Interested in knowing what steps to take to put together a great stationery package? This coming series of articles will dive into how to lay out and make each piece of stationery print-ready and professional. First, however, let's do a bit of an overview on what's involved in preparing great stationery (business cards, letterhead, envelopes, etc.) at a price that makes sense.
It's Not About You!
When creating great stationery for yourself (or having someone else create it), keep in mind that the important part of what you choose is how the package is perceived by your clients and prospects. Figure out what type and quality of stationery is "normal" in your industry and strive to have your own stationery look a little better than that. For instance, if you're a doctor or a lawyer, you don't want to have a shoddy stationery package as it will not give people the feeling of confidence in your business that they're looking for. Conversely, if you own a trash-hauling business, having an ultra-premium stationery package might give people the impression that, because of how fancy your stationery is, you charge too much!
Again, the best thing to do is to asses the state of your industry and aim to look slightly more professional than normal - not only will this make the best impression on your clients, it will give you the best bang for your buck. You won't spend too much getting something better than you need and you won't waste your money getting something that will not serve you effectively.
Decide How You'll Print Your Stationery Before Designing It
Intuitively, you might think that it makes sense to design something and then go get a quote on it. Unfortunately, this is absolutely backwards if time and budget are a concern.
Pricing on printing is based on many of the following factors, some of which will determine how you must design your stationery:
- Type of printing (1 colour, 2 colour, full colour). Digital or Offset? (remember, laser printing is unsuitable to run back through another laser printer because the toner can come off. so, while you might print your business cards on a laser printer you will not want to print your letterhead that way.)
- Materials (type of stock).
- Images/shading/registration (if you want high resolution images or tight registration, you will likely have to consider higher quality printing if your stationery is to look professional).
- Quantity (some types of printing lend themselves well to different quantities).
- Bleeds (or not). If you want images going right to the edge of your printed pieces, you'll nee.d to accommodate for this in the design process.
Designing Your Stationery
Having stationery and logos designed by professionals is one are where it almost always makes sense to spend some money.[inset side="left" title=""]Having stationery and logos designed by professionals is one are where it almost always makes sense to spend some money. Often, even skilled desktop publishers will seek out design help on designing a logo. [/inset] Often, even skilled desktop publishers will seek out design help on designing a logo. Why does this make sense? The biggest reason this makes sense is that it's vital to present yourself professionally in print if you want your business to grow. Secondly, design help with stationery and/or logos is a great investment because once you've had it done you own the designs and can use them over and over again. Make a point of getting the source files of any work you get done and store them in a safe place for this reason.
Ready to get to work on your stationery? Visit us next month and we'll go through the steps you must follow to lay out a business card so that it looks professional and is ready for submission to your favourite printer.