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Terminology

Adhesives: There are many types of adhesive used in the manufacturing of an envelope. These types include adhesives for the construction, the Window covering and for the sealing of the envelope. Adhesives include: Back Gum, Latex, FASTICK®, and Window Gum.
Adjustable Die: A device used to cut envelope Blanks by using a system of movable blades. This is a cost effective method of producing small runs of odd-sized envelopes without purchasing a new envelope Die.
Air Mail Envelope: A light-weight envelope with a red and blue border and the words "Air Mail" printed on the face. This envelope was specifically designed to keep the cost of postage down by reducing the weight of the envelope. The paper is usually 13 or 20 pound paper.
A-Style Envelope: Also known as Announcement Style. This is an Open Side envelope with Double Side Seams and a Square Flap.
Back Gum: Also known as Seam Gum. This is an Adhesive that cannot be remoistened. It is used to seal the seams of the envelope to form the envelope pocket.
Banding: The placing of a paper band around a specific number of envelopes.
Bang Tail:

Also known as a Coupon envelope. Used for Remittance, order envelopes or other direct mail pieces. This envelope has a perforated coupon attached to the body that must be torn off before the envelope is sealed.

Bankers Flap: Also known as Wallet Flap. This is a Commercial style envelope with a larger flap and is used in heavy mailing applications, such as bank statements.
Barcode: A series of bars printed in the lower right hand corner of the mailpiece. These bars represent the Zip+4 zip code and the Delivery Point Barcode which includes a specific city block, an apartment building or a particular floor of a larger office building.
Barcode Read Area: The clear zone at the lower right of a letter-size mailpiece that must not have any printing or symbols except for the Barcode.
Baronial:

This is an Open Side envelope with a large pointed flap and Diagonal Side Seams.

Basis Weight: Also known as Substance Weight. The weight of 500 sheets of a standard size paper of a given grade. Different grades of paper are sold in different basis sizes. Therefore, basis weights of different grades of paper cannot be compared directly. A 28 lb White Wove is comparable to a 70 lb offset, but not a 28 lb offset. 500 sheets of a 25 x 38 Basis 80 text paper weighs 80 pounds.
Blank:

A Die-Cut sheet of paper before it is folded into an envelope.

Blanket: A rubber-surfaced pad used in Offset Printing. It is adhered to the cylinder of the press and transfers the image to the paper. The printing plate transfers the image to the blanket.
Bleed: When the printing of an image extends beyond the edge of the envelope or page. Envelopes with bleeds are generally printed before they are folded so that the fold lines run through the printed image.
Blind Emboss: A raised design that is stamped in the paper, without foil or ink.
Blocking: The premature activation of the Seal Gum at any point except over the back seams of the envelope. The premature activation causes the flap to stick shut.
Book Paper: Also known as Offset Paper. Book Paper is characterized by its strength and lack of curl. It comes in both smooth and vellum finished and is suited for offset printing.
Booklet:

This is an Open Side, Double Side Seam envelope usually having a larger flap. The opening of the envelope is primarily on the longer dimension. It is commonly used for catalogs, annual reports and brochures and can be used with automatic inserting machines.

Bottom Flap:

This is the section of the envelope that is folded up from the bottom score and forms the pocket of the envelope.

Business Reply Mail: Also known as BRM or BRE. These envelopes can be of any style or size. They are pre-printed with a first class permit and return address. The original sender pays for the postage for the return mailing.
Caliper: The thickness of a sheet of paper measured in units of 1/1000th inch (points or mills).
Catalog:

This is primarily an Open End, center seam envelope. The opening of the envelope is on the shorter dimension.

Close Registration: When two or more colors come within 1/16” of each other.
Courtesy Reply Mail: Also known as CRM or CRE. These envelopes can be of any style or size. They are pre-printed with a return address. The individual returning must apply postage before mailing.
Clasp:

A metal fastener that is secured to the back of the envelope with a small, reinforced hole punched in the flap. The clasp is slipped through the hole and secured. Most clasped envelopes are Open End and have Remoistenable Gum applied to the flap. The clasp can be used for added security when the Remoistenable Gum is activated, or it can be used repeatedly if the gum stays inactive.

