I came across Rahul Mahtani and Yofred Moik’s conceptual design of a Google Mail Envelope a few days ago and was… instantly captivated. I’m not sure if it’s just the aesthetics of a design on the envelope in general, the way it hearkens back to an old school airmail envelope, or the conceptual neatness of the route between the two addresses. I just know that I love it and I want it.
So, I spent some time making a version of it.
Right now, my implementation is very much hacked together (I was teaching myself the Google Maps API as I went — it’s not hard, but it’s not familiar vocabulary, yet — I have a few other projects that will get me more expert soon, I hope). The things to know are:
- Change the addresses and the map will (should) update to reflect the new information.
- The first line of the address is removed on the assumption that it’s a name and not part of the address (and users are cruelly constrained to 3-line addresses right now).
- The resulting envelope template is pretty much exactly a full-bleed letter-size page. Which means that printing it is a hassle.
- I strongly suspect that there should be a dampening-down of the colors on the map so that the USPS can automatically scan the right information easily. My recollection from constructing bulk mailings a few years back is that the address just needs to have a bit of white space around it, but having a mess of other geographic information scattered nearby may not be helpful…
- The snazzy orientation of the address infoWindows on the original design hasn’t happened yet. I think I have an idea of how to do it with some CSS (they won’t be “real” infoWindows), but haven’t taken the time to fiddle with it yet.
- There’s something hinky with the borders of the side-flaps due to the not-yet-standard border-radius CSS.
More to come as way opens.
Seth Battis April 11th, 2010
Posted In: Computer Science
design, envelope, Gmail, Google, Google Maps, mail, route, script