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Design Features

Copy Design | Image Limitations | Backprinting | Printing Processes


Copy Design

Copy for the envelope can consist of rules, text, graphics, screens and halftones. When designing the copy for the envelope, you must keep in mind that there may be limitations on where you can place the copy due to postal regulations.

Screened Copy:

  • Use to achieve different shades of one color
  • Use to shade backgrounds
  • Variety of densities available
  • Supply in a negative or on a disk
     

Note: Screen quality will vary according to the printing process used.


Image Limitations

When printing on an envelope, your image limitations are usually minimal. You do not have the lock up problems as when printing a form on a web press and envelope printing equipment does not have the same gripper requirements as on other sheetfed presses. You also have the option to have the envelope printed before or while they are being converted to envelopes, which virtually eliminates the problems of the copy being over image.


Backprinting

Backprinting is any copy printed on the back side of the envelope.

  • Same design features available as on the front of the envelope.
  • If envelope is printed on the flap and can be printed with the flap out, the flap could be printed at the same time as the front of the envelope. It would not be considered backprinting unless the flap was down or unless the underside of the flap was printed.
  • If the envelope is printed before it is converted, a lot of what would be considered backprinting on the envelope is actually printed on the same side as the front of the envelope. Once the envelope is folded, it becomes the back of the envelope. It would only be considered backprinting if it was printed on the opposite side of the paper.

Printing on Front Only

Die-Cut Printed Paper Before Folding into an Envelope
 

Front Side of
Envelope after Being Folded

Back Side of
Envelope After Being Folded


Design Guidelines for Different Types of Printing Processes

There are several different printing processes available to use when printing envelopes. The guidelines below will help you achieve the quality of print you desire on your envelopes

Offset Printing:

  • Allow 1/8" minimum bleeds due to
    +/- 1/16" variance on envelope converting equipment.
  • Keep weight of rules to a minimum of 1/2 pt. Keep to 1 pt. in reverse areas.
  • Type can be any point size but a minimum of 5 pt. is recommended, with a 7 pt. minimum in the reverse areas.
  • Screens should be 133 to 150 lpi, depending on the press equipment.
  • Standard traps are 1/4 pt.

Thermography:

  • Keep screens to a 120 line screen or coarser.
  • Use a screen density that is a little lighter than what you would like on the finished product. Screens have a tendency to fill in with the thermography process and will appear a little darker than normal.

Flexography and Letterpress:

  • Allow 1/8" minimum bleeds due to
    +/- 1/16" variance on envelope converting equipment.
  • Keep weight of rules to a minimum of 1 pt. Keep to 1 1/2 pt. in reverse areas.
  • Use a minimum of 6 pt. sans serif type for best quality. When using serif type, use a minimum of 8 pt.
  • Screens are usually 65 lpi. Keep screen densities at 40% or less for best results.
  • Halftones print alright if the original or the digital scan is good quality. Avoid duotones, tritones and gradient screens.
  • Avoid having large solids and screens in the same color - use a lighter color of ink instead of screening in the same color.
  • Standard traps are 1 pt. 

 

 


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