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The Buyer's Guide to Letterhead Design

Despite the prevalence of email communication over written communication, professional letterhead design is absolutely vital to creating good and lasting first impressions. A company letterhead design speaks volumes about the professionalism and expertise of a company, which is crucial to developing effective long-term business relationships. In this article, we introduce the fundamentals of letterhead design which you need to know.

Effective Letterhead Design

Effective letterhead design creates a basic corporate identify for a business or organisation. Business cards and other types of marketing collateral (brochures, flyers etc) help to expand and strengthen a corporate identity, but effective company letterhead design is one of the fundamental building blocks of a company’s brand. Although creating effective company letterhead design is a relatively complex process, there are three golden rules of letterhead design which are applicable to any type of business or organisation:

  • The company letterhead design must visually communicate vital information about the business or organisation.
  • The letterhead design must be relevant and appropriate to its indented use.
  • The letterhead design must be coherent with a target audience’s expectations and perceptions of the business or organisation.

Effective letterhead design is actually created with a purpose, and that purpose is to prioritise the needs and expectations of the business or organisation’s target audience above the business or organisations ideal letterhead design results.

The Basics of Letterhead Design

Effective letterhead design is a customised process, which is usually the result of a length consultation process with a letterhead design company. Regardless of the intended specifics of company letterhead design, all letterhead design should be conducted in accordance with the basics of letterhead design. These basics keep a letterhead design coherent and firmly rooted in its purpose, since it’s all too easy for businesses to go overboard with the creative elements of a company letterhead design. The basics of letterhead design determine its usability as a visual communication tool – ensuring that it always fulfils its strategic promotional objectives. The most important basics of letterhead design are:

  • The finished letterhead design must establish the businesses or organisation’s identity through the incorporation of company logos.
  • The letterhead design must contain key information about the company such as name, location, contact details etc.
  • The finished letterhead design should include the company’s unique promotional strap line.
  • The typography used in the letterhead design must be coherent with the rest of the company’s promotional material and stationery.
  • The colours used in the letterhead design should be kept to a minimum and should ideally be the same as those used in the corporate logo.

Customised or DIY Letterhead Design?

The best letterhead design, like any other business-related graphic design can typically only be created using professional, customised letterhead design services. Letterhead design services from a professional letterhead design company are worthwhile business investments, which can have a positive and transformational effect on a business’s written communication. Saying that however, some businesses, individuals and organisations cannot afford to immediately purchase customised letterhead design services and there are some suitable DIY letterhead design alternatives available. Whether you decide to purchase customised letterhead design services or utilise a DIY-letterhead design tool, it’s important to remember that the final results should remain coherent with the rest of your company’s design and corporate brand.

For further advice and information about letterhead design, or to find a suitable letterhead design company why not get in contact with one of our friendly Graphic Design Buyer Advisors? Our Knowledge Experts can work with you to clarify define your letterhead design requirements, and when you are ready will put you in direct contact with reputable, UK-based letterhead design companies and letterhead design experts.


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