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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Commercial Envelope Printers Can Custom Print Envelopes on Cover Stock

A client recently asked me to recommend a custom envelope printer for extra-heavy envelopes. The client wanted to print envelopes on 65# cover stock and then convert them. Keep in mind that most envelopes are 20#, 24#, or 28#, much thinner than 65# cover stock.

Why would anyone want custom print envelopes like these? Because they are extremely durable and they give the impression of opulence and prosperity. In certain cases this is important, depending on the clientele receiving the envelopes.

That said, there are certain things to keep in mind when printing envelopes like these:

  1. Extra-heavy envelopes need to be printed and then converted. Converting includes the folding and gluing steps involved in turning a flat piece of printing stock into an envelope. You can’t just buy envelopes like these and then print on them. Therefore producing high-end custom envelopes of this caliber is an expensive proposition.
  2. The heaviest stock that can be converted is 8 point cover, and the envelope must be larger than 6” x 9”.
  3. If you keep the size under 6” x 9.5”, you will stay within “letter” (rather than “flat”) rate postage and save a lot of money.
  4. Remember that if you are coating the press sheet with varnish or aqueous coating to avoid scuffing the ink, you will need to knock out (i.e., not print the coating in) the area on which the address will be inkjet printed. Otherwise the inkjet pigment will not adhere to the envelopes and will smear off.
  5. Postage is based on weight (and in some cases also the distance the envelope travels). Custom envelopes made of 65# cover stock may look beautiful, but they will cost a premium to mail since they are heavy, even before you insert the brochures or other contents.
  6. If you want to address these envelopes in your office laser printer, you’re probably out of luck. Most small laser printers will not accept such a thick substrate without jamming. Therefore, you will need to print address labels on peel and stick paper and then hand-affix the labels to the envelopes. This can take time if your mailings are large.

For aesthetic reasons and durability, there are good reasons to print and convert envelopes on 65# cover stock. But it behooves you to consider the costs involved and perhaps even give an unprinted sample to your postal representative to gauge the potential postage costs and to make sure all US Postal Service requirements for size, thickness, etc., have been met. Dedicated custom envelope printers, companies that focus exclusively on how to print envelopes, can be invaluable resources in producing such a job.

4 Responses to “Commercial Envelope Printers Can Custom Print Envelopes on Cover Stock”

  1. Shelley says:

    It’s been a long time that I’ve needed to get much of anything printed, but after reading this posting, I really had no clue that you can print envelopes on cover stock. I wouldn’t have that it possible, but this is great, in-depth, information that is helpful to anyone who needs another option.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your comment and kind words.

      Until just recently, I had never specified such an envelope. That said, I did recall receiving many heavy envelopes in the mail. I always appreciated their durability and the sense of importance they lent to the package. When the job came to me for an estimate, I did some research and contacted a few dedicated envelope vendors. Then I shared the information on the blog so others could benefit.

  2. Cheap print says:

    Great post…thanks for the reminder to blog about the everyday things that people want to read. As a real estate agent, I too struggle with what to blog about. Thanks!


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