Closure: A method of securing the seal flap to the back of the envelope. There are various methods including: Clasp, FASTICK®, Latex, Remoistenable Gum and String and Button.
Coated Paper: Paper that is coated with clay or other materials to improve the printability.
Coin: A small Open End envelope.
Commercial:

A term used for the most popular envelope for business purposes. The envelope is an Open Side envelope with either Diagonal or Double Side Seams and a commercial style flap. They are available with or without Windows and with or without a Security Tint.

Convert Only: Paper is supplied by the customer for conversion into envelopes.
Corner Card: The return address or other identification of the sender in the upper left corner of the envelope.
Coupon: Also known as a Bang Tail Envelope. Used for Remittance, order envelopes or other direct mail pieces. This envelope has a perforated coupon attached to the body that must be torn off before the envelope is sealed.
Diagonal Seam:

A seam that runs diagonally from the bottom fold towards the Throat of the envelope. This style is usually seen in Commercial Open Side and Baronial envelopes.

Die: A tool used for cutting envelope Blanks, Windows or other shapes.
Die-Cut: The process of cutting envelope blanks using an envelope Die.
Double Side Seam:

Also know as DSS or Double Inside Side Seam (DISS). An envelope with the Side Seams glued beneath the back flap.

Drilling: Piercing of stacks of papers or envelopes to put a hole through the entire document. This is often done to ensure that all contents of the envelope are removed by the recipient.
Dry Offset Printing: Similar to Wet Offset, but requires a coarser line screen of 100 to 120 lines per inch. Dry Offset uses a printing plate with a raised surface and produces a quality higher than Flexography but lower than Wet Offset.
Dummy: Also known as a hand folded sample. A folded mock up to exact specification prior to production.
Embossed Finish: A finish or pattern applied to the paper usually done when the paper is made.
Expansion Envelope: An envelope with a gusset that allows it to be expanded to accommodate larger, bulkier items, such as books, binders and larger amounts of paper. Usually expansion envelopes are produced with 40 lb Kraft paper or Tyvek.
Face: The side of the envelope that does not have any seams.
FASTforward®: A USPS-licensed automated system used to update change-of-address orders that are on file.
FASTICK®:

An Adhesive that is applied to the Seal Flap and is covered with a release liner. When the envelope is ready to be sealed, the release liner is removed to expose the adhesive.

FIM:

Facing Indentification Marks. The vertical bars on the Face of the envelope, as specified by the Postal Service. These marks are used in the automated processing of reply pieces.

Flaps Extended: Envelopes that are packed with their flaps in the unfolded, open position.
Flexography Printing: Also known as Flexo or Letterpress. A fast drying printing process utilizing line screens of 65 to 105 lines per inch. Flexography uses a flexible rubber or photopolymer plate and produces good quality, but not as high as Dry or Wet Offset.
Flush Cut: An envelope with the flap removed, leaving a straight opening across the top of the envelope.
Foil Lined: A decorative piece of foil lining is placed on the inside of the flap and Throat of the envelope. Most often found in greeting card style envelopes.
Glassine: A thin, glazed, nearly translucent recyclable material (wood and water based) used in Window envelopes.
Grain: The direction in which most of the fibers lie on a finished sheet of paper. Paper folds more easily with the grain, it offers greater resistance to being torn across its grain and demonstrates greater strength in the direction of the grain.
Gum: Any type of glue or Adhesive used to manufacture envelopes.
Hairline Registration: Also known as Tight Registration. When two or more colors touch each other or are less than 1/16" from each other.
Hitch-hiker Envelope: A dual-purpose envelope used for outbound and a return response mailing.
Horizontal Window: A Window that is positioned to run parallel to the envelope flap.
Indicia: An imprinted designation used on mailpieces to denote the method of postage payment, such as mailing permits. This is found in the upper right hand corner of the envelope.
Inter-Departmental Envelope: An envelope which is pre-printed with lines depicting the person(s) and department that the envelope is being routed to. The envelope can be reused multiple times. It is usually an Open End envelope and can have a String and Button type closure.
Inside Tint: Also known as Security Tint. A printed design on the inside of the envelope. It is used to add opacity to the envelope for added security. These designs can be standard or customized to meet the consumers needs.
Jet Offset Printing: Refers to a press that is capable of printing on folded envelopes. It allows for fast turnarounds with a high degree of quality.
Kraft: A paper grade made from unbleached, bleached or colored wood pulp by the sulfate process. Kraft papers are noted for their strength and have a coarser finish than woves. It is used usually in Catalog and Booklet style envelopes.
Laid: A finish applied to the paper usually done when the paper is made. The laid finish is characterized by a closely lined appearance.
Layout: A diagram showing the position of the envelope Blanks on the specific sheet size that will be used for the job. A layout is essential for printers to be able to lay out the images within the area from which the envelope Blank will be cut.
Latex:

