Glossary Terms here for any questions or confusing terms used within this website!
Absorption: This is paper’s ability to take in the liquids used in the manufacturing process: inks and adhesives. Since envelopes are often exposed to humidity in storage, which can affect the inks and adhesives, this property is highly important.
Adhesives: Envelope adhesives fall into two categories: fasteners and sealants. A fastener adheres the two seams of an envelope together, and a sealant is what allows the seal flap to stick to the back of the envelope.
A-Style Envelopes: These are the envelopes most commonly used for announcements. There are six standard sizes all of which are open-side, featuring a double side seam construction with a squared flap.
Back Gum (Seam Gum): This is the fastening adhesive used on the back seams to construct the envelope.
Banding: This is the process of placing a paper band around a certain specified number of envelopes to help count. It is common practice for greeting envelopes.
Bang Tail Envelope: This open-side envelope has an extension on the bottom flap that is perforated at the envelope’s throat. This is commonly used as an order form used by mail order companies and for credit card statement remittances.
Baronial: Commonly available in five sizes, this style of envelope has a diagonal seams that form a large pointed flap.
Basis Weight: This number represents the weight of 500 sheets of a certain grade of standard-sized paper. Therefore, 500 sheets of 29 x 20 white kraft Basis 80 would be 80 pounds.
Blank: This is what the envelope is referred to after it has been die cut but before the folding process while it is still flat.
Bleed: The image is larger than the envelope fold or edge of the blank.
Booklet: This is an open-side double side seam envelope.
Bottom Flap: This is the part of the envelope that is folded up from the bottom to create the back of the envelope.
Business Reply or Return Envelope: These are the envelopes found in mailings that allow forms and other items to be sent back. The main difference between the reply and return is who is responsible for paying the postage. With a business reply, the original sender has already paid for the postage. By contrast, the postage on a business return envelope must be paid for by the individual sending it back.
Catalog Envelope: This style of envelope has an open-end center seam and a seal flap on the shorter side.
Center Seam: This is the seam most commonly found on open end envelopes in which the back of the envelope is joined at a straight line running up the center to the throat
Clasp Envelope: Reusable metal clasp closures provide extra security for storing papers and mail. They feature a clasp on the back of the envelope and a hole on the flap to allow the clasp to come through and be folded down. They are primarily found on open end envelopes.
- String and Button Envelope: These envelopes have a string attached to the outside seal flap that the user wraps around a button placed on the back of the envelope. These are your standard inter-departmental mail envelopes
- Latex (Self-Seal): This sealant requires no moisture. Instead, it uses a latex gum on the seal flap and the back of the envelope which, when pressed together, seal the envelope.
- Remoistenable Seal Gum: This is the seal gum found on common envelopes that needs to be moistened to seal the envelope.
- Metal Clasp: A small piece of metal attached to the back of the envelope that goes through the hole in the flap when closed. The user then folds down the two pieces of metal, thus sealing the envelope.
- Peel & Seal: A strip of release paper covers a line of gum on the flap of the envelope. When the release paper is removed, the envelope is ready to be sealed without any moisture.
Cello: This is a type of window film that is exceptionally clear.
Coin Envelope: A small open-end envelope from size #00 (1-1/16” x 2-3/4”) to #7 (3-1/2” x 6-1/2”).
Commercial Style: This is the most popular envelope for business and is often considered to be “official.” These envelopes come in many sizes and are open side, diagonal, or double side seam with a commercial flap.
Converting Only: This is the process of taking pre-printed paper and completing the manufacturing process to turn it into an envelope.
Coupon Hitch-Hiker: This remittance envelope features perforated extensions on the flap and the back flap.
Diagonal Grain Cutting: This is when the grain of the paper runs from corner-to-corner across the face of the envelope. It is also referred to as random or cross grain cutting.
Diagonal Seam: A diagonal seam going from the bottom fold to the throat of the envelope.
Die: The piece of equipment used to cut the envelope blanks and windows. It is a thick steel outline that is pressed into stacked sheets of paper.
Die-Cut: Using dies to produce the blanks and window cut-outs.
Expansion Envelope: These envelopes are made to be able to expand to fit books, binders, and other large items. They are made of heavy paper stock and can be either open side or open end. One use for expansion envelopes is art portfolios.
- Letterpress or Flexo: High quality process that uses raised letters on a rubber surface.
- Litho (Offset): Ink is transferred from a special plate to a rubber blanket and then onto the printed surface.
- Corner Card: The content found in the upper left-hand corner of an envelope such as logo and return address.
- Indicia: Printing that occurs in the upper right hand corner of the envelope which indicates that the sender will pay the postage.
- Tinting: Enhanced security provided by a patterned printing on the inside of the envelope.
- Camera-Ready Art Work: This is a black-and-white copy of the completed image to be printed to make negatives for litho printing.
- Color-Separated Art Work: Each color needs to be separated out into its own separate piece to make negatives and plates.
- Pantone Matching System (PMS): These are the standard ink colors which are used to match against given images. This system identifies all of the colors found in these images. The Pantone system is universal.