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Envelope Sizes and Styles for Note Cards and Greeting Cards

announcement envelopesWith a dozen different envelope styles and hundreds of sizes in existence, how do you choose the right one for your note cards and greeting cards?

For artists who are creating greeting cards we like to simplify the process by following standard envelope styles, sizes and general availability in the United States.

Oak Creek Printworks includes announcement style envelopes with all custom printed greeting cards, and we sell announcement style envelopes in four sizes. Announcement envelopes have a square flap, while Baronial envelopes have a deep, pointed flap. Announcement envelopes are readily available in all the standard greeting card sizes. Baronial envelopes are manufactured in a variety of sizes, but available here by special order only.

The smallest announcement style envelope is an A2. If your card folds to one-quarter of a letter sized page, it’s an A2. The matching A2 envelope is slightly larger than the 4.25”x5.5” folded card, and measures 4.375”x5.625”. Envelopes and packaging for A2 note cards are available in the Oak Creek Printworks store.

The A6 card is slightly larger, measuring 4.625”x6.25” when folded. Its matching envelope is 4.75”x6.5”.

The A7 card folds to 5”X7”, and the corresponding announcement envelope is 5.25”x7.25”.

The A8 card folds to 5.25”x7.875”. The companion envelope is 5.5”x8.125”.

The A9 card is an 8.5”x11” letter sheet folded in half to 5.5”x8.5”. The companion envelope is 8.75”x5.75”.

Square cards fold to 5.25” square. The companion envelope is 5.5”x5.5”.

Panorama cards fold to 9.25?x4? with a #10 companion envelope measuring 9.5?x4.125?.

Other envelope sizes, and colors other than white are available by special order.

An amended version of an article originally published August 12, 2008.

Delicate Balance

This image was cropped to a square to ready it for a square greeting card design.

This image was cropped to a square to ready it to print a square greeting card.

A tiny flying insect that I called a “fairy-fly” landing on the flowering Nandina, aka Heavenly Bamboo, inspired me to do a quick photo shoot on my lunch hour last week.

“No matter the time you live, no matter who, or what you are, every one and every thing is in delicate balance.” Should I add typography to this image? What words? Different words? The jury is out. What do you think?


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Drawn to Color

beach front property

Just what was it about this old, weather-beaten shack that kept pulling me back to it, as if by some mysterious, invisible force?

It is one of my favorite photographs from a recent trip to the Caribbean. Okay, I know that seems a little weird, at least I thought so, because in the Caribbean there is a beautiful landscape-seascape at every turn, and so much Color.

In addition my work here at Oak Creek Printworks, I teach Publishing and Prepress as well as the Adobe Create Suite at Moorpark College, a local community college. This prompted me to sign up for the Adobe Creative Cloud. For a flat monthly fee, I now have a “virtual desktop” on the Adobe Creative Cloud Server. There I have access to, not only all of the latest versions of the programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, but easy access to a myriad of tools and videos that help with all things Adobe.

Adobe Creative Cloud Dock

One of the tools on my Creative Cloud desktop is a section labeled “Colors,” where Kuler (pronounced “cooler”) performs an “extraction” on the uploaded image. The extraction draws colors from the image and displays a color palette like the one in the illustration above. The new swatches can then be downloaded and used in the Creative Suite programs. I loaded the Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) file into Photoshop and used the new color swatches (the last 4 in the palette) to quickly work color into the “Beachfront Property” headline and background. I selected a typeface the felt like it belonged to the old shack…and that’s when it dawned on me.

Not only was this the identical color palette I had recently chosen when redecorating my kitchen, but it is a color palette that has been recurring in many important ways since my earliest memories, beginning with summer beach vacations, and the colors of my favorite room in my early childhood home. I relate to these colors in a profound way. You might say I’m drawn to them.

So I think these particular colors have just a little to do with my emotional attachment to this out-of-focus, tightly cropped image, which I intend to make into, well, something. Beyond that tiny bit of subjectivity, I will not critique this photograph any further. I’ll leave that to anyone who has read this far!

