Friday 14 August 2015
Your business stationery is a tangible representation of your brand. Your business card can often form a key part of a potential client’s first impression of your business. And unless you have other printed marketing materials, then it could be the only physical reminder of that impression.
Stationery is primarily used as a vehicle to communicate your message. Business cards communicate your contact information, while letters and compliments slips communicate more complex and varied messages. However, stationery also says much more about you and your business than the information that is printed on it.
Using professional-looking stationery implies that you are serious about your business. And if you demonstrate that you take your business seriously, then your clients are more likely to do so as well.
Information is received via all our senses. With printed materials your eyes will register the visual information, but how does it feel in your hand? What does the paper feel like, how thick is it, is it smooth or textured, rigid or flimsy? Does it feel high quality? A cheap business card says a lot about a business. It says that you are not here to stay, you don’t really believe in your business, and perhaps even that you cut corners where possible. If that’s how a business treats itself, how will it treat its customers?
Whilst it is possible to produce stationery very cheaply, if you want to make a good impression, then quality is really important. There are three aspects to consider – the quality of the design, the quality of the paper or card, and the quality of the print and finishing. All three elements are equally important, and compromising on just one will have a negative impact on the overall effect. For example, a beautiful design on lovely tactile paper will be ruined by poor quality print, and poor quality design is never compensated for by luxurious paper and print finishes. If you need to reduce the costs of printing your stationery then ask your designer, when you brief them, to look at creative ways of doing this without sacrificing quality.
Your corporate stationery is one of the most important places for your corporate colours to be reproduced accurately. The easiest way to achieve complete accuracy of colour is to use spot colours. This method of specifying colour will also allow more vibrant shades to be achieved. And depending upon the design of your logo, it could be cheaper than printing in four colour process. For more information about spot colours see my blog post Learning your colours.
There are practical aspects to consider as well. If your letterhead or compliments slips will be overprinted in a laser printer then it’s essential to specify laser-safe inks. Inks used for litho printing are generally compatible with the heat of a laser printer, but not all digital printing inks will be. It’s a good idea to check with your printer beforehand to make sure.
You will also need to consider whether you will be able to source matching paper for use as continuation sheets, or for documents that you want to print to accompany letters. If you want to use envelopes that match the paper then you will also need to make sure that these are available. If you cannot source matching envelopes, or would like something more distinctive, then coloured envelopes can be an excellent way of ensuring that your letter is noticed amongst a pile of post.
Operations Leaders is a boutique consultancy who deliver tailored training services to organizations worldwide using a unique and highly impactful approach. Among their competitors are some of the world’s leading business schools, and consultancy firms.
It is important that Operations Leaders present their business in a way that is both credible amongst their competitors, and reflects their dynamic and progressive brand.
Their corporate stationery forms a core and tangible part of their brand identity, so it is essential for it to reflect the core qualities of their business.
To do this, I selected a crisp smooth paper from the popular Conqueror range, called CX22. The colour of the paper needed to look modern, and Diamond White – which is a bright white shade – was ideal. Conqueror is widely available, meaning that paper for blank continuation sheets and matching envelopes will be easy to source.
The stationery was printed using two spot colours to ensure that the blue and green were both perfectly reproduced.
If you would like any help to create a professional suite of business stationery, just get in touch.