What Is a Pressure Seal Form and How Does It Work?

With pressure seal, you can create, process and deliver mailed pieces without an envelope. In fact, by eliminating the printed envelope (and the related folding, stuffing and gluing) from the process, pressure seal is a more cost-effective, green alternative for office mailings.

When it comes to mailings, are you looking to reduce costs for materials, labor and postage? Of course you are! What if we told you that you could also increase productivity by reducing processing time? Sounds ideal! Pressure seal technology makes it not only possible, but easy! With pressure seal, you can create, process and deliver mailed pieces without an envelope. In fact, by eliminating the printed envelope (and the related folding, stuffing and gluing) from the process, pressure seal is a more cost-effective, green alternative for office mailings.

What is a pressure seal mailer exactly?

You’ve definitely seen pressure seal mailers before! They are sealed on the sides and have perforations that allow you to open the mailer. Like this:

How is a pressure seal form created?

Pressure seal requires a one-page, self-sealing document—such as a form or a check—and a folder/sealer machine to fold and seal the document. The forms can first be printed on an office laser printer and then fed through the folder/sealer machine. Unlike other types of mailers that require heat or liquid for sealing, a pressure seal document is sealed through pressure. Folding aligns patterns of cohesive, which is applied to edges of the form during manufacturing. When the folded form passes through a series of sealing rollers that apply pressure, the cohesive is activated, creating a seal.

Wait, what is a cohesive?

Unlike standard adhesives, a cohesive requires that two patterns be placed on top of each other to create the bond. Cohesives adhere only to each other and only when very high pressure is applied. This technology alleviates the risk of damaging a printer with a more traditional heat or water-based glue on the form. Pressure seal forms emerge from the folder/sealer securely sealed and ready to mail. In fact, this security is one of the reasons that pressure seal forms have significantly higher open rates than a traditional direct mail piece.

Examples of documents you can send using pressure seal:Pressure Seal Form Examples

  • Checks
  • Utility bills
  • PIN information
  • Test results
  • Invoices
  • Medical bills
  • Transcripts
  • Tax forms
  • Past due notices
  • Marketing pieces
  • Statements
  • PIN information
  • Recall notices

Regardless of what you’re sending, ULTRASEAL self-mailers offer a more cost-effective and time-saving solution to traditional envelopes or other types of mailers. For additional information on pressure seal forms and equipment, watch this video, download our pressure seal whitepaper, contact us or give us a call at 800.777.7359.

Download Pressure Seal White Paper

*This blog post was originally published on November 8, 2010, it was updated and republished on April 19, 2019.

Stationery Store Saves Time on Design with Unusual Marketing Piece

Fred Montoya worked with Relyco’s creative team to produce a custom pressure seal marketing piece for his stationery store that revealed surprise deals to his potential customers at a trade show. The piece was a successful icebreaker and it enabled Fred to start conversations and gain leads.


Ecru is a retail stationery store located in Portland, Maine. They focus on personalized wedding invitations, stationery, gifts and fine paper. Fred Montoya, Ecru’s owner, worked with Relyco’s creative team to produce a custom pressure seal marketing piece that revealed surprise deals to his potential customers at a trade show. The piece was a successful icebreaker and it enabled Fred to start conversations and gain leads.

So how did a “boring” pressure seal mailer become a trade show hit?

Fred wanted to do a creative piece for promotion at a trade show, but he didn’t have the time to design it himself and needed it quickly. Enter: Lyndsay Vachon, one of Relyco’s Account Representatives.

A unique spin on a traditional product

Lyndsay suggested that Fred work with our creative team to produce a flip-tab pressure seal mailer. (It’s worth noting that pressure seal mailers are not our flashiest products – some folks might even call them boring – so Lyndsay’s suggestion was pretty unconventional.) But she predicted that the peel-back tab would make opening that type of mailer a fun and different experience for trade show attendees. Spoiler alert: she was right!

