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Booklets and Flats

If you mail booklets or flats, the U.S. Postal Service has new requirements.

For booklet letter mail (defined by the Postal Service as mailpieces that have pages held together by stitching or glue), the changes refer to the number, size, style, and location of tabs, dimensional constraints and higher outer cover stock adjustments, to mention a few. As of September 8, 2009, major changes to the booklet requirements include:

  • Three 1-1/2-inch nonperforated tabs will be required on most booklet designs; two on the leading edge and one on the trailing edge.
  • Trim size dimensions are reduced to a maximum height and length of 6 inches by 10-1/2 inches.
  • If length is under 9 inches, the outer stock can be 50 lb. If length is over 9 inches, the outer stock can be 60 lb. The minimum outer stock may be as low as 40 lb. if the piece is a flat, then folded in half to meet letter dimensions.

 

An alternative to tabbing is a press-pasted piece using glue tacks or a continuous glue line to seal the outer covers. Below are examples of designs approved by the US PS; one with a flap that is folded inward, and the second with shorter body pages with glue line or tacks on the longer outer cover.

In addition to the booklet letter changes, there's a change coming to Commercial Mail Flat mailings as well, which impacts Standard and Periodical mail. The deflection test (commonly referred to as the "droop test") gets stricter as of January 4, 2010. Previously, the US PS allowed a Flat (greater than 10 inches in length) to droop 4 inches when held over an edge. The new limit for "drooping" is 3 inches. For Flats less than 10 inches in length, the process does not change.

For more information, contact your Quad/Graphics Post-Press Service Representative or go to the U.S. Postal Service Web site.

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