Envelopes are a common way of personal mailing, business correspondence, and marketing materials. Envelopes play an integral role in both improving the effectiveness of both direct and personal mails all over the world. They are just as important as the message they are delivering.
First impressions matter in both your private and professional life. Just like you would dress up professionally for a job interview to give a great first impression, your envelopes should also look sharp and ready to impress the recipient of the letter. Therefore, knowing the different types of envelopes and their uses is important.
Dealing with envelopes can be very complicated, especially if you are not used to dealing with them regularly as there are very many different envelope types and sizes available in the market today. In this article, we will be illuminating the different types of envelopes and how to use them.
Below is an illustration of the various parts of an envelope. The variations of these parts create the different types of envelopes we have today.
The envelopes with the seal flap and the opening located on the shorter dimension are referred to as Open-End envelopes, while those with the flap located on the long dimension are referred to as Open Side envelopes.
The flap is the part of the envelope used to seal the envelope. The main and most common types of flaps include:
Sizes and Styles
In this article, we shall be expounding on the two main envelopes standard system. The first one is known as the Standard- used in the USA, and the other is the ISO metric system used in Europe and many other parts of the world.
Standard envelopes are divided into several groups based on their style and application. The sizes are listed in inches, the shortest dimension first.
Commercial sized envelopes, also known as business envelopes, are one of the most popularly used envelopes today. They are convenient for machine use and can go for a side seam or commercial flap with most machines. Commercial envelopes are usually used for letterheads, invoices, checks, statements, direct marketing mailings, and writing stationery.
|6 ¼||3 ½ inches by 6 inches|
|6 ¾||3.625 inches by 6 ½ inches|
|8 5/8||3.625 inches by 8.625 inches|
|7||3 ¾ inches by 6 ¾ inches|
|7 ¾||3.875 inches by 7 ½ inches|
|9||3.875 by 8.875|
|9 (policy)||4 inches by 9 inches|
|10||4.125 inches by 9 ½ inches|
|DL||4.313 inches by 8.625 inches|
|11||4 ½ inches by 10.375 inches|
|12||4 ¾ inches by 11 inches|
|14||5 inches by 11 ½ inches|
|16||6 inches by 12 inches|
Announcement envelopes also known as the “A” series envelopes, are very common. The flaps can either be pointed or flat. They are commonly used for announcements, cards, invitations, small booklets, promotional pieces, and brochures.
|A0||33.1 inches by 46.8 inches|
|A1||23.4 inches by 33.1 inches|
|A2||16 ½ inches by 23.4 inches|
|A3||11.7 inches by 16 ½ inches|
|A4||8.3 inches by 11.7 inches|
|A5||5.8 inches by 8.3 inches|
|A6||4.1 inches by 5.8 inches|
|A7||2.9 inches by 4.1 inches|
|A8||2 inches by 2.9 inches|
|A9||1 ½ inch by 2 inches|
|A10||1 inch by 1 ½ inch|
Baronial envelopes are more formal envelopes. They are deeper and typically use a pointed flap. They are commonly used for official invitations.
|2||3 3/16 inches by 4 ¼ inches|
|4||3 5/8 inches by 4 5/8 inches|
|5||4 1/8 inches by 5 1/8 inches|
|5 ¼||4 ¼ inches by 5 ¼ inches|
|5 ½||4 3/8 inches by 5 ¼ inches|
|5 ¾||4 ½ inches by 5 ¾ inches|
|6||5 inches by 6 inches|
Booklet style envelopes are usually used for mailing brochures, catalogues, and the likes. They are also used for mailing sales materials and annual reports.
|3||4 ¾ inches by 6 ½ inches|
|4 ½||5 ½ inches by 7 ½ inches|
|5||5 ½ inches by 8.125 inches|
|6||5 ¾ inches by 8.875 inches|
|6 ½||6 inches by 9 inches|
|6.625||6 inches by 9 ½ inches|
|6 ¾||6 ½ inches by 9 ½ inches|
|7 ¼||7 inches by 10 inches|
|7 ½||7 ½ inches by 10 ½ inches|
|9||8 ¾ inches by 11 ½ inches|
|9 ½||9 inches by 12 inches|
|10||9.5 inches by 12.625 inches|
|13||10 inches by 13 inches|
This envelope style is commonly used for mailing catalogues, magazines, and reports. Catalog envelopes are meant for containing documents without the need to fold them.
|1||6 inches by 9 inches|
|1 ¾||6 ½ inches by 9 ½ inches|
|2||6 ½ inches by 10 inches|
|3||7 inches by 10 inches|
|6||7 ½ inches by 10 ½ inches|
|7||8 inches by 11 ¼ inches|
|8||8 ¼ inches by 11 ¼ inches|
|9 ½||8 ½ inches by 10 ½ inches|
|9 ¾||8 ¾ inches by 11 ¼ inches|
|10 ½||9 inches by 12 inches|
|12 ½||9 ½ inches by 12 ½ inches|
|13 ½||10 inches by 13 inches|
|14 ¼||11 ¼ inches by 14 ¼ inches|
|14 ½||11 ½ inches by 14 ½ inches|
Policy envelopes are primarily used to hold insurance policies, bonds, mortgages, and legal papers.
|9||4 inches by 9 inches|
|10||4 1/8 inches by 9 ½ inches|
|11||4 ½ inches by 9 ½ inches|
|12||4 ¾ inches by 10 7/8 inches|
|14||5 inches by 11 ½ inches|
Window envelopes are popularly used for marketing purposes. They are often used for bills too. One of the unique things that separate window envelopes from other envelopes are that the name and address shows through the window thereby eliminating the need to address the envelope. In most cases, a translucent plastic is used as the window material. In as much as most people prefer to use open window envelopes, they are, however, less secure compared to the other envelopes.
There are two types of open window envelopes; single window envelope and double window envelopes.
ISO envelope Standards
ISO envelopes are envelopes used all over the world. The C series was designed to house the ISO A paper sizes. For instance, a C5 envelope would house an A5 sheet flat, or an A4 folded once.
|C3||12 ¾ inches by 18 inches||A3 sheet|
|B4||9 7/8 inches by 13 7/8 inches||C4 envelopes|
|C4||9 inches by 12 ¾ inches||A4 sheet|
|B5||7 inches by 9 7/8 inches||C5 envelope|
|C5||6 3/8 inches by 9 inches||A4 folded once|
|B6||5 inches by 7 inches||A4 folded in quarters|
|C6||4 ½ inches by 6 3/8 inches||A4 folded in quarters|
|DL||4 ¼ inches by 8 ¾ inches||A4 sheet folded in thirds or an A5 sheet folded in half lengthwise|
|C6/C5||4 ½ inches by 9 inches||A4 sheet folded in thirds|
|C7/6||3 ¼ inches by 6 3/8 inches||A5 sheet folded in thirds|
|C7||3 ¼ inches by 4 ½ inches||A5 sheet folded in quarters|
Free Envelop Templates
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the ways that you can easily remember or determine the envelope size that you need is to swap the letter “A” letter of your paper size for letter “C.” for instance, if you need an envelope to fit an A4 sheet paper, then you simply swap the “A” and put the “C” and you have a “C4.” This is the size of the envelope you will need.
All papers come in A and B sizes. C envelope size is basically the geometric mean of sizes “A” and “B” of the same number. This calculation produces a size between the “A” and “B” dimensions to make a perfect envelope to hold the size “A” paper. For instance, if you calculate the geometric mean of an “A4” and a “B4” paper, you will get a C4 envelope, which is ideal for holding an A4 size paper without folding.