The Paper is a creative blog from The Paper Mill Store
project pointers letterheads

Project Pointers: Letterheads

Whether you’re designing a letterhead for professional use or putting together the next edition of your family newsletter, including a letterhead in your correspondence is an easy way to polish your missive and take your communications to the next level.

Why Use A Letterhead?

Your letterhead is your first interaction with your intended recipient. Not only is it an excellent opportunity for companies to boost their branding and credibility, but it’s also the perfect forum for personalizing your message and making it feel a little more exclusive and special.

What Needs To Be Included?

There are a few things that need to be included in any letterhead, but ultimately what you include will depend on your message and whom you’re sending it to.

Make sure you include:

  • Your name or your company’s name
  • A return address
  • An e-mail address where your recipient can contact you
  • Your phone number
  • A fax number, if applicable

Designing A Letterhead

Letterheads are deceptively simple. Designing an attractive and effective letterhead can be challenging, but if you keep a few key things in mind, creating a compelling letterhead will be a breeze.

1.  Less is MoreLetterhead Keep It Simple Project Pointers

Letterheads are not the message, they are just the package! Don’t try to cram too much information into your letterhead – otherwise, you risk drawing the attention away from your message.

2.  Typography is Key

In a letterhead, you need to communicate important information quickly and clearly, and typography is the most powerful tool for doing this. Decide which information is important – for example, should you include an e-mail address instead of a phone number? – and create a type hierarchy to help you communicate critical information.

3.  Who Are You Contacting?

Don’t forget your intended recipient! Which information is most valuable to them? Make sure you include everything they need and nothing more – if all they need is your phone number, don’t include a fax number and e-mail address.

4.  Remember Your Margins

If you’re designing a letterhead you’re intending to print yourself at home or in the office, be sure to include generous margins. If you’re paying for commercial printing, incorporate the appropriate amount of bleed.

McDonald's Letterhead

5. Branding is Important!

If you’re sending a corporate communication, your letterhead is prime branding real estate. You can easily incorporate branding by integrating your company’s logo, typography, and color scheme.

6.  Go Easy With Color

Use color sparingly so you don’t draw too much attention away from your message. Stick to your corporate color scheme (if you have one), or if you’re designing a letterhead for personal use, choose two or three of your favorite colors and don’t overuse them.

7.  Don’t Forget About Paper

Paper choice can significantly contribute to how your recipients receive your message. Keep reading for our favorite paper recommendations.

What About Paper?

Printing your beautifully designed letterhead on plain old bond paper might make your message fall flat, but a nice, heavy writing stock will start your correspondence off on the right foot.

Here are some of our favorite paper options:

Bright white is clean and classic for any correspondence.

Capitol Bond Bright White Paper

Natural white is more understated than bright white.

CLASSIC COLUMNS Recycled 100 Natural White Paper

Ivory is a subtle, simple neutral, and it’s perfect for any use.

HOWARD Linen Lively Ivory Paper

Envelopes are just as important for your correspondence as the paper you print your message on, but they can often get forgotten in the design process. Here are some of our favorite envelopes:

Linen texture adds a little something extra to bright white envelopes.

HOWARD Linen Bright White Envelopes

Smooth texture is a standard choice for professional correspondence.

Navajo Brilliant White Envelopes

No more licking envelopes! Try these off-white peel and seal envelopes.

CRANE'S CREST Natural White Envelopes

Use Your Letterhead

A poorly designed letterhead can be distracting, but a well-designed one can contribute to your message and ultimately improve your communication. By choosing the right paper and keeping a few simple design tips in mind, you can make your communications stand out from all those bills and flyers, regardless of whether you’re sending an official letter or simply updating your loved ones on your last family vacation!

Steph Schinkel
Steph Schinkel

Steph is an avid crafter, DIY enthusiast, and regular contributor to The Paper who loves to handmake all of her cards. Above all else, Steph is a die-hard foodie with a massive sweet tooth and a deep, soul-consuming love for chocolate.