Relyco’s creative team designed and printed the piece and Fred brought a basket of mailers to the show. The mailers were anything but boring; they were beautiful and the inside of each mailer revealed a discount percentage! There were three levels of discounts, which included a grand prize $1000 wedding suite with invitations printed in-house. According to Fred:

“The product was amazing at the show. Most people had drawings of some sort, but with me, it was different, it was instant. It created this atmosphere of anticipation and excitement every time someone approached my booth. I was very happy with it.”

Play the video above or click here to see the mailer and learn more about how and why Ecru used this marketing piece.

How did working with Relyco on this marketing piece benefit Ecru?

  • Fred’s time was freed up to prepare for the trade show – we took care of the promotional piece, from idea to finished printed product
  • A tight deadline was met on time and within budget
  • Ecru received more leads than expected by using the pressure seal mailer

If you find yourself in Fred’s position, where you need design help and/or you’re facing time constraints, consider utilizing Relyco’s design team. We can help you get the same results on your custom project. Click here or on the button below to request a consultation with our design team.

Marketing & Print Design Consultation

3 Sensitive Mail Items Banks Should Never Send in Envelopes

Banks send a huge amount of mail to customers each year, including account notices and checks. All of these mailings include sensitive account information that, in the wrong hands, could lead to identity theft. Prevent your customers from becoming victims with pressure seal technology.


While traditional mail may seem like the least technologically-advanced of the many methods of communication we have at our disposal today, it’s still an incredibly important part of how we send, receive, and protect sensitive or vulnerable information—most often information related to money.

The banking industry still sends a huge amount of mail to customers each year, including account notices and checks. All of these mailings include sensitive account information that, in the wrong hands, could lead to identity theft.

So how do we protect that information? According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, identity theft is America’s fastest-growing crime, with more than 9.9 million Americans victimized last year. Now, only four percent of identity theft victims cited stolen mail as the source of their used personal information, but that’s still almost 400,000 people.

Prevent your customers from becoming identity theft victims. Read on to learn about which mail items are most vulnerable and how to protect them.

Vulnerable Mail Items

Checks, overdraft notices, and PIN notices are among the most vulnerable mail items sent from banks, because they contain the information necessary to access a customer’s account. Often these items are sent in window envelopes, which aren’t necessarily unsafe in and of themselves, but can alert would-be thieves to the importance of the contents.

How do you mail something that is not in an envelope? With pressure seal technology.

How to Protect Mail Items With Pressure Seal

The pressure seal mailer is a one-piece document printed, folded, sealed, and mailed ensuring the confidentiality of the contents. Pressure seal mailers are available as stock or custom items, and some are printed on special security papers with block-out panels to further protect the content.

Pressure seal forms are also processed through special equipment designed to protect, fold, and seal the documents, actually protecting the content even from the operator.

Additionally, using pressure seal mailers will increase the likelihood of the forms being opened and responded to. By using pressure seal forms, banks are demonstrating that they are taking the extra step to safeguard customers’ privacy, and customers will appreciate the bank’s efforts on their behalf. That appreciation tends to create a greater customer loyalty.

Relyco’s Pressure Seal Solutions

Relyco has a wide range of pressure seal check stock with a variety of security features that is always available to ship. We also have blank stock that can be used to send confidential messages to customers.

We also are capable of creating custom forms, allowing banks to create confidential documents for any purpose.

For additional information on pressure seal forms and equipment, give us a call and speak to a knowledgeable customer service representative.

Download Pressure Seal White Paper

FedEx and UPS Rates Rising: Save Money With Pressure Seal

Shipping is an expensive, time-consuming, but essential part of many business operations. Let us tell you about how pressure seal can save you time and money!

Pressure Seal Shipping

Just in time for the holiday season, both FedEx and UPS recently announced rate increases that will take effect between December 2015 and January 2016.

The companies said that shipping rates will go up about 4.9 percent because of increased costs, changing demand, and a number of other factors.

Bah humbug.

Shipping is an expensive, time-consuming, but essential part of many business operations. We at Relyco understand that, and we’d like to suggest another option for you.

