Ok, yes, we live in a digital age. Screens reign supreme, and the paper age is winding down. But it’s not finished yet! We still use paper in our business dealings all the time, and one of the most important elements of that pulpy communication is the letterhead.
Creating a branded letterhead for your business can make a huge impact in how people respond to you. It’s a chance to further extend your brand while making every letter you send more authentic and credible.
However, good letterhead design can be trickier than you think! You need to make sure that the design doesn’t overpower the text and that it delivers the necessary information in an appropriate way. Stay tuned, and we’ll go through some tips to make sure your new letterhead is looking its best!
The Simpler the Better
Unlike business cards and other print elements of a brand, the letterhead needs to stay clean and simple. Even if you have splashy, colorful design elements as a part of the brand, in this case you need to keep the use of those elements fairly restrained. If any part of your design would draw focus from or compete with the text of the letter, then you should consider eliminating it or reducing its impact.
Don’t Forget The Brand
Just because you want the letterhead design to be more restrained than other places, doesn’t mean you want to abandon the brand entirely! In fact, the opposite is true. Since you are limited in how you can extend the brand onto the letterhead, the ways in which you do so are even more important. You’ll want the logo, color scheme, typography and other brand elements to all make an appearance if they can.
Highlight What’s Important
Not every company is going to need the same things highlighted on their letterhead. For some, the brand identity will be of primary concern, while others will want the contact information displayed more prominently than anything else. Make sure you dialogue with your client about what they need from their letterhead, and then give more weight to the elements they indicate are important to them.
Design For The Printer
It’s very important for you to ask how the letterhead will be printed. If it will be produced by a professional printer, then you can use designs that go straight to the edge of the paper. Those types of “full-bleed” designs can be printed and then trimmed by a pro printer, and they certainly look fantastic! But if your letterhead design will primarily be printed directly from an office printer, you’ll probably want to avoid designing to the edge since most consumer and office printers lack the ability to print to the edge of the paper.
Not all paper is created equal. Since anything on your letterhead will eventually be handled by a human, you can make that interaction more pleasurable by using a sumptuous paper stock that feels good in the hand. You can also add detailing to the paper such as embossing the logo, using gold foil or die-cutting shapes. Just remember to choose a paper stock that will work for your intended printer.
Alrighty! Now you’re all set to start your letterhead design. Want a letterhead designed by folks who know what’s what? Give the Solamar team a shout.