Typically January is when numerous small business owners take a close look at their marketing and branding materials to consider if they need to be completely revamped or tweaked in any way. In order to help with this process, we have written an article series to help you with revitalising your brand. In this first article, we will be taking a look at letterheads, including what is required legally in addition to some tips you should consider as part of your re-designing process.

It can be somewhat challenging to craft a first-rate letterhead. So if you find yourself struggling when it comes to all of the different decisions that need to be made as part of the process, take the time to remember what the basics are.

Let us begin by offering a refresher course on what the legal requirements are.

What sole traders are required to include are; their own name if it is different from what their business name is, their business address and VAT number. For limited companies, the mandatory inclusions are VAT number, registered address, place of registration, registration number and full registered company name.

Partnerships businesses must include the same things that sole traders do, as well as each partner’s name, the address for their main office, and a useful place where all partner names may be found if the number of partners is too many to list.

There are some general requirements that also must be followed. Whenever applicable website URLs, e-mail addresses, fax numbers, telephone numbers, correspondence addresses, VAT numbers, nature of the business, social media and logos should be included.

Now that the critical requirements have been covered, it’s time to look at what the best ways are for creating an eye-catching and tactile letterhead, to help you avoid the most common pitfall associated with this process.

1. Simplicity Is Key

“When it comes to letterhead design, one of the most important guiding principles is making the finished product as simple as you can,” says a design agency in Hampshire.

The purpose of letterhead isn’t to sell the recipient your service or goods, it is just a delivery mechanism. Make sure your letterhead design is simple instead of needlessly busy.

2. Consider All of the Details

There might be certain details that you need to consider depending on who you need to send your letterhead to. If you are sending it to a company that doesn’t use a fax machine any longer, maybe it would be best to leave this number out. Take the time also to customize your letterhead to whatever specific department you will send it to.

3. Represent Your Brand

There is a great opportunity that letterheads present to companies to allow them to represent themselves through prominently displaying their branding information. The imagery, font and colour scheme will all play significant roles in the branding efforts that your company makes.

4. Alignment and Positioning Are Important

The shape and size of your letter should inform all of your subsequent decisions in terms of the placement of each of the individual design elements that you are using. Balance the offset with the shape of the images you are using, so that a connected design is created.

5. Be Smart About How You Use Colours

You should always use colour wisely and it definitely isn’t any different when it comes to letterheads. Whenever you want to draw attention to certain parts of your letterhead, colour can be used for highlighting the area. It is a critical tool that can mean the difference between your design being successful or not, so be sure to tread lightly.