Pressure Seal

What is pressure seal? Pressure seal eliminates the need for envelopes in your shipping process—as well as the need for any water, glue, or heat to seal said envelopes–as forms and checks are manufactured with a special coating that is activated during the sealing process.

Once the pressure seal form, check, or mail piece is printed (the paper is compatible with today’s office laser printers), it can be fed into a pressure seal machine, which takes care of all of the folding and sealing, utilizing pressure that activates the special paper coating.

The machine completely seals the edges of the piece to create a ready-for-mail document.

Will It Really Save Me Money?

Yes, we did mention special paper and special equipment, so you may be thinking, “How is this pressure seal thing supposed to save me from the increased shipping costs?”

Believe it or not, a pressure seal system can cut your costs by eliminating envelope inventory and reducing man hours spent hand-stuffing envelopes. Pressure seal also substantially increases open rates, raising your overall return on investment.

Interested in learning more about pressure seal forms and equipment? Contact a Relyco representative today!

Download Pressure Seal White Paper

How to Protect Student and Faculty Confidentiality with Pressure Seal Forms

Here’s how pressure seal forms help educational facilities control documents that are created and issued in-house without exposing sensitive information.

Pressure Seal for Schools

With their incredible variety of documents for students, administrators, and vendors, educational facilities need a way to control the delivery of the documents they create and issue without exposing sensitive information.

How Schools Use Pressure Seal Forms

One way educational organizations can protect the information they produce is by using pressure seal technology. Pressure seal is a great solution for:

  • Billing and payroll
  • Grade reports
  • Class schedules
  • Dorm assignments
  • ID cards
  • Transcripts
  • Employee communications

Sensitive information printed on pressure seal forms are loaded into a pressure seal machine which folds and seals the document and outputs a ready to mail piece. With very little exception, there is no confidential information exposed, and the pieces can go into the mail or be hand delivered with the contents protected.

Essential Security Features for Schools

The block-out panels and secure seal limit the ways in which private information can be exposed. Just what pressure seal forms will work best for you? It really depends on the information being transmitted.

Forms with up to 15 different security features are available in several formats for checks. Blank forms are available for transcripts, grade reports, dorm assignments, class schedules etc.

Custom Pressure Seal Options for Schools

Some institutions prefer to have a form with their logos in school colors, or their return addresses printed on the mailing label. Some want additional security features such as logos in the middle of the form in a heat sensitive ink (color fades when exposed to high heat and returns as it cools). Whatever is needed, a custom form can be created.

Regardless of the application, there is a Relyco ULTRASEAL product that will work, be it off-the-shelf stock or custom-designed.

Download Pressure Seal White Paper

How to Improve Survey Response Rates: A Pressure Seal Case Study

Response rates waning? Consider your invitations. This pressure seal case study reveals how a simple change in their paper stock helped Cognizant realize better ROI.

Response Rate Pressure Seal Case Study

Pressure seal self-mailers have obvious cost-saving benefits over traditional envelope-style direct mail. But the ROI of switching to a pressure seal solution can go deeper than dollars saved on equipment and production.

This case study describes how switching to a Relyco pressure seal solution helped one global healthcare company improve response rates on customer-polling surveys.

Pressure Seal Case Study: Cognizant

Cognizant provides IT and process outsourcing services to businesses around the globe. With their acquisition of MarketRx, Inc., a leading provider of life sciences-related analytics and software services, Cognizant needed an easy way to survey physicians on various topics in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices segments.

The survey process began with a written invitation sent to physicians at their offices or home addresses. But when survey response rates began to decline, the team at MarketRx/Cognizant grew concerned that quality of the invitations they mailed to physicians stopped them from participating in the surveys.

Higher Quality Self-Mailers = Better ROI

Cognizant soon validated their hunch when they switched out the type of paper they used in their surveys and saw response rates jump back to normal.