Featured Artist Update

Featured Artist header



Mark & Holly Jansen (2004)

Jansen Photo ExpeditionsMark Jansen, along with his wife Holly, run Mark Jansen Photography and Jansen Photo Expeditions. Jansen Photo Expeditions specializes in bringing their clients to beautiful areas of California and teaching them how shoot landscape photography. The tours include Big Sur, Eastern Sierra and Yosemite multi-day tours for SLR Photography. They have also been teaching local one-day workshops for special events including instruction for iPhone and SLR Photography in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. Plans for the future include photo tours of the Southwestern United States and Tanzania, Africa.

Mark and Holly Jansen

Airport Photo

Mark Jansen Photography specializes in large format murals and canvas prints for commercial applications.  Mark has his images in local businesses and commercial spaces including the Way Point Café in Camarillo, Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center and Development in Camarillo, Sysco Food Services in Oxnard, and the Santa Maria Airport Terminal.

Celebrating 10 Years Featuring Artists

Here at Oak Creek Printworks (OCPW) we began with an idea—help artists who are making greeting cards and prints market themselves using the internet. Starting in 2003 with an Etsy-like site, we tried helping artists sell their artwork, but soon found that we could be of more service to more artists by searching out the best packaging, presentation and display items and assembling them on a single, easy-to-use online site.

During the past ten years, we have featured dozens of artists and continue to do so, spotlighting three to four each year. As we approach 2013 and the year of our 10th Anniversary, we thought it would be fitting to provide an update to let you know what they are up to today. We have devoted six pages in our current print catalog to our former featured artists, and will post highlights periodically on the OCPW Blog.

Featured Artist header



Angela Sharkey (2009)

Angela Sharkey 2012 show poster

As an artist I am thrilled to be continuing my work as an art curator for the Tri-Mission Art Gallery at the US Embassy in Rome, Italy.  This job has proven to be very rewarding and I have grown as an artist myself.

I have gained a new perspective on art and life as an artist as I listen with excitement to the gallery artists as they explain their mediums with such passion—whether it be sculpture, painting, photography, mixed media, or textile art.

Promoting these artists and their art to the US Embassy community brings people together and has been an inspiration for everyone involved.
On March 8th I was honored to be a part of the Women’s Day celebration at the French Embassy, Palazzo Farnese in Rome with my art work.

For this show I painted a new abstract painting “My Garden” on a 100mx100m canvas.  This painting was painted during the big snow storm in Rome 2012. I was 1 of 10 international women artists representing the power of women for positive change in our world.  It was a wonderful experience to show my work in such a beautiful building surrounded by history and talented women.

My next solo show will be October 2012 at the Tri-Mission Art Gallery, Rome, Italy.  In the upcoming year I look forward to working with mosaics and painting in the country side of Italy with the warm sun on my face.

I’m a Photo Horder

unedited octopus

I was pretty sure that among the 200-some-odd photos I had taken, there had to be an octopus somewhere.


octopus, starfish

By opening up the shadow areas and toning down the highlights in iPhoto, the values are redistributed to more closely resemble the actual scene. However notice the reflection in the lower left quadrant of the screen.

In the small dark cavern, I would have completely missed the fact that the octopus was there at all had I not made the quick adjustments that open up the shadow details. I performed the adjusted preview in iPhoto on my Macintosh, but Microsoft’s comparable software is Windows Photo Gallery.

I learned lots of valuable lessons in photojournalism classes, many long forgotten, but a couple of lessons really stuck. Thirty years ago when, as students, we were advised to Shoot a lot, our biggest complaint was the cost of film.  Today, the cost of digital equipment pales when compared to film and processing costs, so I was surprised to learn that one of my companions on a day-long adventure to the Aquarium of the Pacific was throwing away photos after she previewed them on her iPhone, deciding they didn’t “turn out.” I wondered how it was possible to make such a quick decision about the images under such poor conditions and on such a small screen.

