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Glossary Of Terms




The following are descriptions of common standard style envelopes and commonly used terms.


Adjustable Die
Dies that have movable blades which can be adjusted to produce the size and shape of the envelope blank desired.
Additions to an envelope like clasp, or button and string.
Back Gum
The adhesive used as a permanent seal between the bottom and side envelope flaps.
Bacl Gum Adhesives
The adhesive used as a permanent seal between the bottom and side envelope flaps.
Bank Drive-In (Teller)
Open end style with a single side seam left purposely unsealed. The seal flap is available in un-gummed or latex seal. Used by financial institutions for currency transfer.
Bank-By-Mail (Bangtail Envelopes)
This construction combines the statement stuffer and the return envelope in one. Perforated coupon attached to the body of the envelope; must be torn off before the envelope is sealed. Used for remittance envelopes and other direct mail applications.
Bar Code Reading
Machine reading of pre-printed vertical bars which signify numbers and letters of the alphabet.
A style of envelope that has a large pointed seal flap and is nearly square in dimension. Used for greeting cards and announcements.
Paper stock die cut into appropriate envelope shape. When folded, the blank becomes the desired envelope.
When the printed image extends beyond the fold of an envelope.
A large open side style with side seams and the seal flap on the long side. Usually used for mailing booklets and multiple unfolded documents
Business reply envelope.
Business Reply & Return
Refers to the printing on the outside, the difference being who pays for return postage. Both have the address pre-printed on the face. A business reply includes a pre-printed First Class Permit indicia, while the return envelope requires the sender to affix postage.
A large open end style with a center seam and the seal flap on the short side. Normally used for mailing catalogs and multiple unfolded documents.
Cello, Patched Window
Completely transparent.
Center Seam
The permanent seam used to construct the envelope. Positioned near the center and running from the bottom fold to the throat.
Small open end style with a single side seam. Used for currency transfer and by some businesses to hold small parts.
The most common and widely used style. Has an open side with or without windows.
Corner Card
The printed name, address, etc. appears in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope.
Cross Grain
The paper grain that runs diagonally across the envelope.
Diagonal Seam
The permanent seam used to construct the envelope running diagonally from the bottom fold and corner to the throat.
Expansion Envelopes
A special envelope produced with gussets enabling it to expand and accommodate bulky mail.
Extended Flap Envelopes
Envelopes with the seal flap extended (not folded down).
Flip & Seal
An open side style with side seams and 2 small latex seal flaps, one in the standard position and the other folded down from the throat. As the name implies, the lower flap is flipped up to seal. It is available as a Regular or Window. Commonly used in the medical professions.
Full Gum
Continuous layer of adhesive applied on the seal flap.
Gummed or Seal Gum
The most commonly used adhesive to seal an envelope — requires moisture. All envelopes have this type of adhesive unless otherwise noted.
Printing in the upper right hand corner. Commonly found on business reply and return envelopes denoting method of postage payment.
Inside Tint
Refers to the overall printing image on the inside of the envelope blank in order to make the envelope opaque or less transparent.
Latex Seal
A self-sealing pressure sensitive adhesive that does not require moisture. Latex seal will only adhere to itself and therefore, two latex surfaces are required to obtain a bond.
A diagram showing the position of blanks on the sheet size to be used for a job.  Layouts are provided to allow a printer to strip his job up so as to have the printed image fall within the area from which the envelope blank is to be cut.
Live Stamp Gum
There is no top flap gum directly under the position where the postal stamp is placed to avoid blocking.
Mcintyre Corners
Predominantly found in booklet style envelopes. These notches are made at the top of the two side seams shoulders to facilitate automatic insertion.
Open end, single side seam.
Open End
The throat and seal flap are on the short side.
Open Face Window
A window opening with no cover.
Open Side
The throat and seal flap are on the long side.
Open side, diagonal seam.
Open side, side seam.
A produced quantity that ‘over-runs’ or ‘under-runs’ the specified quantity ordered by the customer. Due to machine speeds and/or set-up losses, over-runs and under-runs are unavoidable in making orders. Percent over or under varies with the size of the order (percentage is lower on higher-quantity runs).
Patched Window
A window opening with a specific covering material.
Peel & Seal
A self adhering seal strip on the seal flap with a protective strip covering the adhesive. As the name implies, the protective seal is peeled away to expose the adhesive and close the envelope. No moisture is required.
Pantone matching system.
A unit of thickness equal to 1/1000 of an inch.
Poly Patched Window Poly
Slightly opaque in appearance, most commonly used.
Pressure Sensitive
An adhesive which is applied to the flap only and covered by a release paper. When the paper is removed, the adhesive is activated.
Any envelope without a window.
An open side style with side seams and a large seal flap nearly the size of the envelope itself.
A gum that requires moisture to activate the adhesive.
Seal Flap
The extended portion of the envelope which is scored so it can be folded over the throat to seal the envelope.
Seal Gum
Remoisten able adhesive applied to the top flap of the envelope.
Side Seams
Where the seams runs almost parallel to the side fold.
Side Seams Inside
Where the side seams folds under the back flap.
Side Seams Outside
Where the side seams folds over the back flap.
The permanent seam used to construct an envelope, running parallel to the side fold from the bottom fold and corner to the throat.
Split Seam Gum
Gum pattern on seal flap when envelopes are to be used on automated inserting equipment. Gum is broken where flap covers envelope seams; prevents flap from sticking to the back panel during storage in humid conditions.
Straight Grain
Envelopes manufactured with the grain direction parallel to or perpendicular to the length or width of the envelope.
Teller Helper
An open side style with side seams and a larger than normal seal flap with a special latex seal tab. Commonly used by financial institutions.
The opening into an envelope that is covered by the seal flap when the envelope is closed.
Thumb Cut
A notched opening to allow easy access to contents.
Wallet Flat
Full width rectangular seal flap on envelopes.
An opening cut into the envelope that allows the inside materials to be viewed.