By Claxton Graham
Many people don’t give a second thought about the envelopes that their mail comes in. To them, those envelopes are nothing more than paper that’s destined for the trash can or the shredder. Unless, of course, the envelopes contain bills. Then they’ll be interested in using the envelopes that allow them to send that bill, and their money, to whomever it belongs to.
Envelopes come in many different sizes and styles. A 5 Baronial, for example, would be a fine choice for passing out handwritten thank-you notes to 50 people. It’s an item that can be purchased right off the shelf at a reputable stationery store or office supply house. A #10+ business envelope that has a window in it, with double-side seams and a square flap, would make a much better choice for use on automated equipment when sending out a million statements per month. For documents that are too large to insert with a machine, an expandable envelope made with Tyvek®, a material from DuPont that is also used in home insulation and medical packaging, may be the way to go.
For most of the last 20 years, my working life has involved envelopes. Understanding what goes into making envelopes, understanding how they used, and understanding how much they can cost has given me a great appreciation for them. It’s hard for me to look at an envelope and not think about the analysis and design that goes into each one, because I know first-hand what kind of problems can result if that analysis and design isn’t properly done.by