Effective communications use proper grammar, are succinct and best done in sizes and formats which fit standard size envelopes (to reduce envelope and postal expense).

Business announcement and invitation "sizes" are distinct from social stationery sizes which tend to convey less information in smaller quantity.

Professional Announcement & Invitation Sizes

  • Size 3 Cards: 5 3/8" by 3 ½" 
  • Size 4 Cards: 5 3/8" by 4 1/8" 
  • Size 5 Cards & Folders: 4 ½" by 6" 
  • Size 6 Cards & Folders: 5 1/8" by 7 ¼"

Size 5 & 6 messages can be printed vertically or horizontally, but traditional form is that they be "taller" rather than "wider" (like folded note cards). Any size can be "flat" or "paneled" (the center is ‘recessed' to leave a ½" wide "frame" around the printed content). Paneling reduces ‘printable area, ' yields a more formal look, and is often done to convey brief content in a slightly larger format. When folders are paneled, typically only the front page is given a ‘frame,' and no printing is done on "page 2."

Matching Envelope Sizes

  • Size 3: 5 5/8" by 3 5/8"
  • Size 4: 5 ¾" by 4 3/8" 
  • Size 5: 6 ½" by 4 ¾" 
  • Size 6: 7 5/8" by 5 5/16"

It's important to print your return address on envelope flaps to ensure return of "undeliverable mail" and update your mailing list. Traditionally, firm name is Not Included with the address for return mail purposes.

"Describing Your Firm"

Multi-named firms can be treated as a singular entity if desired. Often firms fail to mention their profession using "LLP," LLC," or "A Professional Corporation" rather than a definitive title such as "The Law Firm of," "Attorneys" or "Certified Public Accountants." Generally speaking, this tends to ‘weaken' a reader's perception of your expertise.

"Singular or Plural ?"

These general guidelines are suggested:

Irving H. Washington
{Singular. "He" announces, etc.)

Peterson, Ostrom & Stanley
{Plural. "We" announce, etc.}

Peterson, Ostrom & Stanley, LLP
{Singular. "The firm" announces, etc.}

Peterson, Ostrom & Stanley
{Singular. "The Partnership" announces, etc.}

Which Printing Process Should I Use?

This varies according to your firm's brand image, the audience, possible artwork and the quantity being produced.

General Rule of Thumb:

Engraving, the "greenest print process," is used to express exceptional professionalism,
used to print "light colors" on dark stocks and for Invitation "security purposes."

Lithography, "flat printing," is used when multiple colors of ink are produced in large quantity (500 or more) and typically requires "light colored" stocks. 

Digital Color Printing, also "flat printing," is used to economize when complex artwork
and/or multiple colors of type are used in quantities of "less than 500" at a time and
typically requires "light colored" stocks.

Foil Stamping & Embossing are used for "firm identity" when already in use elsewhere to
consistently convey your firm's brand image on any color of stock.

Letterpress, "slightly recessed" printing, is generally associated with social communication
but appropriate if used elsewhere to convey your firm's brand image and also works
best on "light colored" stocks.

Die-cutting, which yields distinctive visual images, often ‘revealing' another color beneath
the die-cut shape or maximizing attention to unusual design features, can be done
on any stock.

Thermography, a "non-green" printing process sometimes used to create ‘raised print'
when artwork is unsuitable for other processes (engraved or litho/embossed
treatment), generally works best on "light colored" stocks.

What's most important: consistently use your firm's existing brand image, as
consistency and repetition are fundamental to brand building.

While most announcements and invitations use premium quality papers (vellum stocks), those with commercial images can be produced on a wide array of cover stocks. "Raised printing" (engraving and thermography) and "foil stamping" are the only processes which enable satisfactory printing of "light colors" on dark stocks.