Guidelines for a great letterhead design

Any time a business sends letters, thank you cards or anything else on personalized stationery, a letterhead will likely be a part of the paper's design. Letterheads appear on stationery, envelopes, cards and more, and they play an integral role in how a company is branded and the impression it gives off to potential clients or customers. The letterhead is sometimes overlooked as a marketing tool, though, despite the fact that it appears on every piece of correspondence your company sends to current, prospective and past clients and other business connections. Like a logo, letterhead should embody the company's defined brand and speak to its target audience with a clear, simple and interesting design. Take a look at these guidelines for designing your company's letterhead:

Choose your message
Letterhead typically contains the company's name, the contact information of your choice and the logo. Letterhead may also contain personal names and contact information, say if it's the CEO or marketing director's personalized stationery. In that case, it may include a direct dial number to his or her office. But it's up to you to decide exactly what information you decide to include and the best way to lay the information out for easy readability. In general, letterhead designs include the company's name, address, website and phone number. The logo and company name are often at the top of the page, either centered or in the left corner. The address and other contact information is often found in the top right corner. 

Complement your logo
Now that you've chosen your message, it's time to get down to the design itself. Remember that you've already put a lot of thought about your company's brand when designing your logo, so your letterhead should complement that design (especially if you're using your logo within the letterhead). Some of the best designs are meaningful for the company and brand, unique and simplistic. 

Consider the font
It's not just the design and layout that should be kept simple. The font you choose will also play an important role in your letterhead's effectiveness. While you may have customized font for your company's name and logo, it's important to keep the font for your contact information as clear and easy to read as possible. Avoid script-like or cursive fonts in favor of printed styles that are precise and legible. That isn't to say your font should be boring – choose one that reflects the company, while keeping it reader-friendly.

Add a signature
Especially for more personalized stationery sets, a signature at the bottom of the page can make a good addition to the letterhead. However, keep in mind that signing letters with a pen (you know, the old-fashioned way) is considered the more personal choice. 

Before finalizing your design or completing your order, it's essential to proofread every word that appears on the letterhead. If even one part of your phone number or address is off, not only will you have to purchase entirely new stationery, but the letterhead you send out will leave clients frustrated and unable to reach you.