Guide to Envelope Design: Sizing, Printing, and More

Envelopes are printed communication’s unsung heroes. While the letter or card inside might have the crucial details and information, the envelope sets the stage and establishes an image. A stellar envelope is the key to a recipient opening an envelope in the first place.

Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your envelope design helps your letter or enclosure be read. In this article, we’ll address everything you need to consider as you’re developing and printing your envelope design ideas.

Business and Invitation Envelope Design Sizes

Envelopes typically come in two styles: for business use and for invitations (or other social announcements). Typically, you send pieces of printed paper such as business letters, flyers, and reminders in business envelopes. You can choose an envelope size based on the size of the paper inside. Common sizes include #9 envelopes, #10 envelopes, 6x9 envelopes, 9x12 envelopes, and 10x13 envelopes, which will fit all of the standard letter size papers.

Invitation envelopes, on the other hand, are perfect for standard card sizes. Some of the most popular invitation envelope sizes include A2 envelopes, A6 envelopes, and A7 envelopes.

Envelope Design Questions to Consider

While envelope design may seem simple on the surface, there are in fact many design choices that you need to make. When pondering your creative envelope design, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Should I include the company logo?
  • What size envelope should I use?
  • Should I use a window envelope?
  • Should the printing be in color or black and white?
  • Which typeface should I use?
  • Do I need to include a postal indicia on the envelope?
  • Do I want the envelope to print only on the face, on the back, or both?
  • Do I want an envelope with a pointed or square flap?
  • Will my design have bleed?

Some of these questions only apply for business envelopes. For example, invitation envelopes typically do not contain windows, so there’s no need to consider this question in that case.

Postal Indicia Can Save Businesses Time and Money

A postal indicia is an image containing information about a company's postal permit in place of a stamp. The indicia informs the postal office that you have already paid for postage.  Postal indicia are used for larger mailings, such as newsletters, mailers, postcards, and more.  The indicia MUST be in the correct format and have all necessary components in the proper order to meet postal regulations. For questions on formatting, visit the USPS website. Also, be sure to consult with your printing company before finalizing the indicia to make sure you are using the correct indicia and the correct postage class for mailing.

Remember These Key Envelope Design Ideas

As you’re designing your envelope, keep these important tips in mind.

Follow Standard Address Formatting

When designing business envelopes, the company name or logo and address are most often located in the left upper corner on the face of the envelope, and they are usually around 1-2 inches wide. Remember that the mailing address will be in the middle of the envelope, so don't make the logo and return address information so large as to make the mailing address illegible or impossible to fit.

Don’t Make It Too Complicated

Simple designs are effective for printed envelopes; don’t try to convey a complex message or large body of text on an envelope. The point of printing on an envelope is to make sure recipients can identify who sent the letter (and possibly the purpose of the correspondence) in just a few seconds.

Include Your Logo

When sending mail, your goal is for the mail to get opened. Therefore, include elegant design features on your envelopes, such as your logo in color, that help recipients know who or which company sent them mail. If you’re printing envelopes to personal correspondence, consider including your monogrammed initials next to your return address. The more personal touches your envelope has, the more likely it is to be read.

Consider Including Designs On The Back

Some organizations put designs on the back side of the envelope rather than the front. Notecard envelopes generally have a square flap, so including an address and possibly a small version of the logo can make for a successful design.

Let Your Creativity Flow

While envelopes aren’t the place to reinvent the wheel, you can still express your creativity in smaller ways. Even touches as simple as printing in color will put your envelopes ahead of the rest. For company envelopes, you might also include your company slogan somewhere on the front of the envelope to give recipients an idea of what your business does. As well, special mailings can have a few words printed on the envelope about the purpose of the mailing to increase their effectiveness.

Print Your Envelope With The Experts at ZoePrint

Here at ZoePrint, we love printing both business and invitation envelopes. We digitally print or offset print envelopes using your envelope design, or one of our professional graphic designers can create a design just for you.  If you need an envelope printed which you don’t see on our site, please ask...we can accommodate many different types of envelope printing. Upload artwork today or fill out a custom quote to get your envelopes printed quickly and inexpensively!