Also known as Self Seal. A rubber based adhesive used for self-sealing envelopes. Latex Adhesive is applied to both the Seal Flap and the back of the envelope. When the Seal Flap and the back of the envelope come together, the latex Adhesive activates and the seal is formed.

Letterpress Printing: Also known as Flexo or Flexography. A fast drying printing process utilizing line screens of 65 to 105 lines per inch. Letterpress Printing uses a flexible rubber or photopolymer plate and produces good quality, but not as high as Dry or Wet Offset.
Lithography: Also known as Offset Printing or Wet Offset. Lithography requires a line screen of 133 lines per inch or more and produces the best quality compared to Dry Offset and Flexography. A flat printing plate is used to produce the printed image.
Offset Paper: Also known as Book Paper. Offset Paper is characterized by its strength and lack of curl. It comes in both smooth and vellum finish and is suited for offset printing.
Offset Printing: Also known as Lithography or Wet Offset. Offset Printing requires a line screen of 133 lines per inch or more and produces the best quality compared to Dry Offset and Flexography. A flat printing plate is used to produce the printed image.
Opacity: A paper property that measures the degree to which paper stops light from passing through. The less opacity a paper has, the more the light will show through allowing the contents of the envelope to be seen. Papers having low opacities can have Inside Tints added to increase the opacity.
Open End:

An envelope with the Seal Flap on the shorter dimension. A Catalog style envelope is one type of an Open End envelope.

Open Side:

An envelope with the Seal Flap on the longer dimension. A Booklet style envelope is one type of an Open Side envelope.

Outside Side Seam: Also known as OSS. An envelope with the Side Seams glued on top of the back flap.
Pantone Matching System®: Also known as PMS color. The Pantone Matching System® is a book of industry standard ink colors with various shades of each color. The colors are used to match and identify the colors that will be printed. The Pantone Matching System® is a registred trademark of Pantone Inc.
Patch Material: Also known as Poly or Glassine. The translucent or clear material that is used to cover a Window in an envelope.
Peek In Window: A Window in an envelope that has no Patch Material covering it.
Policy Envelope: A Commercial sized envelope that opens on the shorter dimension instead of the longer dimension.
Poly: A clear, translucent and recyclable material that is used to cover a Window in an envelope.
Ream: A term meaning 500 sheets of paper.
Regular: A Commercial style envelope without a Window.
Remittance Envelope: A Booklet or Side Seam style envelope with a long Seal Flap covering the back of the envelope. It is mostly used as a collection envelope.
Remoistenable Gum:

An Adhesive that is applied to the Seal Flap. The Adhesive is activated when it is exposured to moisture at which time it will adhere to the back of the envelope.

