When decorating an envelope be sure to keep the addresses in their designated spot. This is the message that TikToker and mailman Chad Huber (@ChadHuber) emphasized in a viral video.
In the clip, Chad holds up an envelope with a return address sticker on the back, while sitting in his mail truck.
The mailman explains, “If you have cute little return address stickers like this, and instead of putting it in the top left corner you’re like, ‘I’m going to do something really cute and i’m going to seal the envelope with it on the back’. What you’ve essentially done is you have put an address on the middle on the back and an address on the middle of the front.”
Chad continues, “When most of the mail is sorted by a computer, you’ve given yourself a 50/50 shot of getting this letter back.”
When you spend time on mail art, you want to ensure that it arrives at its intended destination. The US postal service’s machines only process letters that are a standard size, flat and even, with a clearly legible address. Trying to add a flourish to the envelope like writing the address vertically instead of horizontally can incur additional costs. Your best bet is to use artistic touches in the choice of lettering and design of the envelope, rather than changing where you place addresses.
In his video, Chad holds up the envelope in question and sums up how misplacing the sticker could backfire on the sender. “Instead of it looking cute…I’m going to have to take a sharpie and cross out all the barcodes on here, and it’s not going to look cute anymore.”
He concludes the video by telling his viewers, “Just put [the address] in the upper left corner.”
The video has garnered over 862,000 views as of Wednesday and Chad’s short lesson sparked a discussion on best mailing procedures.
“Return goes top left! Stamp goes top right! We live in a society, ppl!!” one user stated.
Another agreed, wishing they’d known the proper method for address placement on an envelope. “Yeah I wish more people told us this cause some of my invites got ruined this way. I wish I knew cause I wouldn’t have done it that way.”
“Someone needs to tell BrideTok,” wrote a third user, referring to ornately decorated wedding invitations.
An avid envelope decorator suggested another way to add stickers without confusing the machines. “One person that I’ve seen, she’ll put a regular sticker not an address sticker there lol.”
Most users were grateful for Chad’s lesson, and reiterated the message in the comments: “Label the mail correctly, people.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Chad via TikTok comment.