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How to Design Stationery

A guide to designing business stationery, what has that got to do with web design? Well, if you are reading this chances are that you are either planning to go into business or you are already in business in some capacity. Either way, you will need to get new business stationery printed at some point. So read this guide and hopefully all will go well!

 
  Introduction:

This simple guide is designed to help you focus on the information you may need to include and the types of things you need to consider when designing business stationery - before anything is actually printed!

Choosing the design of a letterhead or any other form for your business should be fun, simple and fairly straightforward. But there are many factors you need to consider before you place an order. It is all too easy to have 500 letterheads printed off before you realise that you have forgotten to include your mobile phone number!

Although this guide focuses mainly on letterheads, the same principles apply to other stationery such as invoices, quotations, compliments slips or business cards.
 
  If you follow these simple suggestions you should end up with a coherent style on all your business forms.

Some basic considerations:
    Do you want black ink on plain white paper or would you prefer some colour? (Even the use of a little colour can significantly enhance the overall look of your letterhead).

Do you want to use a coloured paper (rather than plain white) for your letterhead?

Do you want to include an image, logo or picture?
 

  Layout:

Although all the information may be the same, how it is laid out can vary considerably. You will need to decide on the overall style of your letterhead. Would you like:
    A classic style?

A more modern style?

 A funky, arty style? (perhaps using some clip-art, a photograph or a picture).

  Your address:

Do you need to include:
    Your home address?

 Your office address?

 Both?

 Do you have a Registered Office address which must be shown on your business stationery?

  If you do have more than one address shown on your letterhead, which one should people use to write to you? You will need to tell them.

Whichever address you choose to show on your letterhead, where should it be positioned?
 
    At the top of the page?

At the bottom?

  Also, don't forget your e-mail address and web site url!

Professional Bodies:

Are you a member of an Institute or Federation - do you want this information (and any relevant logo or design) included on the letterhead?

Text Styles:

There are literally hundreds of fonts available that can be used for letterheads, some are more suitable than others.
    This is Gill Sans

This is Verdana

This is Times New Roman

This is Arial

This is Georgia (rather nice!)

This is Courier (a bit plain..)
 
Whichever font you choose, you can also make some words bold or use italics or both. Using CAPITAL letters for some words can be highly effective. Or use a different font size for some words.

Telephone numbers:


Which telephone numbers do you need to include:
     Office number?

Home number?

Mobile number?

A voice-mail number?

  When can people call you? Are all your lines open 24 hours a day? You should include this information on your business stationery.

Telephone Number changes:

Don't forget that many of the dialling codes for cities in the UK have now changed. Do check that you are using the most recent!

Other Important Numbers:
Do you have:
     A Fax number?

A Telex number?

 A VAT registration number?

 
Slogans & Tag Lines:

Do you have a slogan, tag line or a catch phrase for your business? For example:

- a home of good web design.

If you do, this should be included on your letterhead and other business forms. Do you want it at the top of the page, or at the bottom? Do you want it in a bigger font size and bold?

Date & References:

Most letterheads have the following at the top of the page:
     Date:

 Your ref:

 My ref:

  Do you want to include this information? This can often depend on whether you intend to hand-write your letterheads, or print on to them using a PC and a printer. Unless you have designed the letterhead on your own PC system, it can be a nightmare for someone else to try and line up the typing with these headings!
  Continuation Pages:

The second and subsequent pages of a letter are known as "continuation pages". People sometimes use just plain sheets of paper for continuation pages and only use their printed letterhead paper for the first page.

You can choose what best suits your needs (and your pocket!).
 
 

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