Envelope printing can create issues and be problematic in the printing process. This is due to how an envelope is made and how the envelope is designed. Printing presses work best with flat sheets. Envelopes are not flat, they are an irregular shaped folded piece of paper with different thickesses throughout the envelope. So designing for this type of sheet is important for quality results. Here are some of the most common issues that we see and how we can avoid them.
Designers don’t always take into consideration the envelope printing process when designing an envelope. Almost any design is possible to print, but is it affordable to print? We see envelope designs from a simple return address to full ink coverage on both sides. The most economical way to print an envelope is to print pre-made envelopes on a dedicated envelope press. Most designs will fit into this format of printing. When you design an envelope with heavy solid coverage and full bleeds (printing off the edge) you have to move to another format to print them. So instead of printing on pre-made envelopes, you will need to reverse the process. This more complex envelope printing job will need to printed first onto a flat sheet, then die-cut, folded and glued. The printing press is a bigger, large-format press usually 40″ wide, which costs more to run and considerably increasing the cost of the printed envelope.
So what envelopes are suitable for our printing presses and processes? We can easily do small to medium coverage envelopes on our one and two color equipment. You will need to avoid bleeds and heavy ink coverage. When printing using our digital full-color equipment, we can give you the bleeds but you will still have to stay away from the heavy ink coverage. We can still handle the more complex envelope printing projects, but we would have to quote each job. If you really have to have the heavy solids, bleeds and full coverage, be prepared for a much higher price than what is on our Econo Envelope website. If you are unsure if your envelope printing project fits our press criteria and to avoid frustration, you can always email us your design and an envelope expert will take a look and give you honest feedback. We can help you choose the best solution and printing process for your printed envelopes.