Designing Mail Pieces

Mail piece design is critical in order to meet certain guidelines that the postal service has established. Designing mail pieces should take careful and thoughtful planning. The mailroom has several templates and publications that can be loaned out. These will help insure that your mail piece will be accepted by the U.S. Postal Service and will not be delayed in transit due to poor design. Listed below are some of the common guidelines that are often overlooked.

  • Minimum size requirement 3 1/2" x 5" and at least .007" thick. For all mail classes.
  • Maximum postcard size 4 1/4" x 6"
  • Nonstandard surcharge,First Class Mail: For mail weighing less than one ounce (normal letter weight), a surcharge per piece will be added to postage. For violation of any of the following: Incorrect / lack of permit imprint
    • Maximum thickness 1/4"
    • Length greater than 11 1/2"
    • Height greater than 6 1/8"
    • If its aspect ratio (length divided by height) does not fall between 1 to 1.3 and 1 to 1.25, inclusive (use template, available in mailroom).
  • Incorrect return address
  • Paper color wrong, mail cannot be metered
  • Printing or address in barcode clear zone
  • Printing, stickers or address in postage area
  • These are a few of the common mistakes, failure to have mail piece approved by the mailroom manager could result in it being rejected by the mailroom or U.S. Postal Service or being unmailable. Even if you have mailed similar items in the past it is strongly suggested that you obtain approval from the mailroom manager before printing.