Plain Envelope Guidelines

Gail Duncan
by Gail Duncan 2 years ago

Envelope file supply guidelines

Folder Templates

Download the appropriate Template to start your design from.

Bleed and Quiet Zone

Plain envelopes have specific templates for you to use. These are pre-designed in C5 and DL sizes and they all have areas that cannot be printed in, these are called the Clear Zones. Please check the relevant template to view the printable areas.

C4 Plain Envelopes cannot have elements bleeding to the page edge. Bleed is allowed on the C5 and DL sizes, see the finishing note section further down this article.

When you save your PDF ensure that you save it at the same size as the template. Please note that no crop or registration marks are required.

Colour & Ink Coverage

Please set your vector and bitmap artwork in CMYK colour. All files must be supplied in CMYK. RGB, Pantones, Duotones and other colour spaces are not supported and will be converted to CMYK, this could cause a colour shift so we recommend that the conversion to CMYK is done prior to upload.

Ink levels must be set to a maximum of 300% total ink. Exceeding 300% may result in your job being delayed.

The minimum tint level is 10% per CMYK channel and tints over 90% will tend to look 100% when printed.

Remember to choose the correct single or double sided product to match your design requirements.

Ink Coverage
The standard envelopes are printed with an expected ink coverage of under 30% of the printable area. If you require more coverage then you will need to add the extra coverage finishing note. This extra coverage has a cost surcharge.
Large Areas Of Solid Colour
We would advise to avoid using large areas of solid colour. Tinted areas of more than 60% tint may cause dot gain.


Your PDF file must have all fonts converted to outlines. We recommend keeping all text above 6pt size. Note that the minimum stroke width is 0.5mm so ensure that any text elements aren't thinner than this.


If you are using bitmap based artwork then ensure your files have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. TIF, JPEG and PNG images are supported within your PDF.  Images must be CMYK.

Bitmap files should be flattened and not contain any layers.


Avoid using borders as they will look uneven when printed. Do not add stroke borders to your design.

Reproduction of details

The minimum stroke thickness is 0.5 pt for positive strokes and 1 pt for negative stokes (when a line is punched out of another coloured object).

Template Layers

The Illustrator based templates have 2 layers.

The top layer is where you add your logo or artwork as a vector or bitmap files.

The bottom layer contains guidelines on using the template. This layer must be turned off prior to saving your PDF file.

Saving your PDF

When saving your PDF ensure that the guidelines layer is deleted or made invisible. Save your PDF as a press ready PDF using version 1.4 onwards.

Extra Finishing Options

Standard prices include up to 30% ink coverage per side. Above 30% is available at a 30% surcharge. Jobs above 30% without the surcharge added will be rejected.

Edge/Bleed printing is available on DL and C5 at a 25% surcharge. Jobs supplied with bleed artwork without the surcharge added will be rejected.

Ask us to add this additional option to your order.

Extra notes:

There is no full bleed option on C4 sized Mailing Machine Envelopes.

C4s are only available on Premium 120gm Peel+Seal stock.