Types of Mailing Envelopes

Types of Mailing Envelopes

It’s already November, meaning the holiday season is here! During this busy time, you may be working on an end-of-year mailing job with us or are wanting to personally mail out your Christmas cards. Regardless, it can be overwhelming to think about all the types of mailing envelopes that we offer. We’re here to help sort out some of the options you might be considering.

A hand holding a red envelope

Commercial Envelopes

These are your “typical” envelopes you normally think of when wanting to send out a letter or printed piece. Because these are designed for machine insertion, they are the most efficient choice for direct mailers or as part of an overall mailing campaign. These envelopes are also great for private business purposes such as letterheads and invoices.

Commercial envelopes will usually have a diagonal seam. Due to this, they are best with inserting pieces quickly since they can open wider and have additional sealing area. They can also be a standard blank envelope or have a window.

The most common sizes we use for these are #9 and #10, which are 3.875 x 8.875” and 4.125 x 9.5” respectively, but there are quite a few others that go through the shop. Let us know if you are thinking of a bigger option, and we’ll be happy to go over them with you.

A stack of colorful announcement envelopes on top of a wooden table
This image also shows catalog envelopes underneath the announcement envelopes, so be sure not to get confused!

Announcement/A-style Envelopes

These often have a square flap and a side seam construction. What this means is that you will see the seam closer to the side of the envelope rather than it appearing diagonal. As the name implies, announcement envelopes are popular for use with invitations or to offer a professional and cohesive appearance to the mailer.

It is also common to place a design on the back of an envelope. This is a great option for announcement envelopes since the design will not be interrupted by diagonal seams or ink smearing between them.

The most customary sizes we see for A-style envelopes are the following, but we can do bigger sizes as well. Bigger sizes like A9 (5.75 x 8.75”) and A10 (6 x 9.5”) are most well-suited for materials like newsletters and brochures.

A2: 5.75 x 4.375”

A6: 6.5 x 4.75”

A7: 7.25 x 5.25”

A single red catalog envelope Two versions of a white catalog envelope, front and back, in front of a purple background

Catalog Envelopes

Any mail sent out with a large number of pages should use a catalog envelope. These can include printed catalogs, books, and company brochures. Our sales team will often use envelopes like these when delivering samples to clients since they can comfortably hold heavyweight printed items and multiple documents.

These envelopes will also sometimes have a center seam as opposed to the other envelopes we just talked about. This adds to their durability and protection purposes but is not necessary. In addition, some of the envelopes we print with will open on the longer side instead of the usual top. Our bindery crew finds it easier to open it this way to stick in the mailing pieces. Subsequently, the recipient will easily pull out what is needed. It depends on how you want to present your pieces in the mailing.

You can see these two types of catalog envelopes we discussed in the images above. No matter how they are laid out, most measure to be about 9 x 12” or 10 x 13”.

Two versions of a remittance envelope, front and back

Remittance Envelopes

One of the most common types of mailing envelopes clients use is a remittance envelope. You insert this typically much smaller envelope inside of a sealed mailer or another envelope. With that, the recipient will enclose a check or something similar. We find that these types of mailing campaigns are popular for nonprofits collecting donations or companies raising funds for a fundraiser. For this reason, we also commonly refer to these as collection envelopes.

The usual size we print for remittance envelopes is around 6.5 x 3.625”.

In addition to all the ones mentioned here, there are other types of mailing envelopes we can offer. These would be considered more specialty kinds and aren’t as common, but we are open to your ideas! For any questions related to mailing, please contact Wendy in our mailing department at mailmaster@colortechinc.com. You can also learn about our overall mailing process on our mailing website page.

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November 20, 2023

(3 min. read)

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