Letterheads, Business Cards and Compliment Slips – Research

I realised today that I have yet create a post on what the final piece(s) will become, with those being the final letterhead, the business card and finally a compliment slip. Here I will show the research that I did on what each of these products are and look like. In order to first understand what each of the 3 formats do, I looked online to read about how they are used within a business setting.

First I researched the letterhead. A letter is, in the simplest ways, a template design for a letter which can be used continuously in and out of a company. The letterhead will always have the logo of the company on the front of the page in some place or another, usually on the top, as it is the first place that the reader will look when reading the letter. A letterhead will also contain various contact details and an address for the company itself, so that the readers informed about how to contact the company as well as how to contact them.

While looking at various examples of letterheads (thanks to a Graphics Gallery book by Strathmore), I noticed that many of their designs had very simplistic or flat out empty pages that had little to no graphic design on them, or at least on the front of the page, as several examples I found had designs on the backs of the letterheads. Thinking about it, the reasoning behind this choice in design may be to conserve ink for mass printing, or simply because they left out any unnecessary design on the page, something I may need to consider when creating the final designs.

Next I looked at how businesses design their business cards. Being the format I am most familiar with, I already knew roughly how business cards are literally condensed pieces of contact and address details who are used to inform people who pick them up on how to get more information about the company or even give them a brief explanation on what the company does. Using the examples I had, I mostly found that the designs for the business cards where simple and mostly to the point, with only a small amount of design in the form of the logo or banner.

I may not fully go with this sort of design style as I typically feel as if the card should have a bit more flash than a letterhead or compliment slip (which will only be sent to clients) as it would be mass used for both clients and members of the public, and would therefore need to stick out against all the other business cards around them.

Finally I looked at what a compliment slip is and are they designed. Compliment slips, from what I found are basically slips of paper with the same information as letterheads, which are given to give enclosure to other materials given from a company. The only other difference from a letterhead they have is how they all have the quote “With compliments” or “With my/our compliments”.

This format is mostly designed in the exact same way as the letterhead, usually having a banner and logo equipped to it as well as the same contact details and address.

With this new information in mind, I now have a few more ideas which I can possibly use for my final designs, such as banners, logo placement and information of which to use.


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