Just What the Oscars Need: A New Envelope

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The new envelope that will be used for the 83rd Academy Awards

Matt Sayles/AP

And the winner of Best New Envelope goes to…

Put yourself in the position of the poor, unloved Oscar envelope. Sure, you might have been fondled for decades by the world’s most beautiful people, but when the dust settles each year on the movie world’s biggest bash, nobody ever talks about you. Well, if the powers that be at the Academy are proved correct, things are about to change.

(More on TIME.com: The top 10 movies of 2010.)

Welcome, then, to the Oscar envelope’s makeover. The plain white envelope (available in all good stores!) is to be replaced by a custom-designed one that apparently will dazzle during the TV broadcast. Steve Bass, the production designer who we must thank profusely for helping to steer the envelope into a new era, said, with no hint of irony, “The idea of the envelope was created by the Oscars, so this really is THE envelope,” (the CAPS are his).

But our main props must go to Marc Friedland, who actually designed the envelope (and who not only refers to himself as “the stationer to the stars,” but modestly refers to his new gig as working on “the most important envelope in the world”). The AP, in case you’re looking to impress your friends, got quite specific when discussing the details. To wit: “Made of iridescent gold paper watermarked with little images of Oscar. It’s lined with shiny red paper embossed with gold Oscars. The winner’s name appears on a heavy piece of lacquered red paper inside, with the category listed on the back. The envelope will be sealed with a shiny red sticker adorned with two strips of red ribbon.”

(More on TIME.com: See who will win this year’s Oscars.)

Got that? Good. Here’s Friedland with some more Kool-Aid: “There’s no more significant moment than the anticipation that comes with opening the envelope. It’s the most iconic, symbolic envelope in the world,” he explained. “Using a store-bought envelope is like showing up to the Academy Awards in shorts and flip-flops.”

Never mind the new envelope: thanks to Friedland, NewsFeed has just worked out why we’ve never been let in (though you should check out our flip-flops, they’re divine).