Letters and envelopes

10 foolproof tips for designing successful letterheads

Letterheads are a company’s calling card. They represent the business and its values and should be designed with care and creativity to reflect these attributes. The following 10 tips will help you create an eye-catching letterhead that will set your business apart from the competition:

1. Choose colors carefully

Colors evoke feelings in people, so choose one or two colors for your letterhead design to best convey your message. Warm colors such as red, orange, yellow, brown, and gold can evoke feelings of warmth while cool colors such as blue, green, or purple can signify coldness or serenity. You want to choose a color scheme that reflects the idea behind your brand name while also conveying what type of feeling customers should expect.

For example, if your company is named “Big City Financial Services” you might choose colors that suggest big, fast, and power with a bright blue or hot red letterhead color scheme.

2. Use contrasting images

Images on the letterhead should contrast one another to enhance the message you are conveying about your business. For example, if you are running a business that repairs cars it is advisable to include images of flowers or nature on your letterhead to establish the idea of peace around your brand.

3. Avoid clutter

Use as few words as possible for your letterhead design, especially when placing text over an image. Bigger is better than smaller so leave enough space around your text so it is easy to read.

4. Keep it simple with one paragraph of text

A block of text can be intimidating for some people so keep the pertinent information on the letterhead concise and easy to read with a single paragraph of text. Make sure you include a contact name, company name, address, and phone number at the top of the page.

5. Keep it uniform

If you have certain keywords that will appear on every letterhead you use, be sure to include a style guide with these essentials so your design is uniform and consistent from letterhead to letterhead. You can also include a list of colors that should be used in each design as well as any specific images that should be included or excluded from a particular design.

6. Include your logo

You want to use the company logo on every letterhead you create for two reasons: first, because it looks professional and reminds customers of who they are dealing with; and second because if a customer receives a letter without a return address it is the first thing they will look for.

7. Use standard paper sizes and shapes

Using standard letterhead paper sizes will help speed up your printing process and allow you to use ready-made templates that can be downloaded from various sites on the internet, such as VistaPrint’s online design studio. This way you can create a professional letterhead without needing expensive graphics software.

8. Consistent positioning of the logo and text is key

For example, if you place your company name in a specific position on your first letterhead, be sure to include that same information on all subsequent letterheads so they are uniform from the standpoint of design as well as the content.

9. Make your business look professional

Your letterhead should include the standard of information that would be expected by your target market. If you are running a small office you can design inexpensive letterheads using stationery available at most office supply stores, but if you have a more formal company it is best to contact an experienced graphic designer who can help you create a customized design at a reasonable cost.

10. Keep it simple with one contact person

Include the name of the person in charge of your company’s business affairs on all letterheads so customers know exactly who to contact when they want more information about your business or need customer service assistance. For example, if you are running a small law practice you might choose to use your own name as the contact person, but if you are running a large firm or corporation it is advisable to include the name of the CEO or President so customers know who they are dealing with directly.

If you’re having a hard time creating a letterhead, we suggest you use Venngage — a free infographic maker that offers a wide range of online letterhead templates. To give you an example, here are some professional letterhead examples from their website!

Letterheads are only used on rare occasions so it is not necessary to go out of your way to create a unique design that will cost you more than the price of standard stationery. Focus instead on creating an image that represents your company professionally and conveys just enough information about your business without overwhelming customers with too much detail. Keep these tips in mind when designing your next letterhead. If you need help making your own letterhead, click here!

Photograph by Sue Hughes