Envelopes play a significant role in our daily communication, whether for personal correspondence, business mail, or special occasions. Among the variety of options, paper envelopes are perhaps the most common and versatile, with numerous styles to suit every need. In this blog post, we’ll explore the four major types of paper envelopes and their specific uses.

1. Standard Business (Commercial) Envelopes

Standard business or commercial envelopes are the most commonly used type in offices and businesses worldwide. They are ideal for sending letters, invoices, or other official documents. These paper envelopes usually come in white or manila and are available in several standard sizes, the most popular being #10 (4 1/8″ by 9 1/2″).

Commercial envelopes typically have a diagonal seam construction and a pre-gummed flap for closure. Some variants also come with a window cut-out, making it easy to display the recipient’s address printed on the enclosed document.

2. Announcement (A-Style) Envelopes

Announcement envelopes, also known as A-style envelopes, are perfect for personal and social correspondence, including invitations, thank you notes, and greeting cards. They come in a variety of sizes, colours, and textures, giving you plenty of options to match the tone and theme of your message or event.

A-style paper envelopes have square or rectangular flaps and are available in sizes that suit standard card dimensions. The side seams of these envelopes provide a clean, smooth surface ideal for printing return addresses or logos.

3. Catalog Envelopes

Catalog envelopes, also known as open-end envelopes, are designed to hold large, flat items such as catalogs, brochures, or large documents that shouldn’t be folded. These paper envelopes open on the short side and are typically secured with a gummed flap.

Their sturdy construction is perfect for mailing heavy or bulky items, protecting the contents from damage during transit. They are commonly available in kraft paper for extra durability.

4. Booklet Envelopes

Booklet envelopes are designed to carry multi-page documents, booklets, magazines, or promotional material. They open on the long side, allowing easy insertion of contents. Like catalog envelopes, they’re made with durable paper to withstand the weight of heavier items.

These paper envelopes provide ample space for custom printing on the front, making them popular for businesses that want to add branding or promotional messages.

The Influence of Material on Envelope Type

In the world of paper envelopes, the material used can significantly influence the envelope’s purpose and functionality. While all four types of envelopes mentioned above can be made from a variety of paper materials, certain materials lend themselves better to specific types.

Standard Business Envelopes: These are usually made from regular bond paper or a slightly thicker variant to ensure durability while maintaining a professional appearance. For environmentally-conscious businesses, recycled paper is often the material of choice.

Also Read: 13 Practical Tips For The New Entrants in Corporate Environment

Announcement Envelopes: A-style envelopes can be crafted from an array of materials to match their versatile use. Linen, cotton, or textured paper is often used for special occasions, while a gloss or matte finish can provide an extra touch of elegance.

Catalog Envelopes: These are typically made from thicker, more robust Kraft paper to withstand the rigors of mailing heavy or bulky items.

Booklet Envelopes: Like catalog envelopes, booklet envelopes are also usually made from sturdy Kraft paper. However, for more aesthetic appeal, especially in promotional use, they might also be made from coated or glossy paper.


When it comes to paper envelopes, understanding the four basic types—commercial, announcement, catalog, and booklet envelopes—can help you select the best option for your specific needs. Each type offers unique features and benefits, making them suitable for different purposes, from formal business correspondence to festive invitations and bulky catalogs. Next time you need an envelope, consider the purpose and choose accordingly to ensure your contents are delivered in style and safety.