A letterhead can play a more important role in your business’s success than you may assume. A well-designed letterhead will remind customers and clients of your brand every time they see it. It will also convey a sense of professionalism, transforming a generic document into something that reflects your business’ values.

The right letterhead for one business may not be the right letterhead for another. For example, the letterhead for a law firm should be a visual embodiment of authority, while the letterhead for a photographer might look more creative and whimsical.

In general, though, there are some letterhead design best practices that apply to any business or organization. They include the following:

Include a Logo

Again, your letterhead’s design should be consistent with your brand. That’s one reason to include your logo in your letterhead. It will increase the chances of your letterhead being associated with your business in the minds of customers.

A logo can also convey a lot of information about a brand’s values without a single word. This makes it ideal for a letterhead, where space for text is limited.

Emphasize Simplicity

You need to strike a delicate balance when designing a letterhead. You want to ensure it embodies your brand, but you also don’t want it to distract from the content of a document. Experiment with design ideas to find one that’s simple but effective. One or two accent colors may be all you need to ensure a letterhead stands out without calling more attention to itself than necessary.

Choose Legible Typography

Choosing the right typography is one of the most important components of proper letterhead design. Once more, the right typography for your brand may not be the perfect choice for another.

However, all letterheads should feature typography that can be easily read. You want customers to easily read the name of your business when they receive documents with your letterhead on them.

Change Your Color Scheme (After a While)

This is a tip worth keeping in mind if you’ve been using the same letterhead and working with the same clients for quite some time. 

Even a letterhead that’s initially effective can grow stale after a few years. To ensure your clients are reminded of your brand, consider changing your letterhead’s color scheme. A simple change like this can make an old letterhead stand out once again.

It’s also a good idea to ensure your letterhead reflects current design trends. A letterhead that may have looked professional in the 80s could look cheap and gaudy now.

Consider a Border

Not every letterhead needs a border to serve its purpose. That said, a border is often helpful when a letterhead contains a fairly substantial amount of text or imagery. A proper border can separate your letterhead from the rest of the content on a document, making it look “cleaner.” This is naturally more pleasing to the eye than a letterhead that looks cluttered.

Remember, you may need to experiment with various designs to find one that serves your needs. You might not design the perfect letterhead in an hour. However, if you apply these tips, your odds of eventually designing a strong letterhead will be much greater.