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Envelope Openings

Envelope Opening Styles

While envelopes can vary widely in style and size, there are just two main types of opening which apply to almost all envelopes - pocket and wallet. A pocket opening refers to an envelope with an opening on the short edge. This is sometimes referred to as an “open end” style. A wallet opening refers to envelope with an opening on the long edge, which is sometimes referred to as an “open side” style envelope.

Both have their advantages and when deciding which style of envelope opening is best for your needs there are some key points you should consider, such as:

  • Content insertion
  • Aesthetics
  • Suitability for content

envelope opening types

Best envelope opening for machine insertion

If you have a large scale mailing and the contents will be inserted by machine then we always recommend speaking to your mailing house to find out which style of envelope they need to run on their machines before purchasing.

Best envelope opening for hand insertion

Both pocket and wallet style envelopes are suitable for inserting contents by hand.

Consider the contents

What will you be putting into your envelopes? Consider whether it will be easier to insert the item with a wider (wallet) or shorter (pocket) opening on the envelope. Think too about how you wish the contents to appear to the recipient when they open the envelope.

An aesthetically pleasing envelope opening

In some cases the priority may be how the ‘finished product’ will appear to your recipient. Usually when holding an envelope you will naturally have the opening at the top, which means a pocket style envelope will be viewed in portrait orientation, while a wallet envelope will be viewed in landscape.

A portrait orientation can sometimes seem more business-like, so this may be more appropriate for important documents or brochures, while a landscape orientation can seem less official and so an event invitation or greeting card may seem more attractive as a package in a wallet style envelope.


Now you're familiar with envelope opening styles why not extend your envelope knowledge and learn about Envelope Flap Styles or head back to the Envelope Education menu. If you're ready to choose your perfect envelopes then head to our homepage or use the top menu to browse.


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