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Creating Perfect Printed Letterhead for Your Business

Your business’s letterhead is important. After all, it makes your written communications stand out and look more professional. It helps establish your brand identity and bolsters brand engagement. It lends credibility to your company, and it’s also an excellent marketing opportunity.

Unfortunately, it’s an opportunity that’s often overlooked by too many small-business owners. Many entrepreneurs underestimate the importance of having a professional letterhead, so they make do with sub-par design, or else they neglect letterhead entirely.

You don’t need to have a design degree to create a great letterhead. In this article, we’ll talk about some key tips that will help anyone design a stunning, credible, and professional-looking letterhead.

Tip #1: Clarity Is Key With Business Letterhead

You might be enamored with a certain ornate font, but it’s worth asking whether or not using that font really serves your purpose when creating a letterhead. In general, it’s best to make sure the typeface you choose for your letterhead is easy to read. Also, it’s usually advisable to use no more than two fonts in your design.

Tip #2: K.I.S.S.

Before you get insulted, we’d like to clarify: the last “S” in our acronym stands for “Smarty.” If you were stupid, you wouldn’t be reading this. Still, it’s best to keep your letterhead simple. Too many design elements can make your letterhead appear cluttered and distracting. Remember, the letterhead is a medium for your content, not the content itself. So it should establish brand identity without detracting from the information you’re actually trying to communicate.

Tip #3: With Letterhead, It’s Just the Facts

The information contained in your letterhead should be kept to the bare minimum. Incorporate your logo and contact info, and maybe a slogan or motto. Anything else is probably too much.

Tip #4: Use Color Sparingly With Business Letterhead

A splash of color can make your communications stand out on the cluttered desks of your clients and prospects, but too much color can present a major letterhead design faux pas. The goal is to make your letterhead eye-catching, and to tie it together with the rest of your brand image. Unless you’re a psychedelic concert poster designer, try to keep the color to a minimum.

Tip #5: Use the Correct Software

You can use Photoshop to design your letterhead, but Illustrator will do the job with a minimum of fuss, if you take the time to watch a few online tutorials. Not only that, but programs like Illustrator and InDesign are vector-based, which makes the process easier and may help you avoid the image distortion that plagues many bitmap-based designs, especially when it comes to printing your business letterhead. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution, try Inkscape. It has many of the same features as the more expensive programs, and produces excellent results.

Tip #6: Keep It Consistent With Letterhead Design

If you’re just getting started with establishing the look of your brand, then you can pretty much do whatever you want, and designing your letterhead is a great place to start. But if you’ve already created and printed business cards, a website, a logo, or storefront signage that all share a common design language, then letterhead design is no time to rock the boat.

Make your letterhead design consistent with the rest of your marketing materials, or those who receive printed communications from your business may question their legitimacy.

Tip #7: Order a Proof Copy Before Printing Letterhead

Before placing a large order from your favorite digital print shop in Portland or beyond, ask them to print a proof copy, and then be sure to carefully review it. You don’t want to find yourself with stacks upon stacks of letterhead bearing the wrong phone number or web address, so it’s best to double check everything and get a second opinion before placing your final print order.

Tip #8: Don’t Order Too Much Letterhead

When you finish designing your letterhead, you might be so proud that you’re tempted to order an ungodly amount of it, but be careful. What if your business address changes, or you decide you want to change your logo font? You may be better off ordering just enough to get a good volume discount, but not so much that you’re stuck with it for eternity.

Tip #9: Hire a Pro?

If you’ve already tried designing your own letterhead and you’ve been less than satisfied with the end result, then you may want to consider enlisting the services of a professional. A good graphic designer can put together an attractive, sophisticated-looking letterhead in short order, saving you time and leaving you to concentrate on taking care of your business’s core activities.

Tip #10: Get Creative With Paper Stock

Obviously, the visual aspect of your letterhead is important, but the paper it’s printed on matters, too. Choosing an elegant paper stock can lend gravity to your letterhead and give it a nice tactile quality.

Ready to have some help designing and printing high-quality letterhead and envelopes for your business? No matter where you are located, but especially if you’re in the Portland area, give East Side Printing Co. the opportunity to bid your project. Just click on the contact page here, and let us know what you’re looking to accomplish — we’ll get back to you in less than 24 hours.

[Photo Via: MendoArte]

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