Have you thought about your letterhead lately? Many businesses don't because it is easier to not think about it and keep going on with the multitude of tasks that has to be done on a daily basis. However an update to an old letterhead can be just like an extreme makeover. If your letterhead has not changed in the last 15 or more years it might be time for an update. However there are many things you want to watch out for and make sure you don't make these mistakes in designing your letterhead.
Don't Do Tip 1: Overcrowded Corporate Letterhead
If you are going for a corporate letterhead look you want to be sure to not crowd everything into the top of the letterhead. Sure there are a ton of things you want to include on there and a lot of important information. However with all of the contact details in today's connected environment you letterhead can quickly become overcrowded and ugly. So plan ahead and make some decisions early on what is necessary for the top part of the letterhead. For example do you really need two different emails address, multiple phone numbers, address and all kinds of other junk crowding your startup logo and letterhead design. Instead see if you can't leave some of these things off the letterhead and if not then place them down at the bottom in the footer area. The more open space you can provide in the letterhead the more of a corporate look it will have.
Don't Do Tip 2: Overuse Of Color On Company Letterhead
Sure we can all admit that we love color and lots of it. However when you are working with a letterhead color should be used sparingly if at all. Your letterhead will be copied, Xeroxed and run through the fax which are all black and white only. So if you have lots of color and wonderful gradient areas on your letter head full of beautiful colors it is going to turn out ugly in the end. After it has gone through multiple fax machines and a few copy machines your letterhead will look like a big black ink spot. It might be now better used in a psychology testing laboratory then as your letterhead. In fact I often suggest when working with ideas for a letterhead design one should copy and fax it a few times along with crumpling the paper up and abusing the letterhead a little before deciding if it is the final look you want. By doing this you can see your letterhead as everyone else will.
Don't Do Tip 3: Overly Detailed Letterheads
Getting a letterhead with lot of fine, small details is not going to work very well either. It will go through the same process as above and you don't want your finely detailed artwork look like a old sailor's tattoo that has spread and stretched out too much from over use. The fine details will be lost and thing will blur together. Again try taking it through the process yourself and see if you still like the final result.
Don't Do Tip 4: Realtor Letterheads
You know we have all seen those glossy business cards and beautiful letterhead printed in full color that many Realtors will use and they look great. However they are often a little overboard and a little too gaudy if you are not in the realty business or field. So if you are not in that field do not put a pick picture of yourself with a beautiful sunset behind you on your letterhead. This will look very overdone and like you are into yourself too much. You want a letterhead that emphasizes your company and not just you.
No matter what you plan on doing with your letterhead and no matter what industry you work for don't waste your time or spin your wheels trying to get a letterhead to only be disappointed later. Instead take some time to reflect on the company and mission of your business. Then try to design letterhead that communicated these feelings. You want your letterhead to act as a first impression and it is therefore important that it carried the mood and tone of your business.