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Producing Your Mailpiece  
Print quality mailpieces.
Print your mailpieces according to the manufacturer’s procedures for your printing platform. Contact your inkjet manufacturer for best practices based on specific experiences from internal testing and customer feedback with the MERLIN™ program.

Follow these tips to print quality mailpieces that meet Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) standards:
  • Note the quality measures needed to produce barcodes of consistently high quality when using older technology (such as impact printers).
  • Use a 22 bar-per-inch POSTNET barcode when printing with an inkjet printer. If another font is required, be cautious and consider MERLIN testing prior to actual production.
  • In general, don’t push the limits on specifications. Use settings that are in the middle of allowed limits, and exercise caution if you must approach the limits.
  • Conduct MERLIN testing in advance. The results can determine if you are approaching any of the barcode limitations.

Machine operators, mechanics, and set-up personnel should keep a verification checklist of these procedures before initiating production:

  • Ensure clearance around the barcode (clearance applies to edges of Cheshire or PSL labels, window envelopes, other printing, and knockout areas).
  • Pull samples frequently during production to ensure that mail is run as intended during setup. Use the eyepiece reticle to examine the barcode specifications. Use letter template (Notice 67) for automation letter review and form template (Notice 124) for automation flats. Templates are available at your local Business Mail Entry Unit. Use Postal Service™ templates for:
    1. Accurate address and barcode placement
    2. Specifications for barcode characteristics
  • Make sure the POSTNET barcode has the correct number of bars. Missing start or end bars or missing digits in barcode generation within software can cause barcode errors.
  • Do not "jog" mailpieces scheduled for production. Jogging causes the piece to shift temporarily and hinders encoder operation. There is a high likelihood of print variation on jogged pieces.
Related Services & Links
Domestic Mail Manual
Mailpiece Design Introduction
Mailpiece Design Analyst Introduction
Mailpiece Design Analyst Lookup