First of all, the greeting cards themselves have an inside surface that is easy to write on and is made to resist smudging. That is not a claim that we make lightly. We choose card stocks that feel good in the hand with a nice weight and ‘snap’ to them. And we test the no-smudge quality by writing on them as though we were sending a card on that card stock.
The same goes for the envelopes. We supply our cards with white envelopes that are easy to write on too. We test that by writing an address and return address on the envelopes.
In case you are wondering whether we use our own cards when we send cards to friends and family, well we generally do not use our own cards because we want to try different cards from different businesses. That’s how we learn how cards generally resist smudging.
That’s not just marketing fluff from us. You may have bought a card from some other brand where the inside surface of the card is SO shiny that the pen skates across the surface and the ink sits on the surface and smudges as soon as you touch it. The same with envelopes, especially those shiny silvery looking ones. So ours aren’t like that. We take care that our envelopes are made of paper that doesn’t smudge easily.
And then there’s colour. White is terrific for showing the best contract between the writing and the base colour. If you ever bought a deep red envelope, or a silver one, you know how difficult it is to see the writing clearly with good contrast. And we think brown Kraft ribbed envelopes have poor contrast.
This all matters for the obvious reason of someone being able to read it. But it also matters for the way the card goes through the system at the Royal Mail sorting office. It’s all done by machines. The first sort is to decipher the postcode. Then the system breaks the batch down to smaller blocks of address locations. And if the machine cannot read the envelope because of the poor contrast between the writing and the envelope, then a human has to manually check it. And that means a possible delay in getting through the system.
Getting back to colour, there is the obvious reason for using white and that is that it goes with every other colour. Our cards come in every colour you can think of, and white shows every colour well. And the card stock we use for the cards has a white base colour. So for us it is a no-brainer to use white envelopes.
This article first appeared on the Flying Twigs blog about white envelopes.