Next March, the USPS will implement new delivery address placement and format requirements for flats, the size of mail that most catalogs are classified under.
The requirements will apply to ALL catalogs and not just those destined for postal facilities that will have the new Flats Sequencing System machines that the USPS will begin deploying this fall. And this is regardless of how flats are presorted, whether they’re barcoded or where they entered the mailstream.
The best way to look at these issues is literally to have your own catalogs in front of you so you can see what changes may need to be made.
The New Rule
Place your delivery address on the top half of the catalog. Under this new requirement, the delivery address — recipient’s name, company name, address, city, state, ZIP, etc. — must appear on the top half of the catalog when the bound edge (spine) is to the right. It must be placed at least 1⁄8-inch from any edge of the catalog.
1. Take your catalog and hold it so the bound edge (spine) is vertical and to the right. For most catalogs, this means you’re looking at the back of the catalog or the front cover upside down. If you want your delivery address on the back cover, it’ll need to be placed in the top half of the back cover, with the address oriented as you’d read it — not upside down. Alternatively, you can place the address vertically (parallel to the bound edge), in which case the text can read in either direction.
2. If you want your delivery address on the front cover, hold the catalog with the bound edge to the right. This makes it so your front cover is upside down, and the address needs to be placed in the top half. Translating that to how you’d normally look at the front cover, the address has to go in the bottom half of the front cover, but upside down, so when you turn the front cover so the bound edge is on the right, you can read the address. This isn’t an option many catalogers seem to consider because they think it may confuse or irritate customers, who may think the company erred by placing an upside-down address on the bottom of the front cover.