October 2014

When I first started my design career, almost every company had pre-printed letterhead. Now, with the continued advancement of technology, and the changing needs of businesses, more often than not I get asked for letterhead in a Word document. How do you decide what is right for you?  Here are the advantages and pitfalls of each, and things to watch out for when working with them.

Pre-printed Letterhead

Pre-printed letterhead is my own personal preference. It allows you to have a lovely, full-bleed design that is guaranteed to be consistent no matter what you do with it.

Pre-printed letterhead is good for formal communications from your company, and looks sleek and professional. Unfortunately, if you want to email a document on pre-printed letterhead, you will need to print it and scan it, which can be cumbersome.

Another pitfall of pre-printed letterhead is if you desire a different first page.  You will need to do a print run of the cover page, and another print run of the internal page design, which means double printing cost.

Word Letterhead

Word letterhead is a little trickier to perfect. It depends on the customers software (Word, Pages, etc) and is less predictable. It is, however, very important if you send a lot of communications as email attachments.

Word letterhead allows for a different first page, which is advantageous over pre-printed letterhead, where you would need to do two print runs of the different page designs.

If you are only using it as an attachment, a full-bleed design for a Word letterhead is fine.  However if you intend to print it off on your office printer and mail it, I recommend a design that does not bleed off the edge. Most internal printers will almost always leave a white border on your full-bleed printed communications. This inevitably changes the look and professionalism of the design.

What are your experiences with letterhead for your company?

To see letterhead that we have designed, visit www.skleber.com.