As you design your Corporate Identity packages, there are some
necessary points to bring up about envelope design.
While logo, letterhead and business card design have, depending
on the company, very few rules, since envelopes are mailed they
have to conform to the standards of the United States Postal Service
in several areas.
Take a look at this diagram:
The most important area to note is the Barcode clear zone at the
bottom right of the envelope. That area needs to be blank for the
postal barcode. It can be colored, but light colors are advisable
so the bar code can be properly read by the postal bar code reading
machines. The rest of the information in the diagram is guidelines.
Your return address area doesn’t have to be 33% of the height
of the envelope, that’s just an example. Have fun with this.
Be creative. Don’t forget the back of the envelope, either.
Just leave that 5/8” by 4-3/4” area clear and go from
One thing that will help organize and draw interest to your collateral
materials is a visual hierarchy. Different items should be emphasized
more or less than others. For example, on a business card, the name
is more important than the title. You need to provide visual contrast
of the elements to guide the viewer. You tell their eye where to
go and let them know an order of importance of the elements. Remember
that a business card can be a tricky thing. It is not only an informational
piece, it’s a calling card (no pun intended) for the attitude
of the company.
There are many ways to achieve contrast in a Corporate Identity
package or any graphic design piece. Size, value, weight, white
space, position, and color are just a few ways to create contrast.
Obviously the largest, darkest, heaviest element on a page will
stand out the most, thus making it the most important in the hierarchy.
White space and position are often overlooked in the visual hierarchy.
If all the information is the same weight, but one element is separated
from the rest and surrounded by white space, it will be at the top
of the visual hierarchy.
Let’s look at a quick example:
Number One is a bad example of a business card.
All of the information has the same size and weight. There is center,
left and right alignment. Your eye doesn't know where to go. Things
are evenly spaced. (This is an actual card layout that you will
see in "quickie" shops like the Office Max Print Center).
Number Two is a little better. The information
has been grouped into relevant chunks and the name is at a larger
size and heavier weight. It’s easy to pick out the phone or
fax. This is a pretty boring card, though. It might be acceptable
for, say, an investment banking firm or other conservative company,
but it wouldn’t be appropriate for a ski and snowboard shop.
Number Three is the best of the three (but by
no means perfect. You can do better than this). Not only is information
broken up by size and weight, there is the added contrast of position
and white space around the name and title.
Additional contrast could be added with color, value, etc.
Each piece of your Corporate Identity package needs to be consistent
with the other pieces. If you have a thick red line on the letterhead,
you need to find some way of incorporating a thick red line (or
the idea of one) on the business card and envelope. This is not
to say that the pieces have to be identical in every element. They
have to be consistent. It should be obvious that the pieces belong
to the same package.
“Once the elements have been determined and laid out,
all the parts – or forms – within the identity, including
letterforms and icons, must be brought into visual agreement with
one another. Even those elements purposefully different from one
another must still seem to be linked.” – Allison
Goodman, The 7 Essentials of Graphic Design.
||Optional: Web Address
|Phone (may incl. extention)
|Optional: Direct Phone
|Optional: Mobile Phone