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Pushing the Envelope Beyond Ordinary

Three Useful Tips for the Best Envelope Printing

Posted by Jerry Velona on Feb 3, 2015 12:03:00 PM

Elite Envelope Jet Press

When you’re in the market for printed envelopes, there are a number of things that are useful to know before making a decision.  Printing on an envelope versus a simple flat sheet presents some unique challenges. Here are three things that experienced print buyers already know when they purchase printed envelopes:

  1. Choose the right style of printing – There are four ways to print an envelope.
    • Offset on a pre-made envelope
    • Offset on a flat sheet which is then converted into an envelope
    • Flexo which is typically done in-line as the envelope is being converted
  • Digitally either on a pre-made envelope or a flat sheet

The style of printing you choose revolves around three factors: the quantity you need, the quality of printing you require and the amount of print coverage you’re looking for.  I’ve laid out the details on all this in a previous post which you can view here .

       2.        Know the limitations of the process – Printing customer service professionals must be adept at “managing expectations” i.e. educating customers on what is possible and reasonable with what they are trying to accomplish.  When speaking about your order with your envelope printer, be sure to make clear what you want the piece to look like so that you can receive the best advice on what the likely outcome will be.  For example: if you’re looking to print a large, solid block of dark ink on the face of an envelope, you need to be aware that the seams created where the paper folds in the back will likely cause light lines to appear in the solid block due to the pressure applied by the print rollers. These are called “seam marks” and are generally unavoidable if the envelope is being printed after it’s folded.  The way to avoid this is to fold the envelope after it’s printed on a flat sheet. This is more expensive than printing on a pre-made envelope.


       3.      Design with the envelope in mind – When printing on a flat sheet, the only real limitations are presented by the type of stock or your budget. However, printing on envelopes is different and there are different things to consider. Some examples: 

  • If the envelope contains a window, you cannot print right up to where the poly cover starts or risk getting ink on the window. You can work around this by printing on a flat sheet and converting after the fact. Doing this allows the window to be cut out of the printed portion which allows for a clean line.
  • If your envelope is being mailed, there are limitations and restrictions to where the print coverage can be. These are dictated by postal regulations. For instance, you have to be careful with any printing on the lower right-hand corner of a #10 envelope due to the presence of a bar code which facilitates mail processing.

When looking to print an envelope, it’s always best to deal with an experienced envelope vendor, particularly an envelope converter wherever possible in order to get the full range of options available.

We’re happy  to answer any of your questions!


Topics: envelope printing, envelope converting, envelope solutions, envelope printing options, how envelopes are printed

Envelope Questions? Elite has the answers

Posted by Jerry Velona on Sep 6, 2011 11:55:00 AM

Many of you have checked out my various posts in which I’ve detailed aspects of the envelope manufacturing,envelope converting and envelope printing processes.  For something as pedestrian as an envelope, there are certainly many issues that can be confusing.  Whenever we take someone for a plant tour, one of the comments that invariably comes up is: “Gee, I didn’t realize that so much went into making envelopes”.  (or some variation of that comment – “Gee” isn’t always included).

Envelopes have a variety of standard sizes and construction styles.  There’s also a very specific technology involved in creating an envelope whether it’s printed or unprinted. There is an entire nomenclature associated with envelopes to describe the various types as well as certain characteristics inherent in those types.  It can be confusing, especially to someone who doesn’t have a paper or printing background.

For this reason, Elite Envelope has developed the “Envelope Buying Guide”. This is a handy desk-reference that contains the basics including a list of the standard sizes along with descriptions, the most important terms you’ll need to know, a diagram of an envelope and things to keep in mind when purchasing an envelope.

We’ll be more than happy to send you a free copy for you and your colleagues. Just comment on this post with your name and address or send me an e mail through our website at and I’ll get one right out to you. 

As an envelope manufacturer, converter and printer, Elite Envelope is a direct source for all your envelope requirements.  We think that the more you know about envelopes, the better we look.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Topics: elite envelope, elite envelope, envelope printing, envelope manufacturing, envelope manufacturer, envelope converting, envelope solutions, envelope questions, envelope buying guide

Envelope Variation Theme – part two

Posted by Jerry Velona on Mar 29, 2011 9:54:00 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 printing.

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.

Elite Envelope & Graphics Randolph Massachusetts

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; here are a few ideas you can put to use:

  • 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.
  • Avoid gloss coated paper if 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.
  • 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 never varies!

Topics: envelope printing, envelope converting, envelope solutions, envelope variation solutions

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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