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Pushing the Envelope Beyond Ordinary

Jerry Velona

Recent Posts

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, 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.

 9d6a7833_-_small_file.jpg

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

Envelope Printing Part Two– Flexo

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jun 30, 2017 3:37:04 PM

Flexographic printing, more commonly referred to as “flexo”, has been one of the main types of envelope printing for almost a century.  It was a technological upgrade from letterpress printing which goes back to the days of the Gutenberg press.  Flexography got its name from the flexible rubber plate which it uses to apply the graphic image.

Because of the limitations of the rubber plate, flexo printing was traditionally confined to very basic graphic images:  mostly just type and numbers. However for a return address or reply envelope copy, the quality afforded with flexo printing was more than acceptable for most simple envelope printing requirements.

In the late 1980’s, the invention and practical application of hard plastic (photo polymer) printing plates helped to revolutionize flexographic printing by opening it up to a much larger range of printing possibilities.  These days, flexo printing is routinely used with process printing, halftones, screens and many other fine applications which were previously not possible in that process.

flexoprocess.gif

For envelopes, the advantage of flexographic printing stems from the fact that it can be done while the envelope is being made. Many envelope folding machines have built-in printing stations which can apply not only an inside tint (typically printed flexo) but also printing on the outside of the envelope up to two colors.  This “in-line” printing is more economical than printing an envelope on an offset press as a separate process.  Although flexo has come a long way, the type of image that yields acceptable results on this type of equipment is still limited compared to what is possible with offset printing.  The plastic plate just doesn’t hold the image as well as the metal plates used in offset printing.  

The more advanced flexo printing mentioned above is done on big, expensive machines that require very large quantities (usually starting around 250,000) in order to be cost-effective. The reply envelopes that you get along with your credit card bill are mostly flexo-printed on these types of machines.

So how do you decide whether flexo printing is right for your printed envelopes?  The same two criteria that we applied to the offset printing decision process will apply here as well.

Quantity:  In-line flexo printing of the most common variety (1 or 2 spot colors) becomes competitive with offset printing at around the 100,000 quantity level.  That’s where Elite Envelope will generally start quoting if the customer is looking for the best possible price. The cost of the plates and set up time will usually make it less cost-effective at quantities lower than that.  Another factor is that Jet offset printing prices have come down a bit in the past 5-10 years or so which makes it more competitive against flexo in higher quantities which did not used to be the case.  For high-quality flexo printing of the type I mentioned, use the 250,000 quantity as a general rule although some companies will price these jobs competitively at quantities of 100,000 or more.

Quality:  - At Elite Envelope, flexo printing is quoted conditionally “based on suitability following an inspection of the copy to be printed”. Some quotes are so price-sensitive that a customer will want the flexo price only to find out that what they are printing cannot be done that way.  Unless you are printing at the kind of quantities which allow for the state-of-the-art equipment to be employed, any copy with screens, half tones or duo tones, tight registration or fine lines will most likely have to be printed offset.  Some of the decision is based on what is possible and some of it is based on the level of quality that a customer is expecting.   

In part three of this series on custom envelope printing, I’ll delve into flat sheet litho printing and converting.  

Topics: flexographic envelope printing, flexo printing, envelope offset printing, custom envelope printing

Offset Printing for Envelopes

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jun 2, 2017 12:02:50 PM

Envelope printing has come a long way since the days when Confederate soldiers folded wallpaper to serve as a carrier for their letters home.

These days, the vast majority of the estimated 400 billion envelopes used annually worldwide are printed in 4 ways: offset, flexographic, flat sheet litho and digital. In today’s post, we will focus on offset printing.

The name offset comes from the process whereby a metal printing plate is burned with the image which is then transferred or “offset” to a printing blanket.  The blanket is attached to a roller in the press and coated with ink. The envelope is fed through the press and is printed with the image when it comes in contact with the ink-covered blanket.  Small, 2 color offset presses such as Multi and AB Dick can be adapted to print envelopes with the use of an envelope feeder.  While relatively slow, these do an OK job for small quantity runs (2,500 or fewer).

For anything over that quantity, envelopes are most economically printed on a Jet press. These presses are specially designed for envelope printing and some of the newer models can achieve speeds up to 40,000 per hour or more. Those of us in the biz will use the word “jet” as a verb as in “those envelopes need to be jetted”.  This is sometimes confused with ink-jetting which is a completely different animal (used to print addresses on bulk mailings).  Jet is a brand name for envelope printing presses made by the Halm Corporation.  The vast majority of offset printing for custom printed envelopes are done by this type and brand. The quality is excellent and very consistent.

 _MG_0147-1.jpg

How do you know if offset printing is right for your envelope job?  The two main criteria to consider are the quantity you are looking for and the specific graphic image you want printed.

Quantity: - Offset printing is the most economical way to go on jobs of 2,500 and over. If the job must be done with offset printing, quantities from a handful to around 2,500 are most economically printed on one of the smaller, (non-Jet) presses previously mentioned.  (Digital printing is perhaps an even better option for these small runs, more on that in a subsequent post)  Anything 2,500 or more would be best sent to an actual envelope company which utilizes Jet presses.  

