Letterhead Printing

What everybody should know about the humble letterhead
and why they’re so important.

Not many business people give much thought to their company letterhead. It was probably designed eons ago, possibly by the bosses wife, and looks old fashioned, it doesn’t represent what the company does, what area of business you’re in and the stock it’s printed on doesn’t cut it.

Although there’s no standard letterhead format, you can keep your eyes open for incoming business mail containing letterhead samples.

Your local printer will be able to provide various letterhead templates.

Paper Stock

The paper stock that you use for your company letterhead plays an important role and there are literally hundreds of finishes, colours and thickness combinations to choose from.

Finishes include hammered, wove, laid, smooth, linen, metallic, translucent, embossed, lined, watermarked, etc, etc. Available colours vary from ultra-bright fluorescents to soft whites, and everything in between.

Stock thickness for the average letterhead ranges from 70gsm through to a recommended maximum of 120gsm.

Are All Paper Stocks OK To Run Through My Printer?

Careful consideration needs to be given to the type of paper stock chosen for your company letterhead as you may have problems running some stocks through inkjet printers and/or laser printers.

For example, some letterhead stocks are laser guaranteed and some are laser compatible. The laser guaranteed stock has been tested on all laser printers and is guaranteed to run through them without any problems. However laser compatible letterhead stocks are not guaranteed to successfully run through a laser printer and may cause problems.

Similarly with inkjet cartridges Adelaide printers, some letterhead stocks are simply not suitable to be printed with wet ink. Many will reject the ink and, due to drying issues, scuff or mark as they run through the printer.

Letterhead paper stock is generally not an issue if your letterheads are run through an impact printer (continuous feed printer) as these printers have a tractor feed which controls the stock as it runs through.

Paper Stock & Letterhead Design Implications

In many situations, the first contact medium that your customers and/or prospects have with your business is your letterhead. Many companies send their quotes and proposals out on a company letterhead and all sales letters are sent on a company letterhead.

In some situations, all customers ever see is communication by letter printed on company letterhead.

This being the case, it’s of utmost importance that your letterhead presents your business to them in the right way by sending the right message.

Letterhead Examples

A Psychologist may choose pastel, unoffensive ink colours (definitely not blue) and print them on a soft off-white, tactile stock. Whereas a law firm may choose dark blue or dark grey ink on crisp white upmarket, embossed stock.
Similarly with design, the Psychologist will usually have a logo with swirls & curves and perhaps the same swirls & curls softly tinted and repeated in the body of the letterhead.

The law firm however, will not have a graphic logo but maybe just the company name in a semi-stylised version using acceptable letterhead fonts and definitely no background graphics.