Friday, October 30, 2015

The Importance of Letterheads

The Importance of Letterheads

It is said that a good first impression helps to open doors.

With professional printed business stationery like letterheads, you have the chance to impress potential clients and get your foot in the door.

A letterhead provides one of the most important parts of any brand’s image and communication.

It does this by using a simple and careful placement of the company logo and layout that matches your corporate design.

Your letterhead is an important legal document and it must not be underestimated when working on the design of a company’s corporate identity and stationery printing.

If you are a company you will usually include –

  • ·        the name of the business
  • ·        the legal status of the organisation
  • ·        the company registration number (if a Limited company)
  • ·        the registered office – if different from trading address.
  • ·        The names of directors or partners

If letterheads are also used as invoices some companies like to have their VAT registration number printed.

This information is not required on compliment slips or business cards.

A striking design for your business stationery can make your business look a lot more professional and memorable.

For businesses, co-ordinating the letterhead printing with your compliment slips and business cards will make your company stand out from the crowd.

And by continuing the co-ordination with all your other business print products is another way to impress your clients.

Full colour printing is now very cost-effective for small order quantities with digital printing and digital letterheads are now suitable to be over printed on laser printers.

This often saves you money on toner cartridges – as your text is usually just in black so you can use a mono printer or copier for your letters.

Writing letters is still a main part of business communication and is a skilled art form in these days of electronic communications.

There are still many individuals who prefer to write than send emails because it is more a more personal form of keeping in touch.

We may not use as many letters now – but they are still a pre-requisite for most of us as an individual or a business.

The traditional letterhead paper brands like Conqueror and Distinction have declined rapidly and have been replaced by largely unbranded digital papers.

We still print here by traditional methods on textured papers like laid, linen or hammer embossed finishes – and even some of these work well on a digital press.

The range of colours has declined dramatically as the paper mills have found it no longer economically viable to carry a wide range of stocks – and more particularly their matching ranges of envelopes.

Most paper supplied is now either smooth white paper in either a 100gsm or 120gsm thickness.  Envelopes are easier to match up and more economical to buy if they are just white.

But letterheads, remember, are there not just to make your content stand out; a letterhead can set you and your business apart from your competition.

There are some nice finishes that can still be ordered – such as foil blocking, embossing or thermography – but they usually involve a considerable extra cost.

So the design element is very important. Good design gives you a competitive edge – if you stick to the guidelines you won’t go far wrong!

5 Top Tips for the design and print of letterheads

A well designed letterhead can portray your brand as professional and will always give the best first impression to your business. You must ensure it incorporates your brand and uses consistent fonts and colours.

1.   Define your letterhead text.

First you must determine exactly what text you’ll use within the layout. Company name and logo are essential elements to include together with all relevant legal information and key contact details. Telephone, website and email are usually essential. Mobile numbers are included according to their importance in your business. Try and exclude anything that will date the letterhead.

2.   Select your letterhead font.

If a particular typeface had been utilised elsewhere within the corporate identity it may be appropriate to use that typeface within the letterhead design. Fonts should be selected to remain consistent with the company image at all times.

3.   Keep your layout design simple.

It is advantageous to have a professionally designed letterhead created by a graphic designer however you must ensure it’s easy to read for clients. Remember – simple is always best! 

It’s advised to leave plenty of white space for letter content.

4.   Use company colours.

Company colours are typically used to ensure the letterhead design remains consistent with other corporate branding. Use colour selectively for the purpose of emphasising the company name. With spot colour printing you should know the pantone reference colour – this makes your colour more consistent throughout the business and when you re-order your printing.

5.   Test your proof copy.

Before taking action it’s advised to print out a proof copy and carefully review it. Ensure all contact details are correct and ask for feedback off others on your design. Always ask for a printed proof on your first order. The great benefit of digital printing is that you can get a printed sample that will be exactly the same as your printed letterheads. Try this sample in your printer to see how it works.

Remember we have our own graphic designers if you need to get specialist help in this vital area of corporate design.

We also continue to offer a number of printed options and can quote for any quantity or specification.

If you want quick printing we are now printing letterheads in smaller quantities online – go to for more information on the prices and the alternative types of paper!

If you take this option we can supply the design of the letterheads for a fixed cost of just £40 plus VAT.

