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Important Things to Consider When Designing and Printing a Letterhead

What are the important things to consider when designing and printing a letterhead?

Letterheads, as their name suggests, are branded headings which are usually found at the top of letter paper or stationary. A letterhead often includes a company’s logo, name, address, and contact information, and is usually the first place that a reader’s eyes land on.

As a prestigious product for company stationary, the letterhead must be creative and well designed to stand out, capture the reader’s attention, and be worth remembering.

Letterheads can help spruce up company stationery and make it appear more formal and professional. No matter the size of your business, letterheads should help create a positive impression of your brand and ensure that all communication between your company and other parties is always done on professional stationery.

A beautifully designed letterhead can be a great asset to your successful branding efforts and direct mail campaigns. If you’re ready to get started on your letterhead, let us share some quick tips to help you create a memorable and successful design.

Keep Your Letterhead Design Simple

It can be tempting to think that a letterhead with wild designs, colour schemes, and loaded with graphics would be the best way to catch your reader’s attention; this isn’t necessarily the case with direct mail marketing.

In fact, an effective letterhead design is best kept as simple as possible. By overloading your letterhead with graphics and text, you’ll bombard your reader with too much information that they will likely ignore altogether.

Your letterhead’s goal shouldn’t be to overpower the content on the page, but rather provide a way to enhance your branding and add an air of professionalism to your material. When in doubt, stick with the simpler choice.

Use Colours Effectively

Colours can certainly be a beautiful way to brighten up any design, and when used correctly, they can be the difference between an ordinary letterhead and an excellent letterhead. Colour can be a great strategy to draw attention to your design and to specific areas you want to highlight on your letterhead.

Colours can elicit different emotions and feelings, and they can communicate a wealth of subtle or direct information. With such an important role that colour plays, it’s important to select the correct colour scheme for your letterhead and use a few well-selected colours to describe your brand. Use colours that represent your company, your goals, or your direct mail message in an appealing, simple and straightforward way.

Try Special Effects and Special Stocks

If you’re designing a letterhead for print, the type of paper stock you choose should also be considered. Design your letterhead according to the stock’s features. A wide array of paper stocks exist, including some with textured surfaces like linen stock, varying thicknesses, and different finishes like gloss, matte, silk, or uncoated. Using the right print finishing and stock for your message will help promote credibility and improve your brand image.

Don’t be afraid to use special effects to personalize and enhance the appearance of your letterhead. A number of different special effects, including spot UV design, embossing and debossing, foil blocking, and die-cutting, can be a cost-effective way to make your letterhead stand out. These special effects can be a great way to help showcase quality, sophistication, customer care, and improve your brand image.

Represent Your Brand

Direct mail letterheads can be very powerful marketing tools and play an important part in representing your brand. Your letterhead is included on most, if not all, types of print or digital communication between you and various parties.

Although your logo is essential, it isn’t the end of the story. Your logo should be coupled harmoniously with the colour scheme, font choice, graphics and images, and any other aspects you include. When all of these different aspects of the letterhead come together well, the resulting letterhead can be a great tool to help create lasting, positive impressions for those who come across it.

Pay Attention to Hierarchy and Alignment

A letterhead is more than just a logo stamped on all types of company stationery. Letterheads are important tools for communication and direct mail marketing. A simple letterhead design should always include all the important details about the company and be designed with hierarchy in mind.

It’s important to position the most information in the spotlight and then include additional company information accordingly. The main item to start with would be the company name or logo, followed by the addresses, telephone number, email, and any other contact information.

It’s the designer’s job to suggest which information is critical and needs to be positioned in an obvious way. This information can be decreased in size and placed in a less obtrusive area. However you choose to place your information, make sure that everything aligns well with the margins, and that your final product has a well balanced and attractive appearance.

Use the Right Software

Designing your letterhead is an art in itself, and like any artist, the quality of your tools contributes greatly to the final product. In some situations, letterheads can be designed with Photoshop’s help; however, this does not have to be your only option. There are much more suitable designing tools available for design and direct mail printing.

Some great software for designing your letterhead includes Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Both Illustrator and InDesign have excellent typography controls and are vector-based, which allows you to draw and reposition simple elements with ease. These are ideal solutions for print-related designing.

Customize Your Letterhead for Different Types of Stationary

A single letterhead created for standard letter writing stationery is an excellent start to the designing process. However, to show uniformity within your brand, all types of stationery should include your letterhead.

Some stationary, such as business cards, are smaller and have less space for your letterhead. For these, it’s important to create an alternate design with small modifications. Keep the base design the same, but you can choose to add or subtract information depending on the space you have to work with.

It is not always necessary to include every little detail in your letterhead. Keep in mind who will be receiving your letterhead and what it will be printed on, and pick and choose information accordingly to best target your readers.

Direct mail letterheads are excellent marketing tools that can add an air of professionalism to all types of company stationery. If designed well, letterheads can be great ways to positively reinforce your brand image.

It’s important to create a simple design, with a carefully selected colour scheme, fonts, and position all elements to appear in order of importance. If you can create a catchy, and well-balanced letterhead, you will successfully elicit positive emotions in all those who come across it, successfully improving your branding.

Our tip for internal and direct mail letterheads is to bulk print them in advance. Bulk printing letterheads in advance, and then laser printing in black afterwards, is cheaper than undergoing individual colour print runs for each project that comes up.

For help with graphic design and direct mail letter printing, please call Troi Mailing Services in Toronto today at 1-866-486-9350 or contact us here.

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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