GLOSSARY OF TERMINOLOGY
ADJUSTABLE DIE CUTTING: This is a cost effective way to produce small, odd size runs where the only alternative is purchasing a new high die.
A-STYLE: Announcement style, open side envelope with double side seam construction and a square flap. Most often converted from text paper.
BACK GUM: Also called seam gum. It is the adhesive used to seal the seams on the back of the envelope to form the envelope pocket.
BANDING: A counting method in which a paper band is placed around a specific number of envelopes. Most commonly used for greeting envelopes.
BANG-TAIL ENVELOPE: An open side, wallet flap, double side seam envelope that has a perforated “tail” of paper attached to the back flap for additional information or to be used as an order form.
BARONIAL: Baronial envelopes are used primarily for invitations and greetings. They are available in many colors and finishes. Baronial envelopes have diagonal seams, and pointed flaps.
BASIS WEIGHT: The weight of 500 sheets of a standard size paper of a given grade. For example, 500 sheets of a 25 x 38 Basis 80 text paper weigh 80 pounds. In another example, 500 sheets of 17 x 22 Substance 24 bond or writing paper weigh 24 pounds.
BLANK: The die cut paper in the form of an envelope prior to folding.
BLEED: When the printed image extends beyond the fold of an envelope or off the edge of an envelope blank. Envelopes with bleed generally must be printed before they are folded, since the fold line runs through the printed image.
BLIND EMBOSS: Raised design stamped in paper, without foil or ink. Can be done before the envelope is folded so that design is not debossed onto the back of the envelope.
BOND GRADE: Grade of writing or printing papers, often used for letterheads and matching envelopes. Characterized by strength, rigidity, relatively low opacity, and erasability. Sometimes with cotton fiber content.
BOTTOM FLAP: The section of the envelope folded up from the bottom score to form that portion of the back of an envelope.
BRIGHTNESS: The light reflecting property of a paper. The more light it reflects the higher its brightness. A bright sheet offers the best print quality and appearance.
BUSINESS REPLY (BRE) or RETURN ENVELOPE: These two envelopes can by any style or size. The distinct difference between them is – “who pays the postage?” A business REPLY is referred to as the envelope that has a pre-printed First Class Permit and return address on it and the original sender pays for its return. The Business Return has a pre-printed return address but the individual returning the envelope must apply the postage. The most commonly used envelopes for either purpose are the commercial style 6-1/4”, 6-3/4”, or 9. Another frequently used style is a remittance.
BUTTON & STRING: A closure most often used on catalog style envelopes consisting of a round, heavy tag stock button which is secured to the back of the envelope, and a similar button with a heavy string which is attached to the seal flap. The string is wound around the two buttons securing the inside contents of the envelope.
CATALOG ENVELOPE: Open end envelopes, usually having a center seam construction and a wallet style flap. There are many standard sizes available, with the 9 x 12 size being the most popular.
CENTER SEAM: Usually found on open end or catalog style envelopes, it is permanent seam connecting the two side flaps which meet in the center of the envelope.
CLASP ENVELOPE: Normally manufactured using an open end envelope with a gummed seal flap, a metal clasp is secured to the back side of the envelope and a small reinforced hole is punched in the flap for the clasp to slip through and be secured. The clasp used in conjunction with the seal gum provides added security.
COIN ENVELOPE: A small open end envelope usually with center seam construction used for small parts, jewelry, coins, etc.
COMMERCIAL STLYE ENVELOPE: Open side envelope with diagonal or double side seams with a commercial style flap. The most popular envelope for business, it is sometimes referred to as an “official” envelope. It is readily available in many paper varieties and comes in 11 common sizes.
DECKLE EDGE: Feathered edge on envelope flap deliberately produced for decorative purposes. Formed especially on formal announcement or invitation envelopes.
DIAGONAL SEAM: A seam running diagonally from the bottom fold and corner upward toward the center of the envelope.
DIE: In envelope making, this term usually refers to a high die for cutting envelope blanks or a window die for cutting a window opening.
DIE-CUT: A process of cutting envelope blanks utilizing a high die.
EMBOSSING: A process performed to stamp a raised image into the surface of paper, using engraved metal embossing dies, extreme pressure and heat. Embossing styles include blind, register embossed, and foil embossed.
EXPANSION ENVELOPE: Much like a grocery bag. The gussets in an expansion envelope allow it to be expanded to accommodate such things as books, binders, manuscripts, and countless other bulky items. They are made in both open end and open side styles, most commonly of 40 lb. Kraft paper.
FACE: The side of the envelope without the seams.
FINISH: The surface properties of a paper, including smoothness, gloss, absorbing ability and texture. A paper can be smooth or textured, coated or uncoated, soft or hard. Different finishes offer different printing characteristics and their own relative advantages and disadvantages. The finish of an envelope paper contributes greatly to the emotional judgment about quality. A slightly textured surface, such as vellum or antique, can impart a sense of higher quality than the very smooth surface of a white wove.
