Envelopes are more than just a folded piece of paper being torn open and thrown away. They serve as packaging that protects your letter, ensuring it arrives at its correct destination in one piece and an acceptable condition. envelope

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Envelope Definition and Meaning

A standard envelope is a flat folded rectangular paper used as a container for sending letters to someone.

Most people use wove, kraft, recycled, specialty, and tear-resistant materials in creating an envelope, but any paper will do as long as it’s sturdy and large enough to fit its content.

What is an Envelope?

Envelopes are bearers of information, documents, and messages. They also communicate the sender’s intention to their recipient, allowing an excellent first impression since they’re the first thing seen before the content, catching the attention of one’s recipient at a glance.

10 Types of Envelopes


Business envelopes are lightweight materials for mailing corporate letters, correspondence, billing statements, catalogs, and other important documents at work and with your clients.



Modern, traditional, rustic, or retro—wedding envelopes are best known for their intricate designs and elegant paper types when sending invitations to guests, relatives, and friends during your special event.



Advertise your restaurant in style by printing and handing out attractive restaurant envelopes that contain your business name, address, contact information, and logo to your customers.


IT and Software

Forward your software reports, computer program proposals, announcements, and other messages to your supervisor, colleagues, and fellow team members with ease through IT & software envelopes and lettermates.



It doesn’t cost much to create a handmade or a DIY invitation envelope, so make the best one at Template.net and send them to your best friends, classmates, and relatives when your birthday, graduation, or wedding arrives.



Like any other envelopes, corporate envelopes are best for securing and delivering confidential information and remittances, especially when sending or returning a large amount of money.



Airmail and address envelopes have postage stamps found at the top-right corner of their face and are used for sending letters, invoices, or cards through USPS and other shipping companies like FedEx, UPS, and Purolator.



Protect the privacy of your personal information, billing statements, and other confidential documents at work by inserting and sealing them in an office envelope before sending them to their respective recipients.



Print eye-catching ticket envelopes for your concerts, debuts, and film showing events at Template.net and use them as a promotional tool to convince people to join your activities in no time.



Tell your loved ones about your adventures in a letter and send them in a travel envelope with your photos or trinkets as memorabilia from the places you’ve been.


Envelope Uses, Purpose, Importance

People may think envelopes no longer play a vital role in a progressively electronic world; however, the traditional forms of communication continue to prove their impact on everyone’s lives, making them more memorable than a simple email or tweet.


Regardless of the type of envelope used, they are perfect for reaching out to prospective customers, recipients, stakeholders, and business partners since they’re reliable for securely carrying contents.


Besides being just a carrier of relevant information, they are also perfect for branding and increasing client engagement during direct mail marketing campaigns since colorful, cute, and uniquely designed envelopes are more likely to get opened than boring ones.

Promotional Tool

Envelopes also act as a promotional tool, since the well-designed ones are likely to get the attention of the recipient and a chance to be opened. Hence, it’s best to design envelopes professionally to gain engagement and responses.

What’s in an Envelope? Parts?


The envelope’s face or front is the smooth portion of the envelope where the recipient address, postage, and return address are written.


The back portion of the envelope is where the flaps intersect to seal its content, forming the distinctive form of the envelope.


The flaps are the envelope parts folded and overlapped with one another to seal their content. Composed of the top flap (seal flap), side flap, and bottom flap, their shape may be rectangular or triangular with rounded or pointed corners depending on the envelope’s design.


The seams of the envelope are determined by the style of flaps used. An envelope may have diagonal, side, center, or seam overlap.


The folds are the creases formed at the top, bottom, and sides of the envelope face and back once all flaps are folded. There are three folds in an envelope: the top fold, the side fold, and the bottom fold.

Opening & Closing

The envelope is also composed of an opening called the throat, a space between the top fold and bottom flap for inserting material, and a closure to hold the material. Some envelopes have a window for viewing the content without opening the envelope.


How to Design an Envelope

1. Choose an envelope size

2. Decide the purpose of the envelope

3. Select the envelope template

4. Edit the content of the envelope

5. Print the envelope


Envelope vs. Shims

An envelope can be a flat piece of paper, folded and sealed, where a sender inserts flat items, like a note, document, letter, or message pad, to be sent to their desired recipient, or it could be a separation of a building’s interior and exterior.

On the other hand, shims are thin and often wedged pieces or tapered material that fill small spaces between objects to support or adjust a specific surface level.

What’s the Difference Between an Envelope, Door Stickers, and a Business Card?

Envelopes are flat sealable materials made of paper or plastic to enclose a letter or a document that can also serve as a design for scrapbooks, diaries, and calendars, depending on the owner’s creativity.

Door stickers are decorative stickers commonly used for outdoor purposes to inform or instruct passersby about something or advertise a specific product.

Business cards are small printed cards that represent your company image, brand, and contact information when you first introduce yourself to your prospective clients, business partners, and stakeholders.

Envelope Sizes

Envelopes sizes and shapes come in a variety. Depending on their type and purposes, an envelope size can range from 3 5/8″ x 5 1/8” to 254” x 330” and may have a portrait or landscape orientation. Listed below are the different sizes of envelopes.


Envelope Ideas & Examples

If you plan to send someone an invitation, a special message, a promotional letter, or simple greetings during the holiday, these envelope ideas and examples might suit your mailing needs.

  • Envelope Ideas & Examples
  • Hotel Envelope Ideas & Examples
  • Ideas for Advertising Envelope
  • Hospital Envelope Ideas & Examples
  • Ideas for Business Envelope Examples
  • Beautiful Design Ideas for Construction Envelopes & Examples
  • Wedding Envelope Making Ideas & Examples
  • Envelope Ideas & Examples for Handyman
  • Christmas Envelope Ideas & Examples


What are the most common envelope specifications?

An envelope’s common specifications are its size/dimension, type, color, price, and purpose.

Why is building envelopes important?

Building envelopes ensure better control of the insulation of a house or building to improve its ability to keep the place warm or cold indoors.

How to address an envelope?

Indicate the return address at its top left corner and state the recipient’s address at the center on the bottom half of the envelope’s back.

How to mail an envelope?

Affix the postage stamp at the upper right corner of the envelope’s back, then drop it in the collection box or forward it to the nearest post office.

How do I save an envelope message to be printed every time?

Open an existing document, highlight and copy your selected text, create a new document, choose the “Envelope and Labels” from the Tools menu and select the Envelopes tab, paste your message, format your envelope, and then click the “Add to Document” button.

How to print envelopes?

Visit Template.net, download an envelope template, customize it via MS Word, MS Publisher, Google Docs, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, or Apple Pages, then click the print button.

How to use Cricut to address multiple envelopes?

Type in the addresses of the recipient and sender on the Cricut’s text feature and place the ready-made envelope on the Cricut’s mat, then hit “make it” to complete the process.

What are the key features of an envelope?

The key features of an envelope are its two side flaps, the bottom flap, and its top flap.

What to include in an envelope?

State your recipient address, return address, a postage stamp if you’re sending them via USPS, and a wax seal if you want to make your envelope a bit stylish.

What are the effective ways to use an envelope?

Choose an envelope type suitable to your purpose, insert your content (make sure there is sufficient space between your content and the inside of the envelope), then label and seal your envelope before sending it.

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