Letters, notes and memos are an essential and frequent part of doing business. Because they’re sent out so often, why not take this opportunity to market your company even further? Adding a professional letterhead to the top of your stationery can help brand your business and lend a personal touch to the paper. When you compare stationery with a letterhead at the top to blank stationery, you instantly recognize that the one with a letterhead appears more professional, put-together and personal. You can design your own letterhead by keeping these guidelines in mind:
Choose a tool you’re comfortable with
Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Office and InDesign are all perfectly acceptable tools for designing your letterhead. Use whichever software you’re most comfortable with or have the most experience with to create your letterhead.
- Before you even jump on the computer, however, sketch out a few designs of potential letterheads on paper. Then, once you’re happy with two or three drawings, you can rely on those designs when using the computer program of your choice. A design on paper might look completely different when it’s transferred to a computer screen.
Simple is always better
Your letterhead shouldn’t be competing with the copy on the page. It should be noticeable, but not to the point where it’s distracting. Simple means using a clean and easy-to-read font (like Georgia, Courier, Verdana or Arial) and only including one piece of contact information, like an email address or a phone number.
- Just look at the Nike swoosh symbol – it’s not a letterhead, but it’s a great example of what you should strive for in your design. It’s so basic, yet exudes a certain uniqueness.
Look to your corporate logo
You don’t want your letterhead to contrast with the font, color or design of your business’s logo. Instead, it should complement its overall look. However, your letterhead doesn’t have to be identical to your logo. Get inspired by searching online for letterhead designs (try Pinterest) – this way, you can get a great idea of the type of designs you love, and which ones you don’t care for. Maybe you like a bold and modern-looking letterhead, or maybe your company exudes a more traditional or classic feel.
- The bottom line is: Keep your company’s identity and values in mind when designing your letterhead.
Be careful with color
Color is a beautiful tool that can help draw attention to your letterhead and even make it memorable. But keep in mind that colors should enhance your message rather than overwhelm it. Use color to highlight the most important parts of your letterhead, like a logo or a piece of contact information.
- When using Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign, don’t be afraid to play around with different colors to see which shade displays your company in the best light. Note: Keep the color of the paper in mind – you want the color of the text to contrast with the stationery, not blend in.
This is such a simple step, but also one of the most important. Read over your letterhead to make sure that every last detail is accurate. For example, if one number in the phone number is incorrect, or a letter in an email address is lacking, you may be missing out on lots of potential business. Plus, a mistake like that doesn’t bode well for the credibility of your company. Completing this step will also save your company money – you won’t have to go back and reprint your letterhead.