Whether you’re a business professional in need of paper reading “From the desk of…” or an individual who just wants to add a personal touch to important letters, choosing or designing a stationery design can be a bit taxing. It’s easy enough to hire out the work to a service like Designhill or other crowdsourcing efforts, but how can you hire someone to design something when you’re not even sure what you want?
The key is to find places that inspire you and help you figure out what you want to see from the final product of your upcoming stationery design project. Inspiration Feed and other sites offer lists of professional stationery design, including professional examples that cover everything from letterhead to the complete corporate identity, but depending on your reason for obtaining stationery, this may be a bit too much. It may also be too limited or specific for your purposes; a full corporate package is pretty to look at, but if you’re not part of the industry in question or suffer from option overload, it can be a bit too much.
If you want to stick to this old fashioned route, however, you can find inspiration from a number of different places:
- Inspiration Feed
If you’d rather think outside the box, or aren’t interested in the kind of work you find on these websites, there are other places from which to draw inspiration. Visit your favorite blog or news site, run an image search for your favorite colors, even looking at your own company website can offer a springboard to creating the letterhead you want. Another great online option, believe it or not, is an online streaming service like Netflix or CrunchyRoll. Spend some time watching your favorite television shows and take notes about what you like best about the imagery, then offer those notes to a designer to analyze what it is you like seeing the best and ground that vision in reality.
When it comes to corporate identity, you may not want to stray so far from your territory as drawing inspiration from reruns of Law and Order. Graphic Design Junction refers to letterhead as one of the key elements of corporate branding, along with business cards, compliment slips and envelopes. Stationery comprises both the first and last in the list, so getting it designed right is integral to putting your best foot forward.
However, if you’re not quite sure where to start even after looking at the many examples above, you may benefit from opting for online stationery design services at Designhill or other crowdsourcing design services. This connects you with professional designers prepared to give you just what you want, regardless of how much you can visualize. If you choose to work with a professional, or a number of professionals, it’s best to first take your corporate colors and logo into account, and then seen out inspiration in similar hues and shapes. Check out the groups and sites above, select a half-dozen from the many lists available and tell your designer—or designers—what you like about those particular pieces. Cover everything from shape to color to the visual weight of the paper itself; the more details you can offer, the closer your designer will be on their first try.
If you really don’t know where to start, take a little time out of your day to think about your logo and your company website. Figure out what they mean to your business and how they add to your corporate identity, then have the professionals utilize those colors and shapes in your stationery.
Make Something to Write Home About
If you’re ready to turn your desk into a place of written importance, it’s time to start deciding what kind of stationery you want. Remember, as eZineArticles.com pointed out as far back as 2009, for a business your stationery carries much more weight than any other sheet of paper you could write on. Company letterhead offers a level of legality to anything written on it, making sure that nobody can duplicate important letters or documents, and that people can trust anything that comes off your desk with a quick glance at the design.
It’s not just about finding inspiration, but without knowing what you want you’re not likely to make it very far. The last thing you want is for your business to have official letterhead that you don’t like or that doesn’t properly fit with the rest of your corporate image, so be 100 percent sure that you’re happy before anything goes off to print. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need to find and describe the design you want. Inspiration is everywhere; it’s your job to find what you like, and the designer’s job to figure out how to make it work for your business.