Business stationery design: 7 tips for small businesses

Business stationery, such as business cards and letterheads, can be the most used marketing communications tools for many small businesses. However, a lot of businesses give them little thought, running off to the closest office supplier where they get a choice of ten templates, colours and fonts.

So how do you make your business stationery design stand out from the crowd without breaking the bank? Here are my 7 key tips:

  1. Your business card and other business stationery should be a reflection of your business – a window to the soul. So, if you need business stationery, and most businesses do, make sure you have your stationery professionally designed.
  2. That doesn’t mean business stationery should cost a fortune. Most specialists can develop business stationery designs quickly and printing costs are relatively cheap. Full colour and double-sided printing (for business cards) is now affordable.
  3. If you need multiple business stationery – for example business cards, letterheads and with compliments slips – make sure they complement each other. A suite of well-designed business stationery looks professional and can significantly enhance the image of your business.
  4. Make sure you include all the required information on your business stationery design. Most businesses will need to include their logo and full contact information. I also like to include key messages and brief details on the services or products your business provides.
  5. When it comes to business cards, these days there are a variety of formats and sizes. Personally, I prefer the standard size (90mm X 55mm) format as it’s less likely to get lost in recipients’ drawers or business card holders.
  6. If you are after something a little different, talk to your designer or printer. Features such as spot colour, spot metallic, embossing and rounded corners will be more expensive but worthwhile for some businesses.
  7. With more and more communication via email, if you only use letterheads infrequently, get a template designed for your word processor that you can use as a letterhead. You then have a document that can be emailed or printed. Be aware, however, the quality won’t be as good as commercially printed letterheads and make sure you provide adequate margins so that important features of your letterhead aren’t cropped during printing on home or office printers.

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