Organizations use a number of stationery items in their day to day operations, one of which is a letterhead. A letterhead is the branded heading and other features at the top of the official business organization paper sheet, usually embossed or stamped with the business name, logo and contact details.
A letterhead is the most valuable document to a company, as it plays a big role in shaping the corporate image. Corporate communications, letters, advertisements, statements, payment bills, official or legal notices, corporate memorandum, business proposals, staff appointments and dismissals, procurement quotations, form just some of the basic business correspondence that is done on letterheads.
A letterhead gives the business a professional image. It is the most dominant brand name representing the company in public. A well designed letterhead creates the perfect impression on the level of professionalism, quality and type of service to be expected from the business by customers and other stakeholders.
Outside the public relations, letterheads are a simple, cheaper but essential mode of marketing pieces. They sell the company’s brand to customers and suppliers, as well as making the outside world aware of the nature of operations; especially for start-ups. It can be compared to an inexpensive billboard when used in all corporate correspondences. It presents the perfect prospect of building brand recognition, making the organization appear well established.
A letterhead gives the business legitimacy in official and legal matters. A document with a letterhead is considered more credible.
Printed and Digital Letterheads
Usually, a company logo and letterhead are designed by a graphic artist, and that is what is taken to the printers printing.
A printed letterhead is one that is designed by a graphic artist engaged by the company and taken to the printing press machine for printing on a special paper for everyday office use. However, it is expensive to use the printing press machine in producing blank letterhead stationery. This is because many printing press houses only accept bulk orders and have set a minimum number of pages before they can do the job.
And what if the pre-printed letterhead stationery runs out of stock? This should not be an issue at all. It is at this point that a Digital Letterhead can be used.
After designing the letterhead, the company can ask the graphic artist for a soft copy of the same and save it on a computer or other storage device, which can be used to print documents that require a letterhead. This soft file is called a Digital Letterhead. Internal memos or those documents that do not need a letterhead can be printed on plain paper, thus reducing the cost of colored ink and paper.
Advantages of Printed Letterheads
Because a Printed Letterhead is printed from a professional printing press house, it has a much better professional look when compared to the one printed on the office printer. The quality of the office printer may not be at par with that at the printing press house.
Unlike the case of a digital letterhead, it is possible to have bleeds on a printed letterhead, that is to say, the ink can go all the way to the edge of the letterhead page.
Advantages of Digital Letterheads
Sometimes, a company’s contact details may change, either out of physical relocation or simply changing telephone, fax numbers, e-mail details or website pages. If you were to use a printed letterhead, it means the branded letterhead stationery is wasted. Because a digital letterhead is just a soft copy, it becomes very easy to make the necessary changes and save if afresh. It is also possible to print out a hard copy or create a PDF soft copy of the document and send it as an email attachment; meaning that it will reach its destination point faster than the printed letterhead document.
It is also environmentally friendly compared to using branded paper.
Important Information in a Professional Letterhead
Any official company communication stationery should be distinct from the rest because it defines the image and importance of the subject being communicated.
A professional letterhead should at a minimum have some basic information strategically displayed:
1. Company or business name is the most important item on a letterhead; an anonymous letterhead is just a worthless piece of paper.
2. Business logo or its unique design in the background
3. Contact details – the registered physical and postal address, telephone contacts, website and e-mail address details, directors where required; but it not be too much.
A well an attractive and professional letterhead should be unique, simple, contain all the relevant information, and have a quality color brand and a specific focal point that will attract the attention of anyone who comes across it. It should represent the brand, be well aligned and beautiful in color.
There are many websites with professionally designed letterhead templates. It is convenient to use a letterhead template because it saves the time and cost needed to start the design from. The templates are designed by professionals to suit different fields of business activities and industry, ensuring that they meet the specific user needs. All the important features required in a letterhead; that is to say, business logo, name, contact details and other relevant information, are taken into consideration in their design.
Because they have been designed to be unique, secure and user customizable, all a user does is to download the template, and customize it to their own requirements by replacing the company name, address, contact details and any other relevant information specific to the business, before printing it.
Using a letterhead template saves the time and cost required in hiring a graphic designer to do the job. They can also be used countless times as they are expertly designed and customizable documents; meaning that the user can easily modify, change fonts, logos, color scheme, business name, contact details or any other relevant information; before printing them.