Based on many years of experience, watching people make the same mistake and order the wrong envelope, we have put together this simple yet handy guide to help you choose the right envelope.
1. Choose your envelope size first
If we had a penny every person who had designed their card before finding the envelope…
It’s a basic fact that envelopes come in a lot of sizes, but it’s also the case that it’s diminishing returns the more unusual the size. So when you choose your envelope size, go for a standard envelope size and you will find an incredible choice of colours, finishes and designs. Go for something a bit unusual and you may end up with just white. If you’re lucky.
2. Check the exact size
You need to take account of two sizes. One is the envelope size (which we quote on all products). The second is the size of what you are putting into it.
To get your insert into the envelope you will need a bit of room. Not much, but enough to fit it in. We suggest a 5mm difference. Even 10mm is fine. It might sound a lot but 10mm will give you just a 5mm gap on either side, and if you measure it out, it’s not much. But that small gap will let you slip something into the envelope rather than spending 10 minutes forcing the card into the envelope only to see the envelope tear anyway.
There is a slight complication to this rule. It assumes that you are just putting a ‘normal’ card into the envelope. In the unusual scenario where you have something a bit bulkier, then you need to allow a bit more. Ultimately there is no rule here so you will only know by getting a sample and trying it yourself. Click here to visit our sample request page.
3. Get the right flap
This one comes down to personal choice. And availability! The choices are diamond or wallet.
Diamond – this is where the flap is pointed and meets in the middle. It is the classic envelope style and so has a more traditional feel.
Wallet – this is a straight flap, a simpler and more ‘contemporary’ design.
The problem is that some envelopes come with diamond flaps and some with wallet flaps. You might not have a choice – try and factor that into your decision process.
4. Choose your paper
Not all paper is alike! It naturally follows that a heavier paper feels, and is, nicer. Thinner papers will feel…well, a bit cheaper. As a rule of thumb, paper will vary from 80gsm to 120gsm. 80gsm will be ok, but a bit thin. 120gsm will feel like good quality paper. In between, 100gsm is a good quality paper that will be good for all occasions.
What you need to take into account also is the finish – the two you will most likely encounter are wove and laid. Wove is a smooth finish. Laid paper has a slight grain or texture to it. Wove paper has that slight ‘contemporary’ feel whilst laid paper has a more ‘traditional’ feel.
You might also take lined envelopes into consideration. Without going into too much detail, these are envelopes with an inner tissue paper lining which gives a little extra security and a little extra quality feel. Ideal for special invites.
5. Don't leave it until the last minute!
We offer a huge range of envelopes – over a 1,000 at the last count in fact. With that much choice we will only carried a limited range in stock and the rest are special order. That means we will import them specially or you, sometimes from a factory in Switzerland even. But that means there will be a longer lead time on those items, usually about a week extra.
So please check the lead times and allow enough time for delivery to avoid disappointment!