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Envelope Printing: Everything You Need To Know

A collage of envelopes of various shapes, sizes, and colors
As someone responsible for marketing, you understand just how important first impressions are with your customers when it comes to marketing. And contrary to popular belief, mail marketing is still one of the most engaging methods of marketing! Especially in our increasingly digital world. Direct Mail Marketing sees some of the highest open rates in all forms of marketing, sporting a 90% open rate (compared to only 23% for email marketing). Better yet, 70% of people find mail marketing to be more personal compared to emails. 

Of course, you could send a postcard or a letter in some plain envelopes, but what if you’re wanting to have a more intentional portrayal of your brand? Or if you need to send confidential information to a client without sacrificing brand identity. That’s when custom-printed envelopes come into play! 

This shows why it is so important to maximize your brand’s presence in all forms of marketing, at all layers of the marketing pipeline. That’s why we’ll be covering custom-printed envelopes today. We’ll discuss the process of ordering custom envelopes, what a custom printer can offer you, and what envelope conversion is. 

Custom Envelope Printing

When it comes to custom envelope printing, there are two different avenues you can take. The fastest and most affordable way is to print onto pre-made envelopes. The other method is to go through an envelope conversion, where your artwork and design are printed on flat sheets of paper and then converted into envelopes. A converted envelope is the best way to accommodate full-bleed envelopes and enhance your brand identity.

So how do you know which process is the one for you? Thankfully Alphagraphics Buckhead makes it easy for you, just reach out to us! We’ll be happy to walk through your goals with you to determine which process is the best solution for your needs. 

There are a few important aspects of the job to have in mind when exploring printing options. This will help the printer to understand exactly what you’re looking for as well as ensure that the final product meets your expectations.

  • What paper stock do you have in mind? A standard 24# or 28# stock? Or are you needing a heavier paper stock? Do you plan to use metallic envelopes, textured envelopes, transparent envelopes, etc?

  • What size do the envelopes need to be? Are you mailing a standard-sized letter or card? Or do you want to mail something custom-sized?

  • Are your designs press-ready? This means that all fonts and text should be converted to outlines, and artwork should be in a vector format. Lastly, you should send the file to the printer as a PDF, AI, or SVG file.

  • How do you meet United States Postal Service (USPS) design requirements when addressing your envelopes?

An envelope that was fully customized through envelope conversion.

What Is Envelope Conversion?

Envelope conversion is when your design is printed on a flat piece of paper, which is then die-cut, glued, and folded into the envelope size and shape that you are wanting. This type of printing allows you to customize every detail of the envelope, unlike standard envelope printing. 

You can create customized envelopes that really cover the gamut of printing and offer a truly unique identity for your brand. For example, with envelope conversion you can create:

  • Embossed envelopes

  • Debossed envelopes

  • Full-bleed envelopes

  • Foil-stamped envelopes

  • Metallic envelopes

  • Specialty textured envelopes

  • Transparent envelopes

  • Variable data names & addresses

  • Match mail envelopes

  • and more!

This is great for when you want to have full creative control over how your brand is presented to clients and customers. However, envelope conversion can be pricey and see long production times as many aspects of the job (such as the die and presses) must be custom-ordered to achieve your desired goal.

A pre-cut envelope that showcases custom foil-stamping

What Are Pre-Cut Envelopes?

Printing on pre-cut envelopes is an affordable and effective option for when you are looking for smaller orders of custom envelopes, or do not need to customize many of the details of the envelope. 

You are still allowed to include images, graphics, or colors on the exterior of the envelope, but there will be a bleed edge (a thin white stripe on the edges of the envelope). You’ll also have the selection of various envelope sizes to fit your invitation, letterhead, or flyer within the envelope. 

This is a great option for smaller businesses, or for small orders of custom envelopes. You can still achieve stunning results, utilize foil-press logos for an added luxurious touch, and save money while doing so. 

What Can Be Done With Envelope Printing?

A lot can be done with envelope printing, you’re largely only regulated by your imagination (and US mail standards). For example, you can mail something as small as a 3.5”x5” envelope up to a 15”x12” envelope. You can select various paper stocks all the way up to 140# paper. You can also select to just have a solid color envelope, or custom print your own artwork or images on the envelope. You can do foil-pressed text for the return address or a logo. With Alphagraphics Buckhead, you can even have us handle postage and mail it out for you to your mailing list. 

What Options Are Available?

There are tons of options available for you to choose from. Different print shops do have different options though, but Alphagraphics Buckhead offers everything you may need for custom envelopes. Whether you’re a small business expanding in your community, or a company mailing hundreds of thousands of envelopes across the nation. 
A chart showing the various sizes of envelopes available to you.

Commercial Envelopes Booklet Envelopes Catalog Envelopes
#6¼ (3½ x 6) #3 (4¾ x 6½) 4 x 6
#6¾ (3 x 6½) #5 (5½ x 8⅛) 4½ x 10
#8 (3 x 8⅝) #7¼ (7 x 10) 4⅝ x 6¾
#7 (3¾ x 6¾) 5½ x 7½ 5 x 7½
#7¾ (3⅞ x 7½) 5¾ x 8⅞ 5½ x 7½
#9 (3⅞ x 8⅞) 6 x 11 5½ x 8¼
#10 (4⅛ x 9½) 6 x 9 6½ x 9½
#11 (4½ x 10⅜) 6 x 9½ 7 x 10
#12  (4¾ x 11) 6½ x 9½ 7½ x 10½
#14 (5 x 11½) 7½ x 10½ 8¾ x 11¼
8¾ x 11½ 9 x 12
Remittance Envelopes 9 x 12 9½ x 12½
#6¼ (3½ x 6) 9½ x 12½ 10 x 1310 x 15
#6½ (3½ x 6¼) 9½ x 12⅝ 11½ x 14½
#6¾ (3⅝ x 6½) 10 x 13 12 x 15½
#9 (3⅞ x 8⅞) 10 x 15 11 x 17
11½ x 14½ 12½ x 18½
Window Envelopes 12½ x 16
#6¾ (3⅝ x 6½) Announcement Envelopes 13 x 17
#8⅝ (3⅝ x 8⅝) A2 (4⅜ x 5¾) 13 x 19
#7 (3¾ x 6¾) A6 (4¾ x 6½) 14 x 18
#7¾ (3⅞ x 7½) A7 (5¼ x 7¼) 14 x 21
#9 (3⅞ x 8⅞) A8 (5½ x 8⅛) 15 x 18
#10 (4⅛ x 9½) A9 (5¾ x 8¾) 15 x 20
#11 (4½ x 10⅜) A10 (6 x 9½) 15 x 22
#12 (4¾ x 11) 4 Bar (3⅝ x 5⅛) 16 x 20
#14 (5 x 11½) 5 Bar (4⅛ x 5⅝) 17 x 22
6 x 9 5½ Bar (4⅜ x 5¾) 18 x 23
6 x 9½ 6 Bar (4¾ x 6½) 19 x 26
Lee (5¼ x 7¼) 22 x 27


Paper Stock

Paper stock ranges from 24# to 28# envelopes. With envelope conversion allowing for a wider range of stocks.

Flap Styles

You have access to a wide selection of flap styles for your envelopes including:

  • Square flap envelopes

  • European flap envelopes

  • Commercial flap envelopes

  • Straight flap envelopes

  • Baronial envelopes


When printing on a pre-cut envelope, you can print in any color almost anywhere on the envelope with a thin bleed around the edges (white borders around the envelope). When printing for envelope conversion you can print your images or color right to the edge. 

Finishing Touches

You can select to have foil stamping done on both pre-cut and converted envelopes, allowing for a reflective, luxurious finish. You can also have lined envelopes with a pop of color on the inside. Or go for a color envelope to match any theme or branding you desire.

How Can I Know If I Need To Convert Envelopes?

Thankfully it’s fairly simple to determine if you will be able to print on pre-cut envelopes or if you will need to convert envelopes to meet your needs. Let’s look at two different envelope orders to see what aspects require them to be printed on either a pre-cut envelope or a converted envelope. 

Our first order is a set of 500 envelopes that need to fit a 4x6 invitation for a shopping event at a home goods store. The company would like to have a bright white envelope color with a gold foil-stamped logo and return address on the top left corner. With the delivery address printed in the middle in black ink. They would also like their logo printed in gold foil on the back of the envelope on the flap. This is the type of order that can be printed on pre-cut envelopes! 4x6 invitations can fit nicely in an A6 envelope and the gold foil can be printed with a press, even when it is on both sides.

Our second order is a set of 5,000 envelopes that need to fit a letterhead folded into 3s for fitting in an envelope. The company would like to have the outside in their company’s specific color blue, with a black foil logo and return address pressed on the top left. As well, the envelope flap needs to be a European flap, and the interior of the envelope needs to be the company’s other signature color, charcoal black. This type of order would require the use of envelope conversion for multiple reasons. The custom color exterior and interior of the envelope, as well as the specific need for a European flap with a #10 envelope. 

Ultimately, if you do have questions about whether your marketing plan requires the use of pre-cut or converted envelopes, just give us a call and we’d be happy to discuss your marketing plan and what options are best suited for your needs.

Everything You Need To Know

There you have it! A quick rundown of everything you need to know about envelope printing. Whether you’re looking for envelopes for 20 invitations for the family reunion, or 10,000 envelopes for a large-scale Direct Mail Marketing campaign, Alphagraphics Buckhead has you covered and can assist you with your needs. 

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