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How to Design a Letterhead that Captures your Brand Perfectly

Published: 2021-01-31

The more places people see your brand, the more likely they are to remember you. And the more likely they are to remember you, the more likely they are to continue interacting with your brand and buy your services. In short, brand visibility is positively linked to brand engagement and sales. 

That’s why you put so much effort into designing the perfect logo, right? And into creating a website and social media profiles that are just right for your brand? These are places people see your brand, but they aren’t the only places people see your brand. Any time a client receives an invoice from you, that’s an opportunity to show them your brand with a custom invoice template. If you sell or ship tangible goods, the boxes, bags and even interior packaging you use is an excellent place to work additional branding into the transaction. And every document, letter or other printed communication you send can achieve the same goal—clear branding—when you send it on a sheet of paper with a custom, branded letterhead. 

Although it can feel like we’re living in a completely digital world at times, paper communication isn’t dead. it's just like when you take notes. Some people prefer using online methods. Others still use the good way with a custom notepad with your company logo that you can actually see and feel. Although times are changing, it’s highly unlikely there will never be a need for print communication in some form. So, if you want to build your unique brand into every letter you send, do it with a custom letterhead. 

Adding custom letterheads to your brand identity is a simple, inexpensive way to really build up your brand. With Logogenie, you can design a letterhead with the same simple click-and-drop interface you used to create your logo. We’ve got loads of fonts and images to choose from, so the only limit on your letterhead template is your imagination. And here’s the best part: once you design it, you’re done! We handle the printing and delivering, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right print shop and handling the logistics yourself. Because that’s what we’re all about: handling all the technical stuff so you can focus on design. 

What is a Letterhead?


You probably already know what a letterhead is, but in the event you’re not 100% sure, here it is: a letterhead is the heading at the top of a sheet of paper that lists information about the sender, like their name, address and telephone number. Think of it like the header or footer on a webpage: it’s a bookend that makes it absolutely clear who authored and sent the document.

Fedex logo design

A letterhead does more than list contact information, though. It communicates the sender’s brand by showcasing their brand colors, their logo and any additional designs that showcase who they are and what they’re all about. 

Because we read documents from top to bottom, left to right, the letterhead is often the first thing we see when reading a letter or another piece of print communication. The letterhead prepares us for the content ahead by making a quick introduction. 

Choosing your Letterhead Design

Creating personalized letterheads is actually fairly similar to creating personalized logos. With both, the first thing you need to do is clearly define your brand. Define it by answering questions like:

Who are you?
What kind of product or service do you offer? 
Where do you fit into your market, price-wise?
Who is your target audience?
What sets you apart from your competitors? 

Once you have answers to these questions, you have a basic brand persona. The next step in designing your letterhead template (and your logo, and your website design, and even the uniforms your staff wear) is working out how to visually communicate this persona through design choices like your color palette, font choice and the shapes in your logo and branding. We’ve covered these topics in-depth before, so if you’re not familiar with them, take some time to learn more about visual branding now.

Fedex logo design

If you’ve already designed a custom logo and/or other brand assets, you’ve already got a visual identity to work with in your custom letterhead template. Draw from these colors, fonts and the overall look and feel of the designs to develop a letterhead that looks right at home next to your other brand assets. 

But you might not be able to directly take your logo or another aspect of your design and replicate it perfectly on paper. Why? Because if your logo and/or other brand assets were created to be seen on screens, they might not easily translate to paper. There’s a few reasons why this can happen: 

The logo design is too intricate to still work when you scale it down 

With a letterhead, you’re mostly dealing with standard-sized (A4) paper. So a large, intricate logo that looks amazing splashed across your website header or taking up a big, prominent spot on your sales page might not work in print. 
Fortunately, there’s a solution for that. You can create a simplified version of the logo meant specifically for print. Lots of brands have multiple versions of their logos, each meant for a specific kind of communication. Take a look at a few examples: 


Fedex logo design

When you’re designing a custom letterhead, keep the shape of the paper it will be printed onto in mind. It is the standard letterhead shape (and hey, if your brand is known for breaking the rules and thinking outside the box, it doesn’t have to be! Maybe you have a custom sidebar or footer instead!) 

So think develop your design with the shape of the paper in mind. You’re designing for a relatively small, non-responsive rectangle.


Your letterhead colors are off


You should also remember that colors are produced differently for print than they are for digital. Print designs use a coloring process known as CMYK, whereas digital uses one called RGB. Although you can typically replicate most colors when going from RGB to CMYK, you can see some subtle differences in them and because of this, you might want to adjust your imagery to optimize it for print. This could mean choosing a monochrome or duochrome version of your logo for print and reserving your full-color version for digital.

Fedex logo design


What do Custom Letterheads Do for Brands?


Custom letterheads add an additional layer of polish to a brand’s print communications. Whether they’re invoices, general communication, press releases or even just internal messaging, a custom letterhead communicates “this is an official piece of mail from XYZ company.”

Think about the difference between getting a generic invoice and one the sender took the time to brand with a custom template. The generic one feels a lot less professional, right? It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a small start-up or an Etsy shop that’s one person’s hobby, rather than a fully functioning business. I lot of companies also go to the extent of creating custom notepads, custom pens, envelopes and more. 

Fedex logo design

There’s nothing wrong with sending messages without custom letterheads—sometimes it’s your only option, especially when you’re just starting out and have a really small budget. But unlike, say, a custom-coded website, a custom letterhead is a fairly inexpensive brand asset to invest in early on. And because it’s so inexpensive, there’s a ton of quick, easy return on your investment: design a custom letterhead, get 500 sheets printed up and bam! You’ve instantly taken your communications game to the next level.  

Creating a Custom Letterhead Template

At Logogenie, we offer custom letterhead design formatted to fit A4 pages. An A4 sheet of paper measures 210 x 297 millimeters, or 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ inches.

Before you start designing your letterhead template, take a look at other branded letterheads. You might even have letters from brands like your bank or other local businesses in your mailbox. Study them, take note of what works well in them and pay attention to how they worked with the constraint of the paper size to create effective letterheads. 

As you study them, run your fingers across them. One important area where print has the edge on digital is that it’s tactile. Some brands use this to give their letterheads an additional layer of depth and create designs that rise slightly off the pages. 

No matter what design style you choose for your letterhead template, keep it simple enough that it doesn’t outshine the messages you’re sending with your letters. Remember, the letterhead is there to enhance the document, not to take over the spotlight and make recipients miss your message. 


But what if I don’t have a logo design yet?

Design a logo with a logo maker for facebook
If you don’t already have a logo design, you have an advantage over those who do. Why? Because you can create a completely fresh logo and develop it specifically for Facebook, rather than taking a logo that already exists and making it work within Facebook’s pixel limits. 
You can design a brand new logo from scratch with Logogenie’s free logo maker. It’s very easy to use; there’s no design or coding skills required. Just like we discussed reacquainting yourself with your brand to create a Facebook logo when you can’t just resize your existing logo, you’ll need to flesh out your brand persona fully when you design a completely new logo. If you don’t yet have a clear brand identity, now is the time to create one. 


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