“We had become very dissatisfied with the paper provided by our previous vendor,” explained Keiron Guishcard, senior analyst at MarketRx/Cognizant. “The pressure seal paper Relyco provided for our invitations was of far better quality and, surprisingly, was even more cost effective. When we distributed invitations using Relyco paper, our response rate returned to expected levels and we were able to realize a greater return on investment.”

The success of this strategy is due in part to the high quality of Relyco’s ULTRASEAL® pressure seal forms, and in part to the official look and feel of pressure seal forms in general; which encourage increased open rates. But perhaps the most important lesson from Cognizant’s case study is that your paper stock can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of direct-mail surveys.

Schedule a Pressure Seal Consultation

How to Choose the Right Pressure Seal Forms for Your Application

How do you decide on which pressure seal forms will fit your needs? Can you take advantage of stock pricing and availability, or will you need to go custom?

Pressure Seal Form Folds

Ordering pressure seal forms for the first time, or for a new machine, can be a confusing, trial-by-error process. But it doesn’t have to be. There are just a few questions you need to resolve to figure out what pressure seal stock to order:

  • What fold format do you need for your planned application?
  • What size forms can your pressure seal machine process?
  • Do you have a simplex (one sided) or duplex (two sided) printer?
  • Can you use off-the-shelf pressure seal forms or should you order a custom solution?

So, how do you know what to order? We’ll go through the list above.

What Fold Format Do You Need?

  • Checks: 8 ½” x 11” Z-fold is the most commonly used pressure seal form for check stock, and is available in a variety of colors and security features.
  • Tax Forms: If you are sending tax forms, you’ll want to choose either the 11” V-fold or the 14” uneven Z-fold. Availability is limited to the most commonly used formats, but by using your specific tax form software, you can print just about any form on the blank stock. Learn more about our custom tax form solutions here.
  • Promotions: These self-mailers most often utilize the 8 ½” x 11” Z, C-folds and V-folds, or the 8-1/2” x 14” Z-fold, uneven Z-fold or custom folds.
  • Other: No worries. If you don’t find the fold and dimensions you need in existing stock, custom pressure seal forms are also a fairly straightforward option.

What Sizes and Form Formats Can Your Machine Process?

Form Dimensions

Different pressure seal machines have different printing capacities. Low-volume desktop models, for example, may not be able to process forms larger than 14”, while high-volume floor models can process forms up to 25” long.

Knowing the specs of your machine will save you a lot of time by letting you eliminate any form sizes that won’t work with your existing equipment.

Form Fold Types

Similarly, different pressure seal machines will have different folding abilities. The Formax FD 2002IL, for example, caters to processing highly confidential documents that require a closed path from a connected printer through the folder/sealers. Because of this, only Z-fold, C-fold, half-fold, and some custom fold types will work.

Knowing the types of folds your machine is capable of processing is essential to the design and planning phase, too.

Do You Have a Simplex (One-Sided) or Duplex (Two-Sided) Printer?

Simplex Printer

If you’re using simplex printing, your form options are slightly more limited than those with duplex printing capabilities. Still, there are dozens of choices and solutions to accommodate your needs. Here are some considerations for choosing a pressure seal form for a simplex printer:

In the popular 8 ½” x 11” Z-fold format, simplex printing means you will lose one panel to the address that will appear on the flap. If you need to add additional information to your form, consider using a C-fold format with a window.

Duplex Printer

The C-fold and V-fold are designed to be duplex printed so that you have the full face available for your messaging, whether it’s an invoice or statement, a newsletter, or a general information sheet. Here are some considerations for choosing a form for a duplex printer:

The non-window C-fold format will place your detail on the two panels above your check, allowing you to maximize the messaging real estate. If you need even more room, the 14” lengths in Z-folds and uneven Z-folds are common stock check forms with a good amount of useable space.

Can You Use Off-the-Shelf Pressure Seal Forms or Should You Order a Custom Solution?

