10 Tips To Create Your Corporate Stationery
Corporate stationery is a fantastic way to get your name out there, whether it’s for contacting customers, in-house use, or gifts. This very important branding tool will spread brand awareness in a more personal setting, communicating the core values of your corporate business. Welcome to Freepik´s immersive guide into corporate stationery!
Where to start
We can print, engrave and cut any shape on many surfaces, so there is a lot to cover. We can focus on the basics to start with, expanding on big ideas later on. Important things to cover before we start is the purpose of creating branded stationery. This will determine what you want to create and the quantity of it. You might be working to a budget which will play a major factor in the decisions you make.
What is the stationery for?
Your corporate stationery consists of letterheads, business cards, envelopes as well as merchandising items such as pens, mugs, just to name a few. The most important and most basic stationery item is your company’s letterhead. As all documents that leave the business must be branded as a means of identification. So it’s probably the case you have unknowingly already started your venture into stationery design! The rest of the stationery you produce is to back up your corporate branding within the company, like giving it a makeover or having a dress code. When I go into the office, I see fellow employees drinking from their branded flask or writing with their branded pens. All it does is create a sense of unity within the company. We are all working as one.
Planning will make everything a whole lot easier and simpler. Bear in mind that you will need to outsource some if not all of the production of your branded stationery. This will come at a cost and you will need to collect quotes from print manufacturers. We have to keep in mind that it is appropriate to design everything necessary and essential for the client’s or company’s communication. Here is a list of stationery items you might want to include in your stationery set: Letterheads, envelopes, business cards, invoices, packing slips, pens, mugs, badges, stickers, USB sticks…
Creating brand guidelines
With stationery we need to understand that to keep your brand consistent we need to make some rules to keep all the graphic elements in line. This is something that should not be overlooked as we start to brand items that are significantly different in size and shape. For a more in-depth look into brand guidelines read this article.
Your logo is the headline act of your brand assets, so it needs all the attention it can get. A spacing guide will help fit your logo in any situation to give it the agreed space determined by you, the designer. Fitting your logo onto the width of a pen could be problematic unless it’s been well thought through. If you can fit your design on a pen, it’s probably going to fit anywhere!
It is a good strategy to make it super easy for any customer/client to get in touch with your company and so treating everything that leaves your company as a business card is very important. In the case of a business document, traditionally speaking, contact information appears at the top of the document. However, for a cleaner design and more modern feel, contact information is seen more often within the footer at the bottom of the page. Keeping to your brand guidelines, it is advised you use your signature font and keep the font size large enough for anybody to read. 8pt type is a healthy boundary to work at.
This is a practice well known in the design community and it basically represents the space between. It is a way to let elements on the page breath and pop out with the bonus of offering a clean-looking design. It’s important to use white space with good intent and to not overdo it. The more white space you have, the smaller things get!
If showing off in style is your taste then stationery is a fantastic opportunity to do so, as it allows you to break rules and push your branding to the edge of the paper whereas in other areas you cannot. For instance, the use of borders, line breaks, and other decorative elements that come to mind as long as they are related to the brand language. The objective is to extend the brand’s personality and to ensure that users are never out of context. This will separate you from the rest. Not only does it look good but it can also be used as a tool to draw attention to areas on the page that need more attention.
Moving more towards the end of the design process it is emphasized that you have a go at mocking up your design. It works for you as a great reference and can highlight any practical errors you may have overseen. It is also a good reference for production and to show to your boss! How you want to represent it is entirely up to you and your preferences, there are hundreds of mockups to pick from that will no doubt sell your idea!
A brilliant way to make your stationery stand out is to utilize various print production techniques, bringing your brand to life, adding depth, dimension, and diversity to your designs. You have total control over these decisions so exercise them at your will. Don´t be afraid to ask a printing manufacturer for samples of the different finishes they offer. You can end up surprised with some of the results. However, it won’t hurt to understand yourself, some of the basic finishes out there to help communicate your thoughts and ideas.
- Gloss – A very shiny finish
- Semi-gloss – Less shine
- Satin – A hint of shine
- Matte – Non-reflective
- Embossing – Raising design elements
- Debossing – Pressing in design elements
- Serigraphy Images traced on a stencil on a mesh with ink are transferred to a surface.
- Flexography – rotary printing where flexible, high-relief plates are used to transfer the image directly from the plate to any type of substrate. Mostly used for packaging production.
Production doesn’t just stop at four color print and embossing. There is an ace up your sleeve if you are the adventurous type. Applying other materials like fabric or vinyl might be something of interest to you. Vinyl can mimic gold, chrome, and silver that can be cut into text and applied to your stationery. One downside to using applied material such as vinyl is that depending on the quality of the product, over time can come unstuck, tarnishing your brand! However, for something that is extra special you might want to try it out, to stand out.
And so we have covered mostly everything you need to know to get creating your very own corporate branded stationery. There is a lot you will learn from such a broad spectrum of design and production in the mix and will only result in you becoming a better designer!