Conveying inside dimensions in practical terms


While electronic communication is certainly my preference, I sometimes run into a situation where a printed document has to be sent by mail. And whenever that happens, it seems like I go on a wild goose chase to locate an envelope that’s big enough for the contents.

Why is this task so difficult? Most mailing or padded envelopes state their inside dimensions in terms of length and width, but there’s no information about how thick of a document will fit in there. For instance, an envelope with 9×12″ inside dimensions would probably hold a 10 page document with ease. But if the document is 100 pages, it might not fit at all.

What’s the solution? Add more detail to the inside dimensions that are printed on the envelope or its packaging. For example, it might say “Inside dimensions: 9x12x0.5″ — will hold up to 25 pages of letter-sized paper.” With this practical info in hand, customers will have a much easier time selecting the right option, and envelope makers will end up with far fewer returns from people who learned that the old measurements were far from complete.