Quality: - Certain graphic images such as those containing fine lines, long, thin lines, half-tones (photos) screens (lighter shades of a darker color made by a concentration of tiny dots of varying density) or tight registration (a combination of images placed very close together or actually touching) generally require offset printing for best results. An envelope printing expert can tell from viewing your artwork what the best printing method would be for your custom printed envelopes.

I’ll get into the other main envelope printing methods in my next posts.

How do you print your envelopes these days?

Topics: elite envelope, envelope printing, offset printing, custom envelope printing

Custom Envelope Variation – part two

Posted by Jerry Velona on May 5, 2017 11:40:45 AM

In our last blog we presented the issue of variation in envelope converting and the reasons why it happens. In today’s piece, we’ll add the third and final reason for variation; jet offset envelope printing.

Envelopes can be printed in 3 ways (that topic to be fully discussed in a future article). The type of printing where variation can come into play is Jet offset printing. This is when the envelope is made and then printed after the fact.  In the typical Halm jet offset printer, a stack of envelopes is placed on one end and through vacuum pumps is fed through the printing cylinder over the plates and printing blanket and out the other end.  Like the envelope folding machine which forces the envelope to travel over a distance to its final destination, the printing press brings the envelope through various stages which cause it to move slightly.

_MG_0147-1.jpg

If the envelope is being printed with the same copy for each item and going through the press once, the amount of variation is so slight as to be virtually undetectable. However if, say,  you have a company logo that has been pre-printed onto the envelope and you are then feeding those “shells” into the press to add a certain return address next to the logo, you could see some variation or “bounce” in the placement of the return address in relation to the logo.  As in folding, the variation is generally within 1/16” of an inch but it could be more on a larger envelope like a 9 x 12.

Which brings us to things you can do to minimize the variation in your custom printed envelopes or custom envelopes in general; here are a few ideas you can put to use:

  1. Be realistic with your design – Certain designs for envelopes are almost sure to be a problem. Perhaps the most common one is designing the flap to be fully covered in a certain ink color. This looks cool but unfortunately the variation inherent in the process will cause there to be either some white on the flap or some color folding over of the color to the front of the envelope. The best way to avoid this is to either end the color 1/8” below the score line or wrap-around the color to the front 1/8”. It might not look as sharp but you’ll get a much neater and more consistent look.
  2. Avoid gloss coated stock where possible – Yes, it’s shiny and looks and feels great but it is also much more difficult to handle and the slipperiness of the coating causes more movement in the paper both in cutting and folding which can bring about greater variation.
  3. Deal directly with an envelope converter – Those of us who do this type of thing on a daily basis will be more familiar with the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Have you had any problems with envelope variation on your printed pieces?  Contact us and we will provide an analysis of the problem at no charge or obligation to you.   

Our commitment to customer service never varies!

Topics: envelope printing, envelope printing mistakes, Envelope variation, custom envelopes, envelope variation solutions

Custom Envelope Variation – Why?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Apr 4, 2017 10:35:31 AM

Manufacturing an envelope in any size or type; custom envelope, specialty envelope or even a standard envelope involves several distinct processes.  Envelope converting can be a little confusing especially for someone not familiar with how it’s done.

One of the most common concerns from customers of envelope converters is the degree of variation in the product.  By variation, we mean the slight differences in overall size of the envelope, window placement and print placement from what was ordered.

Variation is the result of the three main stages that paper goes through to become an envelope: cutting, folding and gluing and, in some cases, envelope printing.  Another major factor is the nature of the raw material; i.e. paper.

Envelope blanks for converting.jpg

Cutting:  The unfolded piece of paper that becomes an envelope is called a “blank”. Blanks are cut by placing a steel cutting die that resembles a cookie cutter (except much bigger and heavier!) on top of a large ream of paper. The die is then pressed down by the cutting machine until it goes through the entire ream or “lift” of paper.  Paper is a naturally pliable substance.  As the die cuts through the ream, a slight bending or bowing can occur until it reaches the bottom and the paper ream “breaks” at which time it will lay flat.  That slight movement during cutting can cause some of the blanks to vary in size by as much as 1/16” from others.  The hardness or thickness of the paper can be factor as well as the sharpness of the die and the number of sheets in the ream. But ultimately, some variation as a result of die-cutting is unavoidable.

9D6A7832 small file.jpg

Folding:  Once the blanks are cut, they are then loaded into the machine which applies the glue and folds them into a finished envelope. The typical envelope folding machine is between 20 and 30 feet long. The envelope blank will run all the way from one side to the other and then back again through scoring blades, window panel cutters and glue stations.  While envelope folding equipment is engineered for precision, there is a certain amount of movement during the process that is normal and, unfortunately, unavoidable. That movement can account for an additional variation of up to 1/16”.

In our next post, we’ll finish up the reasons for variation and also discuss some strategies customers can take to minimize its effect.

