Business stationery. What should you include?
The stationery you use for your business reflects the image of your company to the outside world. For this reason it should showcase your company message and be consistent with your other printed material and online media.
A well designed piece of stationery will add professionalism to the letters you send to prospects, clients and suppliers and it is really important that your stationery is well designed.
Your company stationery should have a clean layout and be kept fairly minimal as a clean design strengthens brand awareness and enhances your content provided they are consistent from page to page, for example if you are sending a single or multi page letter, each page should have common elements.
Here are some of the design elements I would suggest you use in your stationery to help develop your company presence.
Your company logo
It’s essential to use your logo on your business stationery as it lets recipients know exactly who you are when they receive a letter, compliment slip or business card which helps to increase your brand awareness. When using your logo on your stationery, it works best aligned at the top of your letterhead either centred or to the right hand side. Allow some breathing space between your logo and other images and text and make sure you use the same logo throughout your stationery to ensure the proportion remains correct.
Contact details should form part of the design elements of your business stationery comprising your company name, address and phone number (registered office, company number and VAT number if applicable). It’s also advisable to have an email and website address.
Social media elements such as Facebook and LinkedIn are worth using provided you don’t add too many. You could include Twitter but beware using too many social media icons which can clutter your design.
Header and footers
Your business stationery should include a header and footer which should be consistent with all of your company material allowing your letterhead, business card and website to match.
Your header and footer should contain vital elements, including contact details. If you were to leave this out by mistake or even intentionally, it could limit the effectiveness of your business stationery.
A consistent colour scheme
The colours you choose are essential to creating effective business stationery. When deciding on a colour scheme, you should follow the colour palette used on your existing branding materials to ensure your stationery is consistent with the material already promoted.
If you’ve yet to create your website or other material, you’ll need to decide on a suitable colour scheme. It’s helpful to research what your competitors are using, for example if you are an eco friendly energy company green would be an obvious choice. However if you were in financial services grey and blue would work well.
As a rule of thumb, stick to a maximum of three colours in your chosen colour palette; two if possible and choose complementary colours. Once you have chosen a colour scheme it needs to appear across all branding material.