There are three main types of envelopes used in the US and they do not correspond to the ISO standard of paper sizes. They are known as Commercial, Announcement and Catalog. Other less known styles of envelope are Baronial, Booklet and Square. To identify the difference between a ISO size and the US size, a hyphen is often inserted between the letter and number. For example, A2 becomes A-2.
Commercial envelopes, also referred to as Office envelopes, are most commonly used in business situations as they are suitable for automated franking and filling. They are long and thin, with an aspect ration of between 1:1.6 and 1:2.2. The most well known commercial envelope is No.10, as it is able to fit Letter size paper folded three times, or Legal size paper folded four times parallel to the shorter side.
Announcement envelopes, also known as A series envelopes, are used for greeting cards, invitations and photographs. Their aspect ratio ranges between 1:1.3 to 1:1.6, which makes them more of a square shape, rather than long and thin like the Commercial envelopes. The most popular announcement envelopes are Lady Grey (A2) and Diplomat (A9).
Catalog envelopes are most commonly used for catalogs, brochures, and are made with a center seam to make them more durable.Their aspect ratio ranges between 1:1.3 and 1:1.5, making them very similar shape to the announcement envelopes.