our general high level of experience and resourcefulness gets passed along to our present and future customers. 

We welcome any comments or feedback you might have on this topic.  You can contact us through our website

Topics: envelopes, paper prices, printing

Custom Envelope Terms – Part 2

Posted by Jerry Velona on Oct 3, 2018 1:14:51 PM

In my last post I discussed and defined some of the special nomenclature pertaining to envelopes, envelope manufacturing and envelope printing.

For someone who’s buying these products for themselves or their business, it helps if you can speak the same language as the envelope converter or any other company you might be dealing with.

Here are a few more common terms/descriptions you might encounter in the process.

Standard Commercial Sizes (in inches)

These apply to either regular/closed face (non-window) envelopes or window envelopes.

# 6 1/4 – 3 ½ x 6

# 6 ¾ - 3-5/8 x 6 ½

# 7 – 3 ¾ x 6 ¾

# 7 ¾ - 3-7/8 x 7 ½

(Note: 7 ¾ size is also referred to as “Monarch Size”.  There is sometimes a distinction in the flap size and style between the two but the overall size is the same).

# 8-5/8 – 3-5/8 x 8-5/8

(Note: This is sometimes referred to as “Check Size”.)

# 9 – 3-7/8 x 8-7/8

#10 – 4-1/8 x 9-1/2

#11 – 4 ½ x 10-3/8

#12 – 4 ¾ x 11

#14 – 5 x 11 1/2

As you can see, the description doesn’t always match the size.  Don’t ask me why a #7 ¾ envelope measures 7 ½ inches!  Sometimes things just get carried forward and no one questions it. 

Elite Envelope can provide a handy desk guide which lists these standard sizes.  If you’d like one, please click here.  No charge!


A – Style – “Announcement Style” – used primarily for greeting cards, invitations, etc.  It’s a side seam, booklet style envelope (see previous blog post!) with a deep square flap that usually covers about half of the size of the envelope.

Baronial Style – These are also used primarily for greeting cards and invitations. Baronial envelope usually have diagonal seams and pointed flaps.  There is a variation of these called “Euro Style” which has the pointed flaps but with side seam construction.

Remittance Envelopes – Also sometimes referred to as “Coupon Envelopes”.  These are open side, side seam envelope with a wallet flap that extends nearly to the bottom of the envelope.  They are used for payments and are very popular with fundraising appeals.  Sometimes the flap can be torn off with a perforation and used to send back in the envelope along with a payment.

Oh, and I mentioned in my last post that I would get into what’s meant by a “vertical window” placement on an envelope.  This is really just a regular window but is oriented differently on the envelope.  Vertical window means that the long dimension on the window runs perpendicular to the long dimension on the envelope.  So if you had say a 9 x 12 booklet envelope with a vertical window that measured 2” x 4” and you were holding the envelope with flap at the top, the 4” dimension of the envelope would run “north/south” .  This is very common with booklet style envelopes that require running through a postage meter or an inserter. 

If that last bit seems a little confusing still, feel free to contact me for a further explanation or I can send you a sample of the envelope.



Topics: custom envelopes, Envelope terms, A Style envelopes, baronial envelopes

Custom Envelope Terms - what do they mean?

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


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: custom envelopes, Open Side, Open End, Booklet style envelopes, Catalog Envelopes, custom window 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 envelopes, Tyvek envelope printing

Envelope Converting Mistakes to Avoid

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

9D6A7832 small file

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 if you have any other questions. I’d be happy to answer them for you.

Topics: envelope converting mistakes, envelope converting, 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.


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.


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: custom envelope printing, offset printing, digital 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.


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. 


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

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 .

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

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.

 Envelope blanks for converting.jpg

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, Catalog Envelopes, Envelope sizes, #10 envelope measurements, #9 envelope measurements

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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