Stock Pressure Seal Forms

For most applications utilizing an 11” or 14” format, your company can purchase pressure seal forms off the shelf, including stock one-way and two-way self-mailers. But if you prefer to do it yourself, you can also purchase blank all purpose stock in the 11” length in the traditional Z-fold, C-fold, and V-fold.

Custom Pressure Seal Forms

But for those pieces that need to have your specific stamp on them, discuss a custom pressure seal solution with one of our knowledgeable consultants. Need extra perfs or a specific design for your workflow requirements? What about incorporating your corporate brand or using full color front and back?

It can be done. You’ll be surprised at how easily your custom form needs can be met. Interested in learning more about what’s possible in pressure seal form customization? We thought you might be! Just click below to get in touch with Relyco’s experienced team.

Schedule a Pressure Seal Consultation

Time-Saving Benefits of a Pressure Seal System

From eliminating envelope stuffing to speeding up mail processing, learn about five of our favorite benefits of using a pressure seal system for business mailing.

Pressure seal technology offers a number of valuable, time-saving benefits for print shops, mail houses, accounts payable departments, educational institutions, and the healthcare industry.

From checks, self-mailers and tax forms, pressure seal forms offer every industry time-saving benefits to their business mailing needs. Here are the five benefits we believe are the most important to consider when determining whether or not a pressure seal system is the right solution for your business:

1) Simplified Mail Preparation

With pressure seal technology, there is no need for separate folding, stuffing and sealing of envelopes. This frees up time to focus on revenue-generating projects. In addition, the use of pressure seal forms and equipment reduces the overall cost of mail processing by nearly 50%.

2) Eliminated Buying, Storing and Custom-Printing of Envelopes

Pressure seal forms serve as their own envelopes. Forms sizes, such as 11” or 14” length, and folds—including V-folds, Z-folds or C-Folds— are available to meet specific application requirements.

3) Faster Mail Processing

Since documents go directly from a laser printer to the pressure seal machine, there is no need to handle the document.

4) Improved Postal Processing

With pressure seal technology, addresses can be printed directly onto the form, eliminating the need for window envelopes, which can blur the address and cause delivery problems. Plus, with the appropriate mailing software, intelligent barcodes can be included to save postage costs.

5) Protecting Confidentiality and Security

Pressure seal’s cohesive edges and high-pressure sealing provide a more effective seal than traditional envelopes. And, because each mailer is self-contained, there is no chance of inserting two confidential documents into the same envelope or mismatching a document with an envelope with a different recipient address.

Self-mailers from Relyco offer up to 13 different security features to ensure that highly sensitive information is secure; additional custom security features are also available.

To Learn More

To learn more about self-mailer pressure seal solutions from Relyco, click below to download our free white paper.

Download Pressure Seal White Paper

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

17 Advanced Pressure Seal Security Features to Keep Documents Safe

From copy-void pantographs to simulated watermarks, learn about 17 advanced pressure seal security features you need now.

Pressure Seal Security FeaturesConsidering a pressure seal solution for your print shop, mail house or accounts payable department? In addition to the processing savings you can realize by switching to one piece self-mailers, pressure seal solutions can also help ensure the best protection for your sensitive documents.

Below you’ll find 17 advanced security features you can available on some or all of our pressure seal stock and checks. 

Pressure Seal Security Features: ULTRASEAL Stock Self-Mailers

ULTRASEAL stock self-mailers incorporate the following security features to protect your sensitive documents.

  • Copy-void pantograph ensures that when a pressure-seal check is photocopied, the word “void” appears on the copy.
  • Printed with white ink, simulated watermarks have a different reflectance than the base paper and can be seen at an angle. Plus, because the ink is white, it cannot be photocopied or scanned.
  • Microprinting prints text that is so small it appears as a line on the check to the naked eye. Only when magnified do the microprinted words become visible, making them extremely difficult to duplicate with a copier or scanner.
  • A padlock security icon appears on the front of the pressure-seal check to alert the teller that the check contains security features, and on the bottom back of the pressure-seal check, stating that there are additional security features embedded within the check design.
  • Anti-splice backer are horizontal or diagonal lines of varying thicknesses that are printed on the back of a pressure-seal check, making it difficult to alter information by the cut-and-paste method.
  • Image-friendly amount box that removes the security pantograph from the amount area of a pressure-seal check to insure that the courtesy amount can be more reliably scanned to ensure Check 21 compliance.
  • Security blockouts to provide increased security and confidentiality of printed data on pressure seal forms.

