Too often we see small businesses using poor letterhead design. Often the business owner or an admin staff member is the one who sets up the design. When you think about the impact presenting your business professionally has, you must wonder why people take these risks with letterhead design. You might spend hours and hours perfecting your letters only to have them thrown out by prospects and customers who will not take you seriously. Still, if you are planning to come up with your own letterhead design, here are five ways that will help you avoid the most common mistakes we often see:
1. Keep It Simple
Simplicity is one of the most fundamental aspects of good letterhead design, particularly if you are doing it yourself. This will decrease your chance of creating a poor letterhead design. Steer clear of using too many graphics and gradients in your letterhead. It is common for people with little experience in graphic design to overdo it. These letterhead designs tend to be confusing and may obscure your letters message.
2. Relevant Information
More often than not, the intention of your letters is to communicate a message that will require a response. Make it easy for people to find and read your relevant company contact details. Your logo and brand style should be followed, using the same colours, fonts and shapes throughout the design. If you have a tag-line, USP or catch phrase, make sure it is featured as a secondary element to you logo. Don’t include everything about your business on your letterhead. Your letterhead is not a flyer. The actual content of the letter is where you should communicate more detailed information. Your letterhead must only include pertinent information about your company. In Australian you will also need to include your ABN or ACN.
3. Focal Point
Establish a focal point that will get attention and then guide the eye through other relevant elements of the design. The focal point will usually be your logo design, so the success of your letterhead really will depend on the quality of your logo. If you don’t have a logo, you should make your business name the focus of your letterhead design. To draw attention to this, you could use simple design elements such as lines or shapes.
4. Brand Colours
While using colour, it is beneficial to stick with your corporate brand colours. These are usually the colours used in your logo. You could use shades and tints of these colours if appropriate. Including too many colours will usually result in a poor letterhead design. Aside from being confusing, using more than three colours can make your letterhead look cheap and ‘home made’. Keep it clean and simple for your logo and brand style to dominate. It would be better to use just one colour in your letterhead design, than overdo it.
5. Get Professional Advice
Even when you follow the above steps, if you are not a professionally trained graphic designer, getting the finishing touches right can be difficult. If you have tried everything but it’s not quite working for you, take it to a professional graphic designer. (We hope that you choose Omnific Design.)
What you have already done up to this point, won’t be in vain, a good graphic designer will be able to see what you have done and know how to change it or tweak it to get a much better result. Even if you are happy with your design, it might be worthwhile getting a professional opinion before printing. At Omnific Design, we also print letterhead so you could send us your files for printing and ask our opinion before we go ahead. It might be really quick and simple to fix what you have, costing you next to nothing.