The Constraints of Stationery — An Opportunity To Be Unique

Imagine getting a letter from your lawyer, accountant, or doctor. The information it contains is important, but the logo is pixelated or too small. In trying to create something quickly, the firm you’re working with ended up with a poorly executed design. The presentation of their brand makes you wonder whether this is the right group to trust with your business, your money, or your health.

Sending letterhead or handing out business cards that contain unprofessional or boring designs can kill the credibility of your brand. Nearly every business needs to create standard stationery items — from business cards to letterhead to envelopes. Understanding how to correctly produce stationery materials can help set your business apart from the pack.

Creating within strict constraints.

Stationery is pretty standard — and many times it is designed without much imagination. There are stringent constraints on the space you have and the information that needs to be included. However, if you look at some of the really inventive, creative solutions out there, you can see that constraints are a great starting point for creativity. If you first understand the set parameters, then, instead of focusing on the limitations, move forward by exploring all the options in areas that do allow for creativity. Behance is a great place to get inspiration.

Principles and best practices for designing company stationery.

When crafting stationery, consider the following questions during your design process.

Some rules still apply.

While there is plenty of room for creativity in these designs, it’s important to note that some rules do still apply. For instance:

These guidelines are not hard and fast. Playing with viewers’ expectations of what a “stock” business card looks like can be a good opportunity for creativity, however be sure your design is legible and meets your practical business goals.

How to get started.

Designing business cards and stationery that help you wow customers can set you apart from competitors. Start with InDesign stationery tutorials, and then jumpstart your design with a template from Adobe Stock you can easily customize for your own design. Additional tutorials show you how to add fonts from Typekit — where you’ll have access to over 4,000 typefaces — or how to save your project and project elements to Creative Cloud Libraries.

Revamping your stationery can be a wonderful differentiator in a crowded marketplace. Get creative in the areas where you can and put your best foot forward with stationery that represents your very own brand personality.