Last week, we covered leaving a lasting impression with a unique business card. Even in the age of email, letterhead is still important. Anytime you want to put a professional face on an official document, you’ll want to use company letterhead.
Instances that require letterhead
Letterhead can be both printed in hard copy format or used as the background for electronic correspondence. Here are just a few reasons you’ll need letterhead:
- Official letters
- Legal correspondence
- Internal communication
Where to start
Your business letterhead shouldn’t be a show-stealer. The design serves to frame the content in a professional way without being too distracting. That’s not to say you can’t be creative, but aim for a subtle look.
Letterhead design, like almost every other field of design, is about communicating important information effectively. You need to decide on the critical pieces of information your letterhead should convey (return address, telephone number and email address), and design based on this hierarchy. Key information should be positioned obviously and accessibly, while less important information can be reduced in size and tucked away in a less obtrusive area.
Design for the medium
It used to be that letterhead was designed for print. Thanks to the digital era, letterhead can be used in several different mediums, such as professionally printed, in-house printing and email correspondence.
You need to understand how your letterhead design will be used. There’s little point designing a full-page bleed when the office printer doesn’t print to the edge of the sheet. Instead, if you’re designing for a self-print solution, use generous margins at the edge of the page and avoid extremely light tints and watermarks that might not reproduce well on office equipment.
A border or frame design should only be used if you’re professionally printing your letterhead. Without a careful trim using the correct equipment, this stylish finishing touch can end up looking off-center and sloppy.
A few final thoughts
- The dimensions for standard letterhead is 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches high. This standard letter size fits into a No. 10 envelope, which is 9.5 inches wide by 4.125 inches high.
- Double-check your file: This tip applies to every bit of print work you do, but it’s worth repeating for letterhead design. Before sending your artwork to be printed, make sure you’ve double-checked every detail. There’s nothing worse than getting your stationery and discovering a typo in the email address or name.
Whether you need help designing your letterhead package or assistance printing your design, West Press’ talented staff is here to help your business achieve its goals. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.