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Designing letterhead

From: Developing Brand Identity Collateral

Video: Designing letterhead

Now that our file is set up, let's design the Red 30 letterhead. Using elements we've established in our business card design, we'll make sure to copy and paste them into our letterhead and follow a similar visual style to ensure consistency with other elements. First, I'm going to jump into my business card file here, and I'm just going to select the whole card. Let's copy it and let's paste it into our new design. Now, we can begin to arrange these elements, and we're sure that they're exactly the same as in the card. Now, obviously, on our letterhead, we have a lot more room to work, so text doesn't need to be quite as small.

Designing letterhead

Now that our file is set up, let's design the Red 30 letterhead. Using elements we've established in our business card design, we'll make sure to copy and paste them into our letterhead and follow a similar visual style to ensure consistency with other elements. First, I'm going to jump into my business card file here, and I'm just going to select the whole card. Let's copy it and let's paste it into our new design. Now, we can begin to arrange these elements, and we're sure that they're exactly the same as in the card. Now, obviously, on our letterhead, we have a lot more room to work, so text doesn't need to be quite as small.

So I'd encourage you to bump up the text size a little bit. To start, I'm just going to move this all into the top-left corner. I'm going to remove Sarah's name. We really don't need a specific name on letterhead. We really just want to promote the company. So, we'll delete Sarah's name, her title, and her email address. Next, I'm going to drag this brown box across the screen, and I'm going to create a separate area for my content, and I'll duplicate it to create another area for my logo.

We'll leave a small white gap in between. Now, you notice that I'm drawing this box out to our bleed area. We're going to use this version of the letterhead as a full bleed version, and then we'll create another one below that we can print off in the office. Next, I'm going to move my logo onto the right-hand side, and I'm going to scale it up a little bit. Now, I need to consider the hierarchy of the information on this letterhead. I think the most important element to include at the top here is our nice bold Red 30 creative website address. And if we just increase the size of this frame, we can probably bump up our text size a little bit.

So let's move this up to 14 points. Next, I am going to include our address information below, and we'll scale this box much longer than we had on the card. I am going condense the address information into one line, and then we'll put our phone number and our email address below that. So, because I have more room on the letterhead to type, I'm going to actually write phone, and I'll put in the phone number. Now that our phone number's in place, I'm going to just put a couple of breaks, and I'll include our email.

This is going to just be a generic email address, not specifically Sarah's. So this one will just be an info@red30creative.com. Now you notice that the phone and the email titles kind of get lost in this design, so let's just increase the contrast on them by changing the color and bolding that text. I'll highlight phone and let's go PT Sans Bold. I'll do the same for email. And you know what? I find this font a little bit small, so I'm just going to bump the whole thing up to ten.

We'll check this later by printing it off on our home computer. Lastly, I'm going to change the color of phone to orange and the email color also to orange. There, now it stands out that these are two different pieces of information. Next, I find that this gap between these two boxes looks a little bit unfinished, so what I'm going to do is I'm just going to draw a rectangle below this, and I'm going to fill this rectangle with orange. What this is going to do is just kind of help cap off this header element at the top.

And we'll space it out so it roughly the same size as this gap. If we hit W, we can preview our letterhead. It looks still a little bit large, so let's zoom in and I'm going to tighten up these areas. That looks better. Our logo is a little bit small in the corner as well, so we'll just scale that up even more. Lastly, on this letterhead, we have lots of room at the bottom of our page. We want to make sure that we're not interfering with any of the content on our actual letterhead design, but we can include something unique down at the bottom.

So, one thing I recommend is let's just duplicate our logo, and I'm going to just condense this frame a little bit to crop off the red text. We're actually going to change our display settings so that this looks nice and crisp. And we'll scale this up nice and big. Once that's scaled up, I'm going to move it down to the bottom corner of our page. I'll scale it a little bit bigger still. We'll rotate it, and let's position it in the corner of the design.

Lastly, if I find that this is still a little bit too heavy at the bottom, I can change the opacity. So let's just drop the opacity of this down to about 50% to start. That might still be a little bold so, let's go with 30%. Now, this is going to act similar to a watermark as just a nice subtle accent to the design. Finally, I'm going to add our tagline, which is "creative consultancy," down to the left-hand corner of our screen. If I take our Text tool and draw a new text box, we'll just type that text in. Creative consultancy. I'll highlight it.

Bump up the font size to about 30 point. Change the color to orange. And let's use Lobster, which is our headline text. Let's exit our preview, and we'll just position this in the bottom-left corner. I'm keeping it inside our margins, just to make sure that in the event this is trimmed out improperly, it's not going to get cut off. This looks great for a full-bleed design. However, we may need to create another version that we can print off on our office printer. So what I'm going to do is just select all of the content on this, copy it, and I'll move down to our second page and I'll duplicate the design by clicking Edit > Paste in Place.

On this version, I'm just going to shrink all of our elements to be a little smaller and fit within our boundaries. So, let's exit our preview mode and drag all of our elements in to sit within the margin we've set up. We'll zoom in to do this bar below the header. And we're not going to be able to use this element on the bottom-right, which is this 30 that's kind of bleeding off the side. So let's delete this out. Next, I'm going to just duplicate this orange bar and place it on the bottom edge.

This will help contain whatever it is we write on this actual document. I notice that it's not quite to the right margin, so let's just fix that on the top and bottom. Lastly, I find that this creative consultancy text is maybe a little bit bold in this version, so let's shrink it down. Well span our text box to be the full width of the screen, and then I'm just going to center it. There. Now it's centered nicely in this design. As you can see, we've created two different versions of this letterhead: one that bleeds off of the edges and one that we can print on our desktop printer.

I find that these hard corners are a little bit sharp, so I'm thinking that I'll round the corner on this side of the design. Lets go up to our Object > Corner Options. We'll unlink over corners and just round it a little bit. We'll click Preview to make sure that looks as we intended. That looks good. Click OK and we finished our design. Designing a letterhead is very similar to creating your business cards; however, you do have a little more room to work.

Just make sure that your design beautifully frames the content inside and doesn't interfere with the legibility or readability of it. If your contact information is going to change often, consider designing the letterhead without bleeds and printing it off on your home or office printer. You can save a ton on upfront printing cost with this method.

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Developing Brand Identity Collateral

14 video lessons · 12385 viewers

Steve Harris
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