Looking for the best designing letterhead tips and techniques to punch up your personal or professional correspondence? We’ve gathered the best of them right here for you.
Whether you’re job-hunting or you’re reaching out to new clients to grow an existing business, reaching out via the printed word is always a good method for establishing contact. Email has its place, but a physical letter is always going to be the most effective way to make a positive first impression. You’re demonstrating some serious care and attention if you send out printed letters to recipients, especially if they have a professional-looking letterhead!
But how, exactly, do you design that letterhead to have the most impact? Are there certain industry standards you should follow? Do you simply print your letterhead out at home and hope for the best, or should you rely on the expertise of a professional print studio? Don’t worry – we have the answers to all these questions and more thanks to our collection of tips for designing letterhead that will wow your recipients every time.
Designing Letterhead Basics
Letterhead design might look simple, but the truth is that this simplicity can be deceptive. There are dozens of things you need to consider before you even begin the design process, which is why our designing letterhead guide begins with the following basics:
- Choosing your design software: A simple word processor, such as Microsoft Word, can certainly get the job done. However, if you have plans for an ambitious or particularly striking letterhead, you may want to consider the use of a more advanced layout and design program, such as several of the different Adobe products like InDesign, Illustrator, or even Photoshop. Whether you know how to use these programs effectively is another issue altogether, of course!
- Choosing your size standard: You need to ensure that your letterhead fits on a standard size of paper, according to where your letter is destined to be delivered. Letters destined to be delivered to addresses in Canada or the United States should be formatted to appear correctly in the standard 8.5” x 11” letter size. Overseas addresses use the A4 standard, which is close at 8.27” by 11.7”, but it’s just different enough to throw off your design unless you take those changes into account.
- Choosing your layout grid: While designing letterhead doesn’t take as much effort as designing magazine covers or posters, you’re still going to need to break up the letterhead into rectangular or square sections. Gridding out your layout helps your design stay centered and appear attractive and professional. It’s recommended to look at other letterheads out there and see the style of grids used with the ones that appeal the most to you. Once again, this may be hard without specialized knowledge.
Advanced Letterhead Design Considerations
Aside from the basics, there’s plenty more to consider when it comes to designing letterhead. Here are a few more advanced design considerations:
- Decide on using a logo: Branding yourself or your company is always important, and that’s why the art of logo design is such a big business. The best logos are simple, iconic, and instantly recognizable. They should complement your letterhead, not dominate it or get lost in the overall design.
- Choose header, spinal column, or neither: Looking to dress up your letterhead? Choosing to integrate a header or a spinal column into your layout grid (remember your layout grid?) can help generate visual interest and break up what could otherwise be a monotonous look. These are options, however; if you’re just looking for a simple letterhead, you can leave these out.
- Consider your color palette: Simple monochrome is always classic, but it’s also not going to draw the eye if you’re trying to stand out. Injecting a pop of color in your letterhead, either in your logo, your header, your spinal column, or anywhere else as an accent, can help draw the eye and create a memorable experience for your reader.
- Remember your audience: If you’re working in a professional business sector, be sure to match the look and feel of your letterhead with the types of individuals and organizations you’ll be interacting with on a regular basis. Minimal and monochrome is great for a long-established business, but if you’re looking to work among a younger and more agile type of business demographic, then more modern designs are best.
- Design with consistency in mind. Your letterhead represents who you are professionally, but that’s not the only thing you should be using. Business cards, brochures, company websites, and more should all be designed along the same aesthetics, so if you choose a certain style for your letterhead be sure that elements of that style are replicated in other customer-facing materials to create a consistent look and feel.
Designing Letterhead with Help from Las Vegas Color Graphics
Still not sure where to start? Completely lost as to where to begin on the process of designing letterhead for your business? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there. In cases such as this, it’s always a great idea to turn to the experts at Las Vegas Color Graphics. As the Vegas area’s community print shop for more than 40 years, we have the skills and the experience necessary to show you exactly how to design the type of letterhead for your business that will get the right kind of attention!
Our expert graphic designers and layout artists will work with you to turn your dreams into reality, helping you achieve the exact look and feel you want for your letterhead. Additionally, our wide selection of different printing techniques and technologies mean that we can create any size print run for you in no time at all and at an affordable price. If you’re ready to see just how incredible your own letterhead can be, contact LVCG today and we’ll get you started!