A letterhead is defined as “the heading at the top of a sheet of letter paper.” The heading contains information about the company which mainly includes the name, address, logo, and contact details. These days, the term ‘letterhead’ is typically used to refer to the paper that contains such headings.
Almost all businesses have a letterhead that they use for several purposes.
In fact, it is one of the few documents you will design at the launch of your firm. However, the good thing is that you can revise the design based on your requirements and changing times.
Since the letterhead involves a lot of elements such as the logo and address, it is important that you revise it in case you shift office or upgrade the logo. In this article, we’ll highlight the importance of letterheads with some great letterheads example.
Let’s get started:
Why Are Letterheads so Important
A letterhead is not an option. It’s mandatory for every business that deals with customers, government authorities, partners, etc. However, it’s not a legal requirement.
It will not be entirely wrong to state that a letterhead defines what your brand is. It can even help build your brand identity and give a boost to your business and brand image.
Businesses use letterheads for inner and outer communication. Information printed on a letterhead is considered genuine and authentic. Moreover, they can also be used to:
- Write invoices
- Minute meeting or notices tender inter-departmental statements and legal announcements
- Provide information related to the business to other parties including media
Here are some of the main reasons why it is important to work on the letterhead:
- Introduction to Your Business: The letterhead tells people about your business, including contact information. It speaks on behalf of your business and tells others what you do without you having to do so yourself. This is why all the information on the letterhead should be correct.
- Marketing Material: A letterhead can be used to promote your products or services. Customers will not have to waste time looking for information related to your company. They can find all the information on the letterhead, including the phone number and email address. This helps improve return on investment and increases the number of successful leads.
- Authentic Information: Letterhead guarantees that the information presented is true and authentic. Even if you doubt it, you can find the contact details on the letterhead to call the company and verify the information printed on the paper. This is why they are used extensively in business settings.
These days even freelancers and individuals use letterheads as they add authenticity.
Guide – How to Make Great Letterhead Designs
It is important to be creative and come up with a unique design when creating your letterhead. Despite the limited options, you can do a lot when it comes to letterhead designs.
We have highlighted the five tips you need to know to create your very own beautiful letterhead.
#1 Highlight Your Brand
The main purpose of a letterhead is to tell people that you exist. This is why it is important to create a letterhead that clearly mentions your brand including the name and contact information. Moreover, the logo should also be strategically placed.
Some companies choose to place the information only on the top while some tend to print information at the bottom, so with this, you are free to choose the design that suits you best.
Moreover, you can create your own design inspiration by bringing out your creativity skills. However, always make sure to stick to a single design as changing it too often can lead to problems.
A good example would be this Binary Vector letterhead. It presents everything in a neat manner. The designer has carefully crafted the letterhead as the colors are in sync with the overall theme of the business. Plus, all the information regarding the business is available on the letterhead, including contact details.
#2 It Should Be Readable
What’s the point of having a letterhead if you cannot read the font? There are a few things you need to pay attention to:
- Colors: The color should be wisely selected especially if the paper is not white. This is because not all colors are readable when printed on colored paper. Most designers use a specific theme when designing letterheads. For example, if your logo or theme is blue, they will use a shade of blue when designing the letterhead. This is a nice way to highlight your brand.
- Font: There are dozens of font options to choose from but most designers opt for common options like Arial and Georgia. It is best to stay away from unique fonts as they may look attractive but they can be hard to read since we are not conditioned to naturally read different fonts.
- Size: The size should be big enough to be readable. Most designers use different sizes for different headings. For example, the name can be bigger than the address but all the information should be easy to read. This is very important because one can zoom into digital letterheads but you can’t always have a magnifying glass by your side if you’re using hard copies.
A good example of clever use of colors would be this Jonathan Smitherson letterhead. The designer has used different shades of blue while keeping the text positioned on white paper, making it easy to read.
He or she has also used different font sizes. This mixture is what makes the letterhead even more attractive to look at.
#3 Fancy Does Not Always Mean It’s Good
Letterheads are all about professionalism, hence it is best to stick to simple designs.
They contain vital information which is why it is important to stick to a design that will not distract the reader.
We suggest that you avoid using too many colors or unique fonts as it may make the letterhead appear unprofessional.
A good example would be this Brass Union letterhead. It is very simple design with no fancy colors, yet it still makes a solid impression. The designer has also used very light shades that are easy on the eyes.
Additionally, the designer has highlighted all the important information on the letterhead while keeping the logo as the center point. This ensures you do not get carried away while reading the text.
#4 Leave Enough White Space
At the end of the day, a letterhead needs enough space to include the message. Although you do have the option to add additional pages, having multiple pages can be difficult to handle and manage. Therefore, it would be best to only use a single page so that the information is easy to read and grasp.
A great example would be this letterhead for a law firm. It is basic design with no fancy colors used, yet it is still very capturing. There is a lot of white space where you can leave a message.
#5 Goes Well in Sync
A good letterhead goes in sync with all other stationery items such as the business card. For this reason, it is also crucial that you pay attention to the reverse side.
You have to be very careful when it comes to physical letters since most people will turn the letterhead to see what’s on the back. With this, you may opt for a pattern or a solid color to enhance the look.
A good example is this Sibling letterhead. The designer has incorporated the same style for all other items including the visiting card. The reverse side has unique patterns that take inspiration from the overall theme of the letterhead.
Note: Adding Authenticity
You can leave space for a signature or stamp to ensure the letterhead cannot be copied. Scammers can copy the design but they will have a hard time forging the stamp or signature. This is why it may be a nice idea to highlight this factor on the letterhead.
Final Tip: Pay Attention to the Paper Quality As Well
The paper must be of high quality so that the ink does not get smudged. Plus, the paper must feel soft in the hands of your clients. Most big firms tend to use special printers to print out letterheads and other such documents. You may also consider hiring the services of a professional for this purpose.
If you are in need of design inspiration for your letterhead, do not hesitate to consult us. We house a bunch of experienced designers who are able to create compelling graphics for your brand. We work with all kinds of clients and are able to cater to all your needs.
Contact us here to find out more about how we can help you.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.