How to address an envelope

Josh Sherman
2 min read
Personal Education

Recently while dropping by my locally owned and operated UPS store, I got to overhear a question asked by an adult that appeared to be around my age. They asked the clerk where the recipient’s address was supposed to go on the envelope they were mailing.

I was kind of floored because I consider this to be common freaking knowledge. The wife even reminded me that, at least when we were in school, this was something that is actually taught.

I guess I get it, in our digital world things like addressing an envelope can be a foreign concept. Sadly, electronic mail, or email never benefited from skeuomorphism.

Ah, if only Steve Jobs had invented email.

What really blows my mind about somebody not knowing where to put the recipient’s address and their own address is that I have to imagine they’ve never actually received mail before.

If they had received mail, and seen where their address was located in relationship to the sender’s, they would by proxy, know how to address an envelope.

Or are they constantly confused as to why they are sending letters to themselves? Maybe they aren’t even aware that they are in fact the “Current Resident”?

So yeah, addressing envelopes isn’t nearly as universally known as I had ever thought and I wanted to make sure it’s documented in glorious ASCII art goodness for future generations.

Addressing an envelope is terribly simple, the sender’s address, your address if you’re the one sending the letter, goes in the upper-left corner of the envelope.

The recipient’s address, the person you’re sending the letter to, goes in the center of the envelope. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be too exact. I personally like to write the recipient’s address larger so it screams “this is where it’s going to”.

The stamp or stamps (depending on how many newspaper* clippings are stuffed in the envelope) go in the upper-right corner, opposite of the sender’s address.

* Note to self, write a post on what a news paper is in a few years ;)

That’s it, and when making a shipping label for a package, you can use similar address placements.

When all put together, the front envelope should look something like this:

| Homer Simpson                                                         *---* |
| 742 Evergreen Terrace                                                 |55¢| |
| Springfield, NT 78701                                                 *---* |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                          Herman Munster                                     |
|                          1313 Mockingbird Lane                              |
|                          Mockingbird Heights, CA 90210                      |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |

Nothing to it really.

Join the Conversation

Good stuff? Want more?

Weekly emails about technology, development, and sometimes sauerkraut.

100% Fresh, Grade A Content, Never Spam.

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Born again Linux user. Founder of Holiday API, Backend Engineering Manager and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake (WE'RE HIRING!), and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

Currently Reading

Pears and Perils
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Previous Reads

Buy Me a Coffee Become a Sponsor

Related Articles