Contact me for any advice on the design and print of your letterheads or other items of business print – your call is free on 0800 0346 007.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ten top tips for producing a Newsletter

Newsletters are essential for many charities, clubs, care homes, community groups and businesses.

After all, newsletters are ideal for letting people know what you’re up to and why.


For smaller businesses newsletters are still the most powerful way of keeping in contact with your customers and employees.

Newsletter content builds a broader picture.
Especially if you distribute on a predictable schedule to inform readers of sales, promotions, new features, reunions, and events.
Think about the last newsletter you received in your inbox.  
Was it a newsletter you looked forward to receiving or just another piece to add to the daily content clutter?
If it was a piece of clutter, I am guessing the information included in the newsletter did not provide you with value.  
That’s not to say you can never sell your products or services, but the trust factor is the most important element – and that needs to be built up first.
Here are our ten top tips for people who need to create them :-

1.   Be consistent.
Your newsletter is a reflection of your professionalism and a key component is consistency. For most people, a monthly newsletter will work effectively – pick a certain day every month to send out your newsletter and have a “house style”.
Keeping a schedule to send the newsletter each week or month allows your audience to start to know when to expect it to come through.  Who doesn’t love becoming part of their client’s routine?

2.   Provide interesting content.
If you add value to your newsletters, people will actually start to look forward to hearing from you.  This goes to the heart of why people will want to read your newsletter… because it’s interesting or informative. Make your newsletter about subjects that appeal directly to your audience – they’ll know where it came from and respect you all the more for it!

3.   Balance your content.
90% of your newsletter should be educational and 10% promotional. Chances are, your audience doesn’t want to hear about your products and services 100% of the time. While they may love you and want to hear from you, there’s only so much promotion you can do before they tune out. A quality newsletter needs more than coupons and ads; it needs something readers can’t get from your blog or website.

4.   Be brief.
Set a limit of either 2 or 4 pages and focus on writing brief, punchy paragraphs. Let’s face it; no one wants to read groan-inducing newsletters that are dully written and far too long.  You should aim to strike a consistent balance between text and images in your newsletter – images should contribute to your message, not just clutter the page.

5.   Be creative.
Let your creativity out if the cage!  Use all different forms of imagery, interesting colour schemes, crosswords, word-searches, competitions or links to websites – anything that will enhance the interest, effectiveness and impact of your newsletter.

6.   Use e-mail and print combined.
Getting the word out need not be costly with a combination of email and digital printing. Email is now quick and easy. Once it is set up it will become a matter of pushing a few buttons to send your newsletter to everyone you wish to read it within a matter of seconds. Business email newsletters can also contain links to company videos, promo codes, and new features.

But, some people still love the touch and feel of a printed newsletter – so perhaps combine the two methods and post printed copies to your better customers or prospects!

7.   Keep Database Updated.
A critical part of your newsletter is the process of building and maintaining your database or email list.  There is nothing worse than sending the newsletters to a named individual who left the company some years ago – or even worse is now deceased!
Make updating a simple and easy process for recipients as well,

8.   Have a Clear Objective
Newsletters are about keeping your audience up to date with the latest developments in your company. But they must work and that means you need to have a clear objective and keep monitoring by encouraging feedback and engagement with your audience.

Try them for a fixed period of time and then review whether they have met the original objectives set.

9.   Design & Layout
Having a consistent design and layout unites the pages and makes your newsletter look professional. They will also save you time.

By incorporating your company’s colours, logo and typeface you can increase brand recognition and improve the likelihood that your newsletter gets read.

Follow all the other blog tips from Direct2Print. For example, using dark text against a light background ensures that the page is easily readable and not too busy.

Remember, breaking up your text can make it more legible – splitting it into 3 columns is usually a good choice for a letter-size newsletter

Finally – Number 10 - Share the Best Content

When creating a newsletter, one of the best (and easiest) practices is to obtain content from all sources.  Monitoring industry related blogs over the week and collecting and sharing the most relevant is a great way to add value for a number of reasons.

You establish relationships with other experts, providing your audience with the best information available saving them time and research, and saving yourself endless hours each week having to write all the content on your own.  A win-win-win!

If your organisation has a newsletter to print then our range of digital presses are ideally set up to ensure you the most competitive printing quote and we can help with an email programme.

Simply send us your newsletter to be printed on a paper type of your choice and leave the rest to us!

At Direct2Print we offer fast turnaround times and high quality printing.  For more details call or email us free on 0800 0346 007 or