Invitations, Announcements

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Paper Shapes

...for birth announcements and other baby stationery

If your child will be a star football player or a famous musician, why not send out a birth announcement in the shape of a football or a piano? While most birth announcements or invitations are flat rectangular cards, many artists have designed cards that have a unique shape or type of fold. Cards with non-traditional shapes such as square cards or long cards can be a creative way to convey a unique, one-of-a-kind theme associated with your child or event.

Guide to Shapes

Pink Screaming Baby Shower Invitations Blue Verse Photo Baptism Invitations


The traditional rectangular flat card is still the most common card shape for announcements and invitations. A flat rectangular card elegantly communicates the message and encourages the recipient to save the card as a memento.


Square cards have become a very popular design direction. These cards capture everyone's attention before they are opened and the recipient knows immediately that the content is unique and special.


Cards can also have an extra long rectangular shape with a length to width ratio exceeding 2:1. These distinctly different cards are perfect for party invitations and a good way to distinguish your message from others.

Die-Cut Shapes

Announcements and invitations in the shapes of favorite animals, shapes or symbols are an excellent way to communicate a fun and distinct non formal event.


A panel is the center section of your card that is framed by a raised area of paper for an additional classic touch.


Folded announcements and invitations are popular because they provide designers with multiple surface areas to communicate a design. Folded cards with die cuts can convey a fun and whimsical theme. Some common types of folded cards include side-folded, multi-folded, and accordion style.

Postage Requirements

The U.S. Postal Service imposes weight and size requirements for mail. If these requirements are not observed, the USPS may add a surcharge due to the added expense of processing and sorting. Nonconforming mail may also be damaged from high-speed post office machinery.

Postal requirements can change. Contact your local Post Office, or visit the U.S. Postal Service website ( to verify current requirements.

Size Standards

The USPS thickness requirement is designed to eliminate flimsy cards and other mail that does not have the stiffness to be processed mechanically. All mail pieces .25 inches thick or less must be: rectangular in shape, at least 3.25 inches high, and at least 5 inches long. A mail piece must be at least .009 (9 pt.) inches thick.


Only envelopes and cards with light colors that do not interfere with automated address-reading should be used. Do not use brilliantly colored envelopes. Highly glazed paper and paper with complex designs are not acceptable.


Envelopes and cards should be constructed of paper strong enough to withstand normal handling. For envelopes intended for automated handling, the USPS requires construction from at least 16-pound paper and recommends 20-24 pound basis weights.

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