F.O.B.: Stands for “Free on Board” without charge for delivery to and placing on board a carrier at a specified point; the point at which the shipping charge is calculated.
FOIL LINED: The inside of the flap and throat are lined with a decorative foil. Used most often in greeting cards.
FOLD: Any folded edge of the envelope. Generally referred to as the side, top, or bottom fold.
GRAIN: Direction in which most of the fibers lie in a finished sheet of paper. Paper folds more easily with the grain. It offers greater resistance to being torn across the grain, and demonstrates greater tensile strength in the direction of the grain.
GUM: An adhesive made with a plant base to seal paper envelopes. Some gums take moisture to seal, others such as latex gums will adhere to themselves.
HITCH-HIKER ENVELOPE: A dual purpose envelope for use in both outbound and return response mailing.
INDICIA: Postage permit located on the upper right corner of an envelope which is pre-printed and does not require a postage stamp.
INSIDE SIDE SEAM: Seam construction on Catalog or Booklet envelope where the seam glues beneath the back panel.
INSIDE TINT: Printed design on the inside of the envelope. Used for added opacity and/or for graphic interest.
INTER-OFFICE ENVELOPE: Usually an open end or catalog style envelope which is preprinted on both sides with lines depicting the person(s) and department that the envelope is to be delivered to. On a standard 10 x 13 size there are enough spaces to accommodate 56 deliveries. Eight 3/8" holes are drilled completely though the envelope for visible conformation of any contents. Button and string or Tac-N-Tac™ closures are used on this type of envelope.
JUMBO ENVELOPE: A very large envelope of either open end or open side construction. Ranging in size from 9 x 16 to 24 x 36 which can be machine folded to even larger sizes, which must be hand folded. Most super size envelopes are constructed of 28 lb. to 40 lb. Kraft paper.
LATEX SEAL: A self-adhering envelope seal that requires no moisture. Latex gum is applied to the seal flap and the back of the envelope. When the two strips of latex gum are pressed together they create a bond which seals the envelope.
OFFSET PAPER: Also known as book paper. General description of any paper primarily suited for offset printing. Can be coated or uncoated. Characterized by strength, dimensional stability, lack of curl and freedom from foreign surface material. Finish can be vellum or smooth.
OPACITY: Paper property that measures the degree to which paper stops light from passing through. The more opacity a paper has, the less show-through it permits of the envelope contents. Inside tints can be used to compensate for low-opacity papers.
OPEN END ENVELOPE: A style of envelope on which the opening or seal flap is on the shorter side of the envelope.
OPEN SIDE ENVELOPE: A style envelope on which the opening or seal flap is on the longer side of the envelope.
PEEL & SEAL: Pressure-sensitive, self-sealing envelopes, that use a release, liner strip on the flap to protect the adhesive. This allows the envelope to be packed “flaps down” making it easy to print.
REGULAR STYLE ENVELOPE: A style of commercial, official, or bankers flap envelope which does not have a window panel cut in it.
REMITTANCE ENVELOPE: An open side envelope with a large wallet flap used for returning payments.
SEAL GUM (REMOISTENABLE): The re-moistenable gum on the seal flap which when moisture is applied allows the envelope to be permanently sealed.
SEAL FLAP: The flap that folds down over the envelopes opening in order to seal it.
SEAM: The back of an envelope where it is glued together. Center Seam - on an Open End Catalog or Booklet where the seam runs down the middle of the back; Side Seam - on an Open End Catalog or Booklet where the seam is on the side of the envelope.
SHOULDER: The top edge of the side flaps at the envelope opening.
SIDE FLAPS: Fold in from the sides to form the sides of the envelope.
SIDE SEAM: A seam that runs perpendicular to the envelope opening.
SIDE SEAMS: An envelope seam that runs almost parallel to the side fold.
SQUARE FLAP: A rectangular style flap with square corners.
THROAT: A rectangular style seal flap with rounded corners
WALLET FLAP: A rectangular style seal flap with rounded corners.
WATERMARK: Translucent mark visible when sheet of paper is held up to the light.
WOVE: Paper having a uniform surface and no discernible marks. Soft, smooth finish, most widely used envelope paper. Relatively low opacity, brightness and bulk. However, recent changes in paper making from acid to alkaline sheets have improved the brightness. Mostly run in white.
POINT: In paper, a unit of thickness measuring one-thousandth of an inch.
TABBED: A counting method for packaged envelopes, which places a paper tab at specified quantities within the box or carton to assist the printer or inserter to select the correct amount of envelopes needed for the operation being performed.
TEXT: Type of high quality paper, manufactured in white or colors from bleached chemical wood pulp and/or cotton fibers. Made in a wide variety of finishes, including antique, vellum, smooth, felt marked and embossed (linen). Often has a matching cover stock. Usually deeper colors than bond or writing grades. It is desirable to use an envelope that matches or complements the enclosure when used for annual reports, brochures or other prestigious mailings.
THROAT: The opening at the top of the envelope. The size of the throat is measured from the top edge of the bottom flap to the fold line of the seal flap.