Custom Printed Envelopes 101: Envelope FAQs

Meet the writer: Karen Pieper

Hi, I'm Karen! I've been in the industry for 18 years and can't wait to share my perspective on all things direct mail. I'm currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Letter Jacket Envelopes and deal with tasks from managing the website, facilitating conversations with customers, and much more!

Learn about how custom-printed envelopes work, including the ordering process and how to request complete customization with our bespoke fabrication options by reading these envelope FAQs.

What is a Custom-Printed Envelope?

The difference between a custom printed envelope and a standard one is that a standard envelope is the color of the paper stock without printing of any kind on it. A custom-printed envelope has printing on it in one or more colors, which includes black.

For example, if you would like your business name and address printed in black on the envelope, then it counts as a one-color custom order, front and back included.

How Many Colors Can I Use?

The majority of our envelopes can be custom-printed with up to four colors, but some of the smaller ones like the coin slips and larger ones like catalog envelopes can only be printed with two colors. Each envelope type has their max colors listed underneath when browsing our products page.

There are two important things to keep in mind with colors:

  • Black is a color! If you want any sort of address or logo printed in black, that counts as a custom order. An address in black with red accent type counts as two colors.
  • Colors can be additive. In other words, four colors can be all you need to make an entire rainbow.

Consider that many comics and newspapers are still printed with four-color process printing, which grants a full range of colors using dot-sized samples that combine to create different shades. We can work with your image to perform color separation and then print any range of shades or hues you wish.

How Big Can the Design Be?

As big as the envelope! For two or one colors, there is no charge for designs that wrap over the edge of the envelope, a technique known as a “bleed.” For three or more colors, charges may apply for designs that approach 1/8” of an inch or less with the envelope border.

Can You Print Inside the Envelope?

Yes! Some of our most creative clients have used inside-the-envelope printing prior to folding to achieve unique and intriguing effects.

What Is a Window Envelope?

A window envelope has a small cutout that usually displays the name and address of the recipient on a piece of paper from within the envelope. This feature cuts costs by obviating on-the-envelope printing for every address, and it can also allow for creative designs like showing teeth through the window and a face on the outside envelope.

Windows without plastic covering are called “open panels.”

What Is a Custom Window Envelope?

Standard window envelopes are 1 1/8” x 4 1/2”, and they are positioned 7/8” left and 1/2” above the bottom-right corner. Any other dimensions are considered custom.

What Is Security Print?

Security print is an inside-the-envelope printing that helps disguise the text written on documents within the envelope. Some of our clients use security tints for unique branding effects.

Can You Address the Envelopes for Us?

Absolutely! Using variable address printing, we can quickly and affordably transfer your mailing list to the envelope order and print each envelope with a different address.

How Does the Custom Ordering Process Work?

When clicking on any product, such as our standard #10 envelope, you will notice a spot above Add to Cart entitled “Step #2 CUSTOMIZE YOUR ENVELOPE.” You can select your color customization option, and then you are transferred to our art uploader.

You can read our art uploader post to learn more.

How Customized Can I Get?

If you want to think really outside-the-box, you can request a custom fabrication order. We can use nearly any type of commercial paper stock in any color even folded to any shape you want.

You will need to contact us to begin an inquiry for complete-customization orders and let us know exactly what you had in mind for your project. Do not hesitate to be super-picky, either. We love a challenge!


Don’t see your question on our envelope FAQs? Contact us and we can give you the answers you need!


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