The next day, I showed my companion a rough edit slide show of my 230 images. I put them up on the big screen tv. She, on the other hand, had only 13 images, which we viewed on her iPhone. Granted she’s not a fanatic like me, and didn’t shoot as much as I did, but I can’t help by thinking about the photos she threw away. “What if there were details in the image that she missed on the small preview screen?” I wondered. “What if she could adjust her lighting after the fact?”

The reflection in the previous images has been replaced using the “content-aware” feature in Photoshop.

My first task after downloading photos to the computer is to make preliminary adjustments to the tonal values in the images. It’s a relatively “quick” and painless process, and I finished this batch in about 2 hours, or about 30 seconds per image. Unless you are serious about photography, you might unwittingly skip this most critical step, so that’s where the hording comes in to play. Don’t throw away any photos before you perform a quick adjustment to the image’s tonal values.

In the edited photo, the reflection in the lower left is more obvious than before, so I bring my photos into Adobe Photoshop where I make all the actual refinements and adjustments. To eliminate the glare, I made a feathered rectangular selection and filled the area using the “content-aware”  feature, which gathers data from nearby pixels to simulate the surroundings.

Cleveland Airport Layover

Dr. Gino

“Oh my, is he serious?”

As we approached our gate, I couldn’t help but be struck dumb by the goofy looking dentist in the billboard posted directly across from Gate 20C. Enough to stop me in my tracks, I read the headline, and grabbed my husband, Bob, by his shirtsleeve. “Is it just me?” I asked Bob. He saw the sign, and we looked at each other. After having a good chuckle, we took seats waiting at the gate, where I attempted to test my new camera equipment.

In all likelihood, as a graphic designer and teacher of design, I am not your typical observer, but I was a captive audience during a five-hour layover. Let’s just say I had a lot of time on my hands. The poor airport gate agents had to stare at Dr. Gino’s new ‘doo day after day.

“Uh, he’s not working on my teeth.”

One of the agents walked over to a small group of us who were being entertained by the reactions of the rushing travelers. “Do you think we should call him?” the agent asked the group. Several passengers gathered around the sign, and the three agents pondered over the dilemma. Should they, or shouldn’t they call Dr. Gino and warn him about the ruckus his sign is causing?

“Yes, but perhaps that was his intention? It could be a genius marketing plan,” a female agent suggested. “Look at all the people who are drawn to the ad and are talking about it.”

Passersby were surely gawking and talking about Dr. Gino. Maybe they’re still talking today.

“Honey, you’re not going to believe this.”

Airline passengers pass the time people-watching at a busy airport terminal where a billboard greeted arriving and departing travelers.

Consider Envelopes and Packaging Before Determining Card Size

We understand that when inspiration strikes, you want to start work immediately on creating your greeting cards. However, it is important to consider the size and style of the envelope and packaging before choosing the size for your card. Once the envelope size and style are chosen, create  the greeting card slightly smaller so that it will slide easily into your envelope.

It’s best to begin with the envelope style and size. Envelope styles are generally defined by their use; for example, commercial, booklet, ticket envelopes and so on. For artists and crafters creating greeting cards, one of two envelope styles are typically used—baronial and announcement envelopes, which differ in their size and the shape of the envelope flaps.

baronial style envelope

Baronial Style Envelope

Baronial envelopes are considered the most formal of envelope styles and have a deep, pointed flap. While they can be used for greeting cards, they are most widely used for formal invitations and announcements.

announcement style envelope

Announcement Style Envelope

Announcement envelopes are made to be used with a much wider range of text weight and cover papers than baronials and are distinguished by their shorter, squared flap, which can be plain or deckle-edged.

At Oak Creek Printworks, we carry mainly the announcement style envelopes because they are available in a wide range of paper colors and weights; whereas, with baronials, there is typically less choice.

Recently we were able to create a unique blank note card set with with matching baronial envelopes and we wanted to let you know about this new product.  We have created a limited quantity of matching cards and envelopes in bright yellow, hot pink, purple, lime green, and bright orange. A6 size bright note cards and matching baronial envelopes are an Oak Creek Printworks original!

envelope size chart


A6 size note cards with baronial style envelope