Printing Perfect Stationery

January 7, 2010

Both business and personal stationery can do wonders to improve your relationships. There's just something about receiving a unique handwritten note within a whirlwind of electronic communication. A handwritten message on well-designed, high-quality stationery makes the recipient feel appreciated and increases your value in their eyes. If you're considering designing stationery for business or personal use, keep these three tips in mind.

1. Include all the right information Much like the important information contained in an e-mail signature, such as your title, mailing address and other contact information, think about the best way to present yourself on stationery paper. If the stationery is for personal use, you can simply use your first name, or first and last name and home address. For professional stationery, it's wise to treat the letterhead design like a marketing campaign that has to sell a product (you) and give folks a way to respond. Make sure you are representing your brand or company with the most up-to-date logos and fonts and always include a URL, e-mail address or toll-free number where recipients can reach you. 2. Include a little bit extra There are tons of little extra touches you can add to stationery to make it unique and really representative of your company or personality. Don't be afraid to add a company tagline or slogan. If the stationery will be used by sales representatives, try running a panel with customer testimonials down one side of the paper. You can also include a watermark or illustration of your logo or storefront. The metallic finish of foil stamping can literally make the logo shine. For personal stationery, try an image of your home or any other icon that represents your interests. Even die cuts can be incorporated into stationery design, by cutting out a custom shape on the top corner of the page or even rounding off one edge of the paper for an added effect. 3. Order matching supplies Along with a new set of stationery, you'll want to order second sheets on the same paper stock so you can write on more than one page. Matching envelopes are also a must. Try to order the stationery and envelopes from the same printer or supplier so that the paper stock and ink are exact matches. Printing your return address on the upper left-hand corner of the envelope or on the reverse side. You'll want to include a business card with correspondence and it's best if the paper stock, fonts and colors on the business cards relate to or completely match the stationery. Finally, if you come up with a fabulous stationery design, try carrying that design over to a greeting card or thank-you card format. This way you can print stationery, greeting cards and one set of envelopes, which do double-duty for both correspondence formats.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.