Envelope Terminology


This style of envelope has a large pointed seal flap and is primarily used for greeting cards or social stationary. The name Baronial is derived from “baron” which signifies a high standing.

Business Reply or Return Envelope:

These two envelopes can be any style or size. The distinct difference between them is = “who pays the postage?” A business REPLY is referred to as the envelope that has a pre-printed First-Class Permit and return address on it and the original sender pays for its return. The business RETURN has a pre-printed return address but the individual returning the envelope must pay the postage.


All envelopes with the “open end” flap are called catalog.

Center Seam:

This is the permanent seam that is located approximately in the center of the envelope and runs from the bottom fold and seam up through the envelope and terminates at the throat.

Commercial Style:

These are the most common business style envelopes. They are “open side” of diagonal construction. This applies to a wide range of sizes from 6 1/4 through 14…both regular and window envelopes.

Diagonal Seam:

This is a seam running diagonally from the bottom fold and corner upward toward the throat of the envelope.

Flaps Folded Down:

This term refers to converted envelopes when their flaps are folded down against the back of the envelope. Most envelopes are packed in boxes in this fashion as opposed to with flaps extended.

Open End:

A style of envelope on which the opening in on the shorter side. All open end envelopes are called catalog or coin envelopes.

Open Side:

A style of envelope on which the opening is on the longer side. All commercials and booklets are open side.


A style of Commercial, Official, or Bankers Flap envelope which does NOT have a window panel cut out of it.


A large style seal flap of approximately the same size and shape as the envelope itself.

Square Flap:

A style of flap with straight edges and rectangular corners.


Any style envelope having a panel or panels cut out of its face and/or back to permit viewing a portion of its contents.

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