Column #2: Notecards and Letterhead
In last month’s column, we discussed brand identities and logos and why they’re so important. To make it simple, let’s think of a brand identity as a “toolbox” and things like a logo and business card as “tools” in that toolbox. This month, we’re adding to that toolbox by learning how simple things like notecards and letterhead can add some muscle to your brand identity.
Why are these important things to have?
As a business owner, you should at the very least have letterhead that is consistent with your branding. By consistent, we mean using your logo, brand colors and any shapes, fonts or other elements associated with the logo. Letterhead can be used for customer correspondence, invoicing and any other kind of “official” business you conduct. It’s professional. It’s a must.
Notecards are great to have on hand for those times when you need to send something with a personal touch. They can function as a thank you card, a “hi, how are you?” card, a gift card, you name it! They’re multi-purpose. And again, they need to be consistent with your branding.
My business is on a serious budget. How can I afford these pieces?
With a little creativity, you can stretch any budget! If you can’t have a notecard and letterhead printed at a high-end printer, you still have plenty of options. See below!
QUICK SIDEBAR: When looking at a printed piece, if the colored ink runs all the way to the edge of the paper, it’s called a “bleed.” Pieces with bled edges are more costly to print and have to be done at a print shop.
Have a graphic designer create letterhead for you as a Microsoft Word Document without bleeds. You can print copies on your own printer (if the quality is acceptable) or at a copy shop. Buy some nice paper (we love the unusual sheen of 32 lb. paper) and you’re set!
Have a custom rubber stamp or a few hundred stickers made of your logo. Buy some blank notecards and envelopes at a stationery store and affix a sticker or stamp to the front center of the notecard. Voila! Instant branding.
If stickers or a stamp aren’t quite in the budget, buy blank notecards and envelopes in a color that matches your brand. Stationery stores carry almost every color of the rainbow. You just have to ask!
Remember what we learned last month about frequency? It’s up to you to be your own “brand police.” Every piece you have that bears your logo should be consistent. Same logo, same colors, same fonts, same elements. Always. The purpose of consistency is to help people begin to recognize your brand and your product or service. Don’t make it any harder for them! Using pieces like letterhead and notecards will not only make your business look more professional, but it’s one more way to get your branding out there and keep it out there!
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