The Letterhead Conundrum

Recently I created a logo for a web-based business. In the course of our discussions I asked the standard question, "Would you also like me to design letterhead and business cards as well?"

"Nah. I don't think we'll need it."

That response is becoming more and more common — and I can understand why. How many companies have boxes and boxes of old, outdated letterhead? To throw it out would be a waste, so instead many admins are stuck updating their letterhead with white-out, markers and labels. Back when all that letterhead was ordered, the only "economical" printing option was press runs of 10,000 and up. Besides? Why print letterhead at all? Less and less paper is being pushed through the mail, email is the thing these days.

And yet, you still need it. Just like the sign on the front of your office, your letterhead represents you to the world. So here are 3 economical re-imaginings of the traditional letterhead:

1.  Printed: Print isn't dead, and probably won't ever be, but it has changed drastically. Instead of the traditional press run, consider a smaller digitally-printed run of your letterhead. Bonus, you can get it in full color for a small fraction more than straight up black and white. This will leave with the flexibility to update your information and free up space in your supply closet.

2. Get it Designed in Word: Granted, most designers would rather gouge their eyes out than work in Word, but Word is a standard tool and most business communications are created in Word. There is a way to create good-looking Word files that will print well in an office environment (please don't send it to a print vendor). So have a well-designed Word template on hand for when you need it.

3. Have Your Letterhead as an HTML Email Template: There is a very handy file format that Outlook supports that will allow you to have a pre-designed HTML email that you can edit. This goes beyond a signature or an attachment, fonts, your logo and other elements can all be replicated within reason inside the body of your email.

If you find yourself using those boxes of old, outdated letterhead as step-stools in your supply closet, or if you buy a pack of sharpies for the express purpose of keeping your letterhead relevant, contact us today so that we can talk about some "SmartArt" solutions to your letterhead conundrum.