Once January comes around many small companies find themselves scrutinizing their marketing and branding materials to decide whether they need an overhaul, or at least a good few tweaks. To give you a helping hand we have written a series of articles to get your revamp underway. Our first one is going to take a look at letterheads, we’ll see what you need to do legally, as well as a few ideas for re-designing, should you have that in mind.
Having the aim of designing a killer letterhead can be more than a little challenging, in fact, you can get so caught up in decisions and details that you may need to rewind back a few paces and remind yourself of the basics.
First up let’s take a quick review of the legal requirements.
For sole traders, you need to make sure your VAT number is included, as well as the address of your business and your own name (if it is different from that of the business). If you are a limited company then the fully registered company name needs to be included, as well as the registration number, place of registration, VAT number and registered address.
For partnership businesses, the legal requirements are the same as for sole traders however the address of the main office and name of each partner should also be included. If there are numerous partners you should include a note of where the names can be accessed.
A few general requirements also come into play. Telephone and fax numbers, website URLs, email addresses, addresses for correspondence, VAT numbers, social media and logos, as well as the nature of the business should be included where it is appropriate.
So now that we have reviewed the essential requirements we’ll take a look at how to design an attractive letterhead and avoid the traps that many fall into. Here are a few tips from a branding expert, Brandtastic:
1. Keep It Simple
Letterhead design should be focused on having an end result that embraces simplicity. Remember, the letterhead is simply part of the delivery process, it isn’t there to act as a sales rep. If your current design looks busy, it’s time to get simplifying.
2. Have An Eye For Detail
Details may need to be considered depending on who the letterhead is going to. If you are sending to a company who doesn’t use fax machines, it’s likely best to leave out this detail. In other words, take time to customize the letterhead to the place it is going to.
3. Show Your Brand
By ensuring that the brand has pride of place, letterheads can be used for great brand representation. Creating brand is much related to the choice of font, colour and imagery.
4. Pay Heed To Alignment and Positioning
Once you make your mind upon the shape and size of your letterhead, other decisions of placement and positioning need to reflect your choice. You want the design to feel connected so make sure you show a fine balancing act with the images you use.
5. Be Colour Savvy
Letterheads are no exception to the simple rule that colour needs to be used wisely. Color can be used to highlight certain parts of your letterhead that require special attention. Colors have the ability to significantly impact your design, either positively or negatively, so take your time and focus on being colour savvy.