Pressure Seal Security Features: ULTRASEAL Pressure Seal Checks

ULTRASEAL pressure seal checks incorporate the security features listed above, plus these five additional security features:

  • Gradient two-color pantograph is a multicolor background in which two colors change density and blend into each other, making the check very difficult to reproduce accurately on a color copier.
  • Transparent white or colorless, UV security ink can only be detected under ultraviolet light, so the authenticity of a pressure-seal document can be quickly verified. UV security inks cannot be reproduced on a scanner or copier.
  • Covert fluorescent fibers are added in the papermaking stage. Invisible to the untrained eye, these fibers “glow” when held under an ultraviolet light.
  • Solvent reactive color spotting reacts to polar and non-polar based solvents, resulting in a chemical stain. Solvents may be used to alter the paper.
  • Enhanced toner adhesion is a special surface treatment used to enhance the adhesion of toner to pressure seal forms.  

Custom Pressure Seal Security Features

Have special needs for your self-mailers? We can create custom pressure seal self-mailers with advanced security features to meet the needs of any organization.

  • A warning band alerts the teller and/or check recipient to the presence of certain security features, which can be verified before processing the check.
  • Copy-void endorsement ensures that when an endorsement is photocopied, the word VOID appears on the photocopy.
  • If chlorine is used in an attempt to alter a check, a multilanguage chemical void enables the word “void” appears in six languages, making it difficult to alter a check without detection.
  • Thermochromic heat reactive ink is a special temperature-sensitive ink that causes the color to fade to white when held between fingers.

Our ULTRASEAL self-mailer pressure-seal solutions are available with stock and/or custom security features to protect the integrity of the checks, invoices, reports, statements, notices or other communications you mail.

To Learn More

To learn more about self-mailer Pressure Seal Solutions from Relyco, click below to download our free white paper, call 1-800-777-7359 or email info@relyco.com.

Download Pressure Seal White Paper

Pressure Seal Cost Savings: Calculating the ROI on Self-Mailers

Calculate the potential ROI of switching to pressure seal forms and equipment. This pressure seal cost calculator will show you how much you could save.

Pressure Seal Cost Savings

Justifying the expense of the initial investment is usually the most difficult obstacle to overcome when making the decision to convert to pressure seal forms or pressure seal checks.

Pressure Seal Cost Savings

Whether your forms are currently being hand-processed or are processed automatically with a folder-inserter, pressure seal forms and pressure sealing machines clearly offer a more efficient processing method—handling up to ten times more pieces per hour than folder-inserters and as much as 60 times more per hour than can be processed by hand.

Yet, while pressure seal self-mailer processing is proven to be less time consuming than hand processing or using a folder-inserter, how much time and money will it really save your organization?

This information helps demonstrate that pressure seal—in spite of an initial investment*—will pay significant dividends over time, and usually in the very first year!

Pressure Seal Self-Mailer Advantages

  • Reduced processing time
  • Reduced materials cost
    • No envelopes
    • No water
    • No glue
    • No heat
  • Improved efficiency
    • No hand folding
    • No hand stuffing of envelopes
    • No hand sealing of envelopes

Calculate Your Potential Pressure Seal ROI

Click here to try RELYCO’s interactive cost-saving analysis.

You provide an estimate of the number of forms you process each month, and we’ll provide data about the time and money you can save over five years with a pressure seal solution and with a folder/inserter solution.

To Learn More

To learn more about pressure-seal cost savings from Relyco, call 1.800.777.7359 or email info@relyco.com.

*The initial investment can be eliminated by leasing.