Dating back to 1800s, Edwin Hill and Warren De La Rue kickstarted the production of envelopes with the help of a machine. Then, there were continuous developments along with…continue reading
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What Is a Company Letterhead?
We define a company letterhead as stationery printed or engraved in a particular type of paper or cardstock. You can find it on print letters, memos, envelopes, and other business documents used to correspond with internal or external recipients, such as employees, clients, investors, and the media. And because it serves as a reflection of your business, crafting a design that suits what your company stands for should help you build your image to the public. Doing so will also make your business papers appear more credible and professional in the eyes of those who receive them.
The Elements of a Letterhead
The United States Postal Service handles approximately 20.2 million mail pieces per hour, which is about 336,649 per minute and 5,611 per second. You can only imagine the number of formal letters that make up those quantities.
Among the many corporate letters that come in and out of the postal office, a handful of these letters have a letterhead printed in its cover. Quality letterheads can present itself in any given form or structure, as long as they serve as a visual representation of you and your brand.
The Roles of Letterheads in Business Correspondence
People often have the false assumption that only big corporations possess the need to use letterheads when corresponding with another party. While it’s easy to see why many well-established companies have letterheads in their stationery, that doesn’t make it exclusive to their usage. Businesses of all sizes, including small enterprises and individual companies, should consider using company letterheads for the following reasons:
When to Use a Company Letterhead
If you run a business, you know how important it is to have a letterhead ready in your stack of stationery. It was in 2016 when Statista recorded a total of 1,100 new business establishments in the United States with 250 to 499 employees. And because these establishments communicate with buyers and co-vendors regularly, you can expect a lot of them to use a company letterhead in their correspondence.
Although many of today’s businesses are working toward a paperless corporate environment through emails and text messages, letterheads are still an essential element to add to your letters, contracts, petitions, agreements, and other legal documents. Apart from bringing a sense of formality, company letterheads also lend additional legitimacy to your documents that plain paper and handwritten signatures lack.
How Do You Design a Stunning Company Letterhead?
Customizing your company letterhead is pretty easy, especially if you have a letterhead template to get started. But standing out is another goal you’ll want to achieve to make it easy to remember. It’s one reason to spend time refining your letterhead as you would with a personal portfolio, as this can say a lot about your business and the image it portrays.
Here are a few helpful tips for you can create your professional company letterhead.
1. Get the Details Right
Before anything else, gather the information you need for the letterhead. As previously mentioned, there are details that your audience will want to find in the letterhead for their professional use. Some of these details include your company name, address, and contact information. You can add more information to the heading, as you long as they remain pertinent to its purpose.
Also, ensure that there are no mistakes prior to having it printed or engraved on paper. The last thing you’d want is to have a letterhead bearing a misspelled business name written on all of your stationery.
2. Adapt to Your Target Audience
As you immerse yourself in a state of trying to perfect the lines, borders, and colors of your letterhead, it’s essential to take the time to pause and analyze whether your letterhead is appropriate to the people who will receive the document. Imagine if a law firm used pastel colors or script font for its letterhead. Not only does it fail to communicate the identity you want to build for your brand, but it can also be very misleading to your target audience.
To avoid any branding mishaps, you should consider who you’re sending your letter to and modify the design to satisfy their preferences. Aim for a letterhead design that not only looks good but speaks volumes about your company’s personality as well.
3. Stay Consistent
A good tip for crafting any stationery is to pick a theme that you can focus on as the main feature of your design. It can be a specific color palette, shape, or image that you can use for your letterhead along with other print media. But uniformity doesn’t mean it has to be identical, as this will only make your design appear repetitive and boring. Instead, you’ll want to establish consistency. Doing so will make it easier for recipients to recognize your brand among a pile of documents. That way, people will no longer find it necessary to search for the name of the company that sent the letter. It’s a simple technique that many companies use to make sure the documents they produce can stay on brand.
4. Experiment with Color
Choosing the right color palette can be tricky. In your quest to make a simple but unique design, you may end up with a letterhead that says nothing about your business. Likely, the colors you first imagined in your head don’t look as pleasing when put to paper. Thus, be sure to use colors cautiously.
Since we all know how colors tend to be manipulative in terms of the psychological impact it leaves its audience, don’t be afraid to play around with it. You can still incorporate your brand colors into the scheme as long as they complement the rest of your letterhead design.
5. Add Creative Illustrations
While it may not apply to all, you still might want to try taking a modern approach with your letterhead by integrating a photo or illustration, which is relevant to your business, into the design. It’s a technique that those in the industry of photography, architecture, or graphic design can apply to make a lasting impression on their audience. It’s not the craziest idea, but it’s certainly one that you should test out before making your finishing touches. Be sure you’re familiar with the magic of gradients and transparencies so you can attain the desired look and feel of futuristic design.
6. Create a Visual Hierarchy
Visual Hierarchy is a principle that applies to all aspects of graphic design. Arranging these elements in their order of value is essential, as it guides readers in knowing what to read first. For instance, if you use a header and a footer for your letterhead, you can let the latter mirror the former, without driving the attention away from what readers are meant to find. The same concept applies to the flow of information in your letterhead’s content.
Ultimately, letterheads are a great addition to your business documents for branding purposes. A simple letterhead can help you achieve and maintain a professional image in the eyes of your audience through its structure and placement in the material. By creating a letterhead that meets the fundamentals of effective business design, it becomes a powerful marketing tool for you to make the right impression with recipients.