Seal Gum: Also known as Back Gum. This is an adhesive that cannot be remoistened. It is used to seal the seams of the envelope to form the envelope pocket.
Seal Flap: The flap that folds down over the envelopes opening in order to seal it.
Security Tint: Also known as Inside Tint. A printed design on the inside of the envelope. It is used to add opacity to the envelope for added security. These designs can be standard or customized to meet the consumers needs.
Self Seal:

Also known as Latex. A rubber based adhesive used for self-sealing envelopes. Self Seal Adhesive is applied to both the Seal Flap and the back of the envelope. When the Seal Flap and the back of the envelope come together, the Self Seal Adhesive activates and the seal is formed.

Side Fold: The folded edge at the side of the envelope.
Side Flaps:

The flaps on the sides that fold in to form the sides of the envelope.

Side Seams:

A seam that runs perpendicular to the envelope opening.

Split Seal Gum:

A gum pattern used for Remoistenable Gum where the gum is broken where the flap covers the envelope seams. This prevents the flap from sticking to the back panel during storage in humid conditions.

Square Flap: A flap whose corners are square instead of rounded.
String and Button:

A mechanical closure where a string is attached to the Seal Flap of the envelope and a button to the back of the envelope. The string is looped around the button to close the envelope.

Substance Weight: Also known as Basis Weight. The weight of 500 sheets of a standard size paper of a given grade. Different grades of paper are sold in different basis sizes. Therefore, basis weights of different grades of paper cannot be compared directly. A 28 lb White Wove is comparable to a 70 lb offset, but not a 28 lb offset. 500 sheets of a 25 x 38 Basis 80 text paper weighs 80 pounds.
Tabbed: A method of inserting a paper tab at specified quantities within a box or carton to assist the printer or inserter to select the correct number of envelopes.
Tabbing: The premature activation of the Seal Gum at the points where the seal gum is directly over the back seams of the envelope. The premature activation causes the flap to stick shut in this location.
Text: A paper grade made from bleached or colored wood pulp and/or cotton fibers. Text papers are available in a variety of colors and finishes and often have matching cover stock to provide a compliment to the envelope.
Thermography Printing: Printing that is raised using thermography powder that is placed over wet ink and heated.
Throat:

The opening at the top of the envelope. The throat is measured from the top edge of the bottom flap to the fold line of the Seal Flap.

Thumb Cut:

An envelope with the flap removed and a rounded opening cut in the opening to allow easier removal of the contents.

Tight Registration: Also known as Hairline Registration. When two or more colors touch each other or are less than 1/16" from each other.
Top: The dimension of the envelope with the opening.
Tyvek®: A synthetic paper made of spunbonded olefin by the DuPont Corporation. Tyvek® is a registered trademark of Dupont Corporation. It offers maximum protection as it is tear and water proof. It is also ultra-lightweight. Tyvek® is available in 14 lb or 18 lb.
Vertical Window: A Window that is positioned to run perpendicular to the envelope flap.
Watermark: A translucent mark visible when a sheet of paper is held up to the light. The watermark is made into the paper at the time the paper is manufactured.
Wallet Flap: Also known as Bankers Flap. This is a Commercial style envelope with a larger flap and is used in heavy mailing applications, such as bank statements.
Web Cut: An envelope that is manufactured from a continuous roll of paper. The paper is fed into an envelope machine and the envelope Blank is individually cut with inline rotary knives.
Wet Offset Printing: Also known as Offset Printing or Lithography. Wet Offset requires a line screen of 133 lines per inch or more and produces the best quality compared to Dry Offset and Flexography. A flat printing plate is used to produce the printed image.
Window: An opening in the envelope to allow the contents to show through. The window can be covered with Patch Material or left open (unless it is for Canada). Window shapes and sizes can be custom made to fit the consumer's particular need.
Window Gum: An Adhesive used to secure the Patch Material to the envelope Blank.
Window Position: The location of the Window on the envelope. The position is measured from the left and bottom edges of the envelope with the flap always at the top.