Designing Your Letterheads

Kate asked:

There are good letterhead printing design and there are just some that are well… Anyway, careful planning can make a difference. Before starting any letterhead design, you must have a clear idea of what you want to project. A successful letterhead printing design should be able to convey what you or your business wants to establish. This could be achieved with a proper layout. A good layout trains the eye and mind towards the single most important word in your print letterheads: the name of your business.

Let me begin with how you should start your a href=””>print letterheads. First, define a margin area. Without a definitive margin area, it becomes hard and confusing for the reader to understand it. Besides, lack of a definitive area makes your design look boring. Most designers compensate this obvious lack of margin by making the fonts big and bold which does not necessarily make your design more appealing. Yes, it makes the name of your business stand out, but not in a manner that is loud and screaming. The overall feeling of designs like this is the sense that it is done unprofessionally.

Second, make use of negative spaces. Negative spaces are the spaces around the letters or images. These spaces add depth to the design of your letterhead printing. The use of equal negative space, as a balance to the visible image or text itself, is considered by a many as a good approach. This basic and often overlooked design principle gives the eye a ‘place to rest,’ increasing the overall appeal of the design through very subtle means.

Third, add contrast by varying the fonts. Consider the most important word or words in your a href=””>print letterheads to help you identify what fonts to use. For example, if your business is called Jack’s Diner, you obviously would like people to know that your business is a diner hence, you put an emphasis on the word ‘Diner’ first and ‘Jack’s’ second. The fact that it is a diner is probably more important to a hungry potential customer than who actually owns it.

All these things make up for a good design. The use of margins, negative spaces and contrast makes your letterhead easier to read, and more importantly, it is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. A good letterhead design actually gives the readers a glimpse of what is in store for them. A badly designed ‘Jack’s Diner’ letterhead gives you a feeling of a cheap diner serving oily bacons with re-heated soggy fries served by devil-may-care service crews. Now compare this with a good letterhead design and you get the feeling that you are in for a good treat.

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