How to Design Letterhead

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Letterhead is the first impression your business gives. The main function of letterhead is to provide the company's contact information. In addition to stating the company name, address, phone number, email address and Web site, letterhead sets the tone for the company. With so many options in word processing software, your letterhead can be formal, playful, traditional, modern or edgy depending on the message you want to convey about your company. It is more cost effective for small business owners to to design their own letterhead than to hire a designer. And with a variety of shapes, colors and textures at your disposal in Microsoft Word, the possibilities for your letterhead are endless.

Things You'll Need

  • Letter size white printer paper
  • Digital copy of your business logo (.jpg or .bmp file)
  • Microsoft Word software
  • Computer
  • Color printer

Open Microsoft Word and click "New".

Click on "Professional Letter", "General Templates" or "Templates from Microsoft.com" on the far right under the category New from template. Look at the templates available in the gallery. Choose one that you fits your needs and style best. (The templates in Microsoft.com require a download.)

Import your logo by clicking "Picture" on the "Insert" tab and then selecting logo file in the "Insert Picture"dialog box. Re-size the logo and position it where you'd like it.

Highlight the text of your company's name and right-click. Click "Font". Choose a font and font color in the "Font" dialog box. The authors of "Document Design: A Guide for Technical Communicators" recommend that you think about the perceptions of different fonts, and make sure that the font you pick matches the way you want your company to be perceived. Change the rest of the text in the template to complement the design you've created for the company name.

Grab the corners of the text boxes and the Picture Box to rearrange the design and change the sizes and shapes of these elements. Save the file as a document file named Letterhead.

Print out a copy of the letterhead. Look over the copy for errors and design problems.

Readjust and correct any issues with the letterhead in Word. Save your changes. Print another copy of the letterhead. Look it over copy again. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the letterhead.

Print several copies of the letterhead to use in you business. Save the document for future use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check out letterhead of other businesses for ideas to get you started. Try using different paper weights, sizes and colors for a different look to your letterhead design. You can also use your letterhead for note pads, envelopes and invoices.

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References

  • "Document Design: A Guide for Technical Communicators"; Miles A. Kimball & Ann R. Hawkins; 2008
  • "Editing by Design for Designers, Art Directors, and Editors"; Jan V. White; 2003
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