Envelopes: Envelope Sizes and Types


Whether you have a special occasion that requires sending out invitations or run a business that regularly uses various office supplies, there are a variety of envelopes available for purchase to get you the results you’re looking for. While seen as a simple product, it is helpful to know how to shop for this item. The following tips can help anyone purchase the perfect envelope type for their needs.

Envelope Sizes

Perhaps one of the most crucial elements to consider when shopping for envelopes is the size. Depending on what you need to send, it is important to choose the proper envelope sizes that will not only get the contents delivered on time, but also prevent any damage to the contents. To help determine the right size, it helps to think about what you’re going to send. For example, basic letters would do fine using a traditional size, such as DL. This size is ideal for documents that can be folded multiple times. However, significant documents, such as contracts, certificates and other related paperwork should never be folded or bent in any way. In this instance, it is best to choose from larger envelope sizes. C4 in particular, is ideal for holding standard A4 paperwork, and is slightly larger than A4 to accommodate A4 size products. This works for all the standard envelope sizes, their sizes designed around fitting the standard paper sizes in – with just enough room to make it a simple task to put in and take the contents of the envelope. Below give s a quick snapshot of the 3 most common sized envelopes C4, C5 & DL, and their equivalent paper sizes.

C4 Size: 324 x 229mm – C5 Size: 229 x 162mm – DL Size: 220 x 110mm

A4 Size: 297 x 210mm – A5 Size: 210 x 148mm – 1/3 A4: 210 x 99mm


These days there are more options for people to choose from when it comes to envelopes and style. You no longer have to stick to stark white, plain designs. Many envelopes are now available in special stationary designs, colors and even textures. Want your wedding invitations to stand out when you send them through the mail? Why not choose a wedding envelope style that has been custom made with you and your spouse-to-be’s initials embroidered onto the front or back? Textured envelopes are becoming the latest trend that not only showcases the sender’s personality, but is also great for creating a great first impression. You can purchase an envelope that looks like it’s been made from a rustic scroll, vintage fabric or in the texture of business stationery with your company name and logo embossed on it.


Regardless of the size, colour and style, it is vital to figure out what type of impression you want to make with the envelope you end up purchasing. Business letters and related correspondence will more than likely want to stick to envelopes designed for these purposes. There are regular styles, open end, booklet and window styles available. Social and invitation envelopes come in square, contour, inner/outer and pointed flap styles, which distinctly mark it as being for special occasions. Do you need to send an important document that is fragile? Then you’ll have the following options to choose from: plastic mailers, paperboard mailers and bubble lined. Taking the envelope sizes, style and purpose into consideration is the best way to find the ideal envelope for your project(s), regardless of what you need it for.

Envelope Types


This refers to an envelope that has a window in it, normally to show the delivery address. The delivery address is printed in a specific area on the enclosed document and when, or if, it is folded the clear acetate of the envelope shows the address through.

Non-Window or Plain

Non-window envelopes are sometimes referred to as ‘Plain’ envelopes, this type of envelope is used to conceal the contents fully, and the address needs to be applied on the envelope directly. This can be written on, or printed but can also be applied via a label. This sometimes is the best option if you are mailing a number of generic letters, as the only differing information is the delivery address, which can be printed onto labels and applied.


When mentioning Opaque in envelope terms, it refers to the inside of the envelopes printed pattern. The idea behind the opaque is simply to disguise the content of the envelope. As the majority of things put in envelopes are letters, bills, invoices, bank statements etc – it eliminates the possibility of seeing the content through the envelope. Many companies recently have taken to using this opportunity reinforce their brand, by using logo’s repeatedly over the inside. Opaque is used in both Window and Non – Window.

Envelope Closures


Self-Seal is the type of envelope that does not need licking, the more modern types (especially on DL’s) have a flap that you need to lift up that exposes the adhesive, and you close the main flap onto it. When the 2 adhesives meet they bond and hey presto.


This is the traditional envelope that needs to be licked in order to activate the adhesive and then press the flap shut. These were found to be less secure, and the shelf life of the adhesive wasn’t very long – meaning if your Stationery Supplies company had them on the shelf for a while, they could be useless.

Peel & Seal

Really easy to use, and probably one of the most secure closures – similar to the gummed option above, but no licking is required and the adhesive is stronger, and as it is not exposed to the air it lasts longer too. The flap has the adhesive along the length and this adhesive is covered by a thin strip of paper. When you want to seal the envelope, you simply peel off the strip exposing the adhesive, and press firmly to close.

Source by Mark R Bartley

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *