Guides

Addressing the OCR requirement

24 MAY 2017 By Aisling McCagh

OCR or Optical Character Recognition refers to the ability of machines to identify and read printed text. By making the addresses on your direct mail pieces OCR compliant it removes the need for them to be sorted by hand, making postage costs cheaper for you.

To prepare your direct mail pieces so they are OCR compliant we’ve put together this little guide for you.

Font

While you can use any font you like for the body copy of your mailing pieces, the OCR parts need to be one of the following:

  • Arial 10-12pt
  • Century School Book 10-11pt
  • Courier 10-15pt
  • Courier New 10-15pt
  • Verdana 10-12pt
  • Avant Garde 11-15pt
  • Geneva 10-12pt
  • Franklin Gothic 10-12pt
  • Helvetica 10-14pt
  • News Gothic MT 10-12pt
  • Franklin Gothic 10-12pt

It can be any colour as long as there is a contrast against the background colour so it can be easily recognised when processed by the machines.

Positioning

For letters, you need to make sure the following sit within a window envelope correctly

  • The recipient’s address
  • The returns management code

For postcards, you need to make sure the following are all positioned correctly

For letters, you need to make sure the following sit within a window envelope correctly

  • The recipient’s address
  • The return address
  • Postage stamps
  • RM4SCC codes

It's a complicated procedure, however, if we are sending out your campaign for you, we can sort it out our end, so you don't need to worry. All you need to do is design the artwork allowing for the clear zones in the guides we have set up for you! It's as easy as that.

You can download one of our templates to see if your positioning is correct. Overlay your artwork on top and if it does not run over the boxes then you're OCR compliant and meet the requirements.

You’re now eligible to benefit from reduced postage costs. Send 4,000 or more items and you’ll qualify for OCR mail sort which is even cheaper per record.

To speak to us about how we can help you with your design work or the delivery of your items, call 0845 345 7755

Related Articles