Quality Envelope has always been a source for four color printing on envelopes.  However, since merging with Elite Envelope & Graphics, we can now be a direct source for envelope converting which is sometimes the best way to go when looking for a full color envelope.

Envelope converting machine in action

Envelope converting can be a confusing and somewhat daunting experience for someone not familiar with the all of the requirements.  The term simply means printing copy for an envelope on a flat sheet and having the sheets die cut and then folded and glued into envelopes.  You are “converting” sheets of paper into envelopes.   Once you’ve gone through the process for the first time; it becomes much clearer and easier to understand.

Here are the Top 5 things to keep in mind for your first converting job:

  1. Why convert? – If you want an envelope that features a large amount of ink coverage, generally with bleeds on most or all sides, the best way to proceed would be to print on flat sheets and convert. Anything short of that might be able to be printed on a jet press using pre-made or stock envelopes at a much lower cost. A converter and printer will be able to advise you on the best way to go based on a simple inspection of your artwork.
  2. Deal directly with an actual converter – Many companies that sell envelopes and have the word “envelope” in their name are not converters. It’s best to ask first before sending over an order.  You’ll be better served by those more experienced in the process and doing the job in-house.
  3. Preparation is the key to good results – A good converter should provide you with a specific list of instructions before you begin. Most important is a layout of the printed sheet showing where the envelopes should be placed.
  4. Not all design ideas are created equal – If the envelope is printed with a solid that bleeds to an edge, the image must wrap-around to the back by at least one-eighth of an inch in order to account for the normal variation inherent in the process.
  5. Understand what is possible in the process – speaking of variation, this is something that many designers don’t take into account when creating their envelope. Cutting paper in large reams and folding and gluing involves some variation – generally one-sixteenth of an inch in either direction.  This needs to be understood in order to have a satisfactory result and a realistic idea of what to expect.  Something that looks great in a marketer’s imagination doesn’t always translate to the finished product.

There is one exception to these rules which applies to small quantity jobs (usually up to around 3,000).  Digital printing can do bleeds to the edge on many different types of envelopes which can eliminate the need for converting on certain jobs.  Elite/Quality has such equipment which could save you some money depending on the design and the quantity.