Join Steve Harris for an in-depth discussion in this video Designing envelopes, part of Developing Brand Identity Collateral.
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In order to design an effectively branded envelope, we should first look at what information is essential to include. The main priority of our envelope is to make sure that customers or clients who might be receiving it know at a glance where the letter is coming from. You wouldn't want it to get mixed up with fliers or junk mail. Also, we need to make sure that the return address information is clear and legible, just in case our mail doesn't make it to the intended recipient. To start our envelope design, I'm actually going to reference our letterhead design.
First, I'll take the design that we created for our document without bleeds. I'm just going to copy this header element and I'll paste it into our envelope. Now, you'll see it takes up a little bit too much space on this envelope, so we should shrink it down to fit. Let's just move this up into the top-left corner. Next, I'm actually going to remove our email and phone information. That's not essential on an envelope. People are probably going to contact us based on the information on the letter contained in the envelope, so we don't need that on this.
Let's leave it out. Next, I'm going to shrink this text box down. I'd like the address to wrap so that it's contained in two lines. Next, I'm going to delete out this brown box and I'm going to move this box over. I want to maintain this rounded corner that we've established in our letterhead design, so let's just leave this in place here. Finally, I'm going to remove the orange bar underneath, and I'm going to shrink our logo down a little bit and move it over. Now it's time to start arranging these elements.
So, I'm going to just tighten up this box a little bit. We'll put our contact information in the top-left corner, and we may want to think about shrinking it down a little bit. So, I'm just going to scale it by grabbing the corner and holding Shift and Command and scaling it down. Next, we'll move our logo into place and scale that down a little bit too. We'll preview it by pushing W, and that looks pretty good. Finally, I'm going to create that orange outline you see in our final design.
And the way that I'm going to do that is just by copying this element, pasting it in place so it's pasted over top, I'll add a stroke instead of a fill, and let's select orange for our stroke. Now, if we just increase the size of this box a little bit, we can position it into place. I may need to zoom in a little bit to fine-tune this box. So lets shrink it down on the right side. We'll add a little bit more space below. And let's make sure it looks quite even throughout. So, we'll add a little bit of space there and maybe a little bit more on the top.
I'm happy with the look of this. Next, we need to create a design that uses bleeds, in case we're going to have these envelopes produced from scratch. To do so, I'm actually going to copy this and I'll paste it onto this second page, using Edit > Paste in Place. Next, I'm going to scale this brown box out to fill the bleed area. We'll make it a little bit bigger. We're not as worried about keeping it within tight margins in this version. I'm going to delete out this orange element and you notice that our rounded corner now is cut off in the bleed area.
So, I'm going to go Object > Corner Options. I'll make note of this as 1p4, or one pica and four points, and I'll set that same setting on our bottom-right corner. So, we'll set this to 1p4, and I'm going to change the top to not use a rounded corner, since we don't see it anyway. And click OK. Now, I'm going to just change the design around a little bit so that our logo is more prominent. Let's scale our logo up a little bit bigger. Let's move it onto the left side here, and we'll move our content onto the right.
I'm going to divide these two elements with an orange line, making sure to set our stroke as orange. Now that we got these two elements divided, we can place some other areas on the envelope. So as we did with our letterhead file, I'm going to just move this logo out and duplicate it. I'll cut off the red aspect and I'll scale up just the 30. Notice how this is jagged. Lets change our view settings to High Quality Display.
I'm going to rotate it a little bit, and we'll place it in the bottom corner, similar to how we did on our letterhead file. We want all of these elements to be consistent. Now notice how I did this from scratch, but if I wanted to, I could actually just copy it right from our letterhead file. So, let's copy that one and let's paste it into this document. Now, we've made sure we have the same angle on 30, and if we shrink it down a little bit, we can move it in the corner of this. Lastly, I'm going to include our tagline, a creative consultancy, in the bottom-left corner.
I use that on our letterhead file, so let's just copy it out and we'll paste it and position it in the bottom-left corner. I always recommend that you print your documents out after you design them, just to make sure that all the text is easily legible. One other thing you may want to consider in this design is, you'll notice that we didn't include the country, the United States, in this return address. That's fine if we're only going to be only mailing within the U.S.; however, if we're mailing internationally, we may want to add USA to the bottom and position this up into place.
I'm not a fan of this comma at the end of Madison Avenue so let's just delete that out. Remember to establish your hierarchy for brand elements and include the most important items first. In the case of our envelopes, we didn't need to include an email contact or a phone number, but it was of course absolutely essential that we included our full return address. Depending on our printing technique, we might be able to expand our design beyond the outer borders by using full bleeds; however, this method can be costly so check with your printer first.
- Setting up file dimensions and resolutions
- Using consistent fonts
- Creating custom swatches
- Designing the front and back of a business card
- Integrating a logo in designs
- Outputting files for proofing and printing
- Finding branding inspiration