If you are looking for an attractive but inexpensive envelope check out flexoprinting and a web-style envelope. Flexo printing has come a long way from when it was called a rubber stamp. You can also produce half tones and solid coverage.
By letting the printer/converter have the appropriate amount of time to manufacture an order and allowing them to find the most efficient raw materials for your custom order is the best way to get aggressive pricing. The materials in the envelope process (paper, patch, cartons) represent on average 35% of the envelope cost. The cost can rise 10%-20% if forced to purchase inefficient materials.
If you are trying to create a 4 color envelope but have the budget for only 2 color, running 2 PMS colors on a jet press using a mix of screens and solids will provide a more diverse look than just two solid colors.
When running three PMS colors, it may be cost efficient to actually run 4CP as many printers discount the set up time running process vs. PMS colors.
Envelope converters will experience 1/16” variance in either direction when die cutting envelopes. Designers need to take that into account especially when their design involves colors that they do not want to bleed. Realizing the variance, a designer may choose to avoid designs where color stops at the fold of an envelope.
Many envelope converters have switched their traditional window high dies (metal die) to magnetic or flexible die systems. The flex dies are much less expensive making it easier than ever to create unique pistol, double and odd shaped windows designed to help get your envelope opened.
The “brown paper bag” envelope is a completely automatically insertable envelope that is manufactured on International Paper 24# Sand Kraft to give the appearance of a brown paper bag. This makes the inference “we’ve cut all corners to give you this special offer” very believable.