In a mostly digital world, premium business stationery is like a breath of fresh air. Here’s everything you need to know when designing a business letterhead. With Impress Printers, you could have a variety of letterheads for different purposes, or create bespoke ones for different people in the company.
- Decide on the content
- You need enough information to make your identity clear, but not so much that you risk making the page look cluttered.
- It’s also worth considering how specific you need to be. For example, will more than one business location use the design? Or is there a chance you’ll be moving offices in the foreseeable future?
- Email addresses and websites need to be included only if you know they’ll apply in every use case of the letterhead, and will be valid for some time to come.
- Consider using a generic company email address like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or ‘email@example.com’ so the address will work no matter who uses the stationery in the future
- Go back to your brand
- Your company brand guidelines can help you set some design parameters for your letterhead to make sure it’s in line with the rest of your business. It will help you save some time in picking out colours and fonts too.
- As well as looking at the practical guidelines like colour, font and sizing, review your brand values and company tone of voice. This will help make sure you’re expressing the complete brand personality rather than just a consistent visual impression.
- It’s also a good idea to gather together the key assets that best represent your current brand – this could include your email templates, website, printed marketing materials like Business Cards, social profile pages and product packaging. Seeing them all in one place will help you to picture your letterhead design and think of it as part of a wider brand ecosystem.
- Find a font
The font you use on your letterhead may be one you’ve already picked as part of your whole-company branding exercise, or you may be starting from scratch. If it’s the latter, think about some of the basics first before you jump headlong into font websites and lists, as these kinds of resources can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Check out our blog post, 10 Great Fonts for Business Cards to help you.
- Choose your layout
There are lots of different ways to set out a letterhead. As with other elements of your branding, you’re free to push the limits of convention and create your own approach. But if you’re comfortable sticking to the basics, there are a few tried and tested ways to lay out your letterhead which are worth knowing about. We’ll explore these here. Your branding and design should play a supporting role to the content of the finished letter and should never compete with or overwhelm the wording. If in doubt, keep your layout minimal. As with the font, try mocking up and printing a few variations to see what looks best.
Here are a few basic layouts you can use as a starting point for your design.
- Full border Colour and design is placed all around the outside of the paper in a consistent square shape.
- Graphic border Shape and colour is used around the edge of the body text in a creative way.
- Header and footer Design is restricted to the top and bottom of the page.
- Background graphics Watermark-style graphics in a low-contrast shade across the body of the letter.
- Pick your paperstock
As a general rule, the heavier-weight your paper, the more premium and professional the end result will be. Beyond that however, you have a few more options such as the paper finish – smooth or textured – and the colour tone of the paper itself.
- Consider colour
Your brand colours should be reflected in your letterhead, but that doesn’t mean they all need to make an appearance, especially if your logo or company font is ornate or detailed. Remember, the letterhead is a supporting actor, not the star of the show. If you have a brand colour palette, this is a great place to start from when choosing your colours.
- Get the set – add other stationery
To get an even more ‘put together’ feel for your finished letter, think about creating other bespoke stationery to go with your letterhead, such as an envelope or note cards
A letter that arrives with a hand-written compliments slip can create a more personal, thoughtful feel than a letter on its own, and is a handy way of adding some personal regards that aren’t suitable for the main text.