Topics: specialty envelopes, envelope converting, Envelope variation, custom envelopes

Custom Envelopes and "Overs"

Posted by Jerry Velona on Mar 16, 2017 10:29:58 AM

One of the most persistent questions posed by customers ordering specialty envelopes is, “why am I being billed for more (or fewer) envelopes than I ordered?”  Ah yes, the dreaded “over/under” question!

Annoyed designer gesturing in front of her laptop in her office.jpeg 

On custom envelope jobs, most envelope converters and printers will mention the possibility of more or fewer pieces being produced on the customer’s order.  Many customers tend not to pay attention to this; especially ones who are new or not familiar with the process.  Then, when the job or invoice is received, the howling begins.  It’s understandable for sure.

Despite what might seem to be a brazen attempt to increase the order under a dubious pretext, there is a very sensible reason why envelope converters maintain this policy. That reason is centered on the waste involved in the process. 

Let’s say a customer is ordering 5,000 special double window envelopes on a special stock.  There are two main processes in the manufacturing of envelopes. One is die-cutting of the paper (and maybe one of the windows) and the second is the actual folding and gluing of the paper to create the envelope. 

Setting up the paper to be cut involves placing a die in just the right position. Whether it’s done manually or automatically, it takes some trial and error before the cuts come out just right.  Until that point there are numerous sheets that are cut and discarded.  Then, once the paper is cut, setting up the folding machine and getting the specs exact also requires a lot of “make ready” paper.  Lastly, once the machine is running, constant fine adjustments must be made to keep the job running properly.  This can involve numerous stops and restarts which waste more paper.

In order to have enough paper to allow for possible contingencies, a company must order a significantly higher amount which adds cost to the job.  Being able to bill for a reasonable amount of “overs” allows a company to cover these added costs while providing extra envelopes that a customer will more than likely be able to use.  The alternative is for a customer to specify at the quoting stage that they do not want an overage on their order. What most companies will do in this case is simply include their extra costs into the price.  Under this scenario, the customer will pay the same overall cost for his job but without the benefit of more envelopes.  

“Unders” or receiving a quantity less than the amount ordered is also a possibility. It is less common however as getting less is generally a bigger problem to customers than getting more so companies will try to buy more than enough paper to ensure that the count is met.

What is a “reasonable” amount of overs or unders?  In the envelope world, generally the figure is up to 30% on minimum quantities and then the percentage declines as the quantity of the order goes up.  The higher percentage of overs would apply to more expensive specialty envelopes like custom Tyvek envelopes, bubble mailers and poly mailers.

Topics: bubble envelopes, tyvek envelopes, specialty envelopes, envelope converting, custom envelopes, overs/unders, envelope converter, poly mailers

Top Five Envelope Custom Envelope Converting Tips

Posted by Jerry Velona on Feb 27, 2017 11:12:35 AM

Envelope converting can be a confusing and somewhat daunting experience for someone not familiar with the process.  For printed envelopes, the term simply means printing on a flat sheet and having the sheets die cut and then folded and glued into envelopes.  The term also applies if you’re just cutting the paper with no printing. You are “converting” sheets of paper into envelopes:  pretty basic stuff.  Once you’ve gone through the process for the first time; it becomes much clearer and easier to understand.

Maybe you’re thinking about designing a custom envelope for a customer. Or maybe you’re an envelope printer and your customer is asking about a specialty envelope.  Here are a few things to keep in mind for your first converting job:

  1. Deal directly with an actual converter – Many companies that sell envelopes and have the word “envelope” in their name are not converters. It’s best to ask first before sending over an order.  You’ll be better served by those more experienced in the process and doing the job in-house.
  2. Preparation is the key to good results - A good converter should provide you with a specific list of instructions before you begin. Most important is a layout of the printed sheet showing where the envelopes should be placed. They will help you through the process.
  3. Not all design ideas are created equal - If the envelope is printed with a solid that bleeds to an edge, the image must wrap-around to the back by at least one-eighth of an inch in order to account for the normal variation inherent in the process. For window envelopes you can bleed the copy right to the edge of the window when converting. This is not possible with regular envelope printing on a pre-made envelope
  4. Understand what is possible in the process – speaking of variation, this is something that many designers don’t take into account when creating their envelope. Cutting paper in large reams and folding and gluing involves some variation – generally one-sixteenth of an inch in either direction.  This needs to be understood in order to have a satisfactory result and a realistic idea of what to expect.  Something that looks great in a direct mail marketer’s imagination doesn’t always translate to the finished product.
  5. Why convert? – If you want an envelope that features a large amount of ink coverage, generally with bleeds on most or all sides, the best way to proceed would be to print on flat sheets and convert. Anything short of that might be able to be printed on a jet press using pre-made or stock envelopes at a much lower cost. A converter and printer will be able to advise you on the best way to go on your specialty envelopes based on a simple inspection of your artwork.

 Envelope types.jpg

Custom printed envelopes can enhance your image and cause a potential buyer to be curious enough to at least open it up.  Choosing the right envelope company; one which does the envelope converting, printing and manufacturing under the same roof and can make the process easy to understand, is a good place to start.

Topics: envelope printing, specialty envelopes, envelope converting, custom envelopes, envelope converter

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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