If you intend to mail your brochure, invitation, or thank you card, it’s a good idea to size it to fit in a standard envelope. Although custom size envelopes are possible, it’s an expensive and lengthy process.
Common Business EnvelopesEnvelopes are made for many purposes, so it’s useful to categorize them according to use.
Commercial envelopes are used for business purposes such as correspondence, direct mail, and billing. They’re made of 24# basis weight paper in these popular sizes:
- #10 – the most common business size; an 8.5 x 11 sheet that is trifolded fits perfectly inside.
- #9 – slightly smaller than a #10; also holds a tri-folded 8.5 x 11 sheet, but will fit inside a #10. Often used as a remittance envelope.
- 6 ¾ – also fits inside a #10; often used as a remittance envelope.
Large envelopes are used for mailing bulkier material, like booklets, or contracts where folding is undesirable. The two styles of large envelopes are catalog and booklet. A catalog envelope has the flap on the shorter side, while a booklet envelope has the flap on the longer side. Large envelopes are made of 24# or 28# stock in either white or manila. The most popular sizes are:
- 6x9: holds 8.5 x 11 sheets folded in half.
- 9x12: holds 8.5 x 11 sheets without folding.
- 10x13: holds 8.5 x 11 sheets without folding or a standard size 9x12 folder.
Baronial: referred to with “Bar” after the size; they are typically available in white or ivory stock. This envelope has diagonal seams and a pointed flap. Used for formal announcements, invitations, greeting cards, and sometimes personal stationery.
The most popular sizes are:
- 5 ½ Bar – fits a 4.25” x 5.5” response or reply card or a small thank you card.
- 6 Bar – fits a 4.5” x 6.25” response or reply card or a folded thank you note.
- 7 Bar or Lee – fits a 5” x 7” folded invitation or announcement card.
Announcement: referred to as A-style; these envelopes have side seams and a square flap. They’re available in more colors and kinds of stock than a baronial. Used for invitations and personal stationery, the most popular sizes are:
- A-2 – fits a 4.25” x 5.5” response or reply card or a small thank you card.
- A-6 – fits a 4.5” x 6.25” response or reply card or a folded thank you note.
- A-7 – fits a 5” x 7” folded invitation or announcement card.
Sealing MethodsEnvelopes offer a variety of sealing methods:
- Moisture Activated (also known as “lick and stick”) has gum applied to the flap.
- Press and Seal has two flaps, each with a strip of latex gum that adheres when pressed together.
- Peel and Seal has a paper strip over a strip of latex gum. Remove the strip and press the flap to seal.
- Metal fasteners are sometimes used on large envelopes, particularly those made of manila stock.
- String and button, a metal or paper button with a string that wraps around the button, are common on interoffice envelopes that will be opened and closed frequently.
- Tamper-evident has a perforated strip on the top flap; once opened, it cannot be resealed.