For better or worse, first impressions are extremely important. For that reason, just like your company logo and business cards, your letterhead must appear professional, convey the essence of your business, and establish an unmistakable identity.
In an era of e-mail, letterheads are most often used for marketing and sales. So that first impression is everything. Your letterhead should include all of the necessary contact information; it should also produce a desire to engage with your business. Direct marketers know that the design of your letterhead can determine the response to a promotion letter. Whether you make your letterhead appear traditional, elegant, cool or avant-garde, you must first consider who the audience will be. When they glimpse your company’s letterhead, will they respond in a positive way?
When used for a unique advertising campaign, letterheads can be designed specifically for that purpose. While including the main elements of your usual letterhead, an altered letterhead should make your audience look twice and really engage their interest. An extra twist can be added, perhaps an unusual font, a catchy slogan, or an eye-catching graphic appropriate to the campaign.
The choice of paper is just as important as your letterhead’s design. Generally, the smoother the paper, the better your letterhead will look. Subtle differences in color are also important–whether it’s bright or subdued, color will affect a person’s feelings. Before selecting your paper stock compare the various types that are available in order to make an informed decision. Embossing or adding a foil will make your letterhead appear extremely classy, but it also adds significant cost. Finally, make sure that all letterheads match their envelopes and other associated pieces of stationery.