I don’t send out enough correspondence to purchase business or company letterhead. Instead, I create a letterhead in Word using a template that fills in my logo, address, and optional text. When I need to send out correspondence, I use this personalized letterhead template.
The key to creating the letterhead is to decide what you want to display beforehand. For this tutorial, I’ll use Microsoft Word which is included in Microsoft 365 (Previously called Office 365). I’ve also done a version for Google Docs as well.
Although creating the template is simple, you should do some planning. I find it helps to take a blank sheet of paper and sketch my design. Nothing fancy as this is more a wireframe or mockup. This will help you choose the starting header. The good news is once you grasp the power of templates, you can make changes or use different versions.
The list of elements can vary based on whether you’re an individual, organization, or company. For example, if you’re doing a church letterhead, you might not have a slogan or if you’re a law firm, you may not have social media addresses. To get you started, here are some items to consider:
- Slogan or tagline
- Phone numbers (office and cell)
- Web address
- Email address
- Professional license numbers
- Established date
- Social media addresses
Once you’ve come up with the items to include, you should determine their placement. I split my elements between Word’s header and footer.
Think Carefully About Your Graphics
Clearly, images or logos can improve the design and be impactful. But images can also pose issues. You may find you have a great graphic, but your computer printer doesn’t do it justice. Your printer’s capabilities aren’t good enough to display the image. And we all know how pictures differ when you’re running low on printer ink.
The flip side is when you have a great printer, but the image file isn’t as good as it should be. Another issue is that the image you pull in has too much white space so you need to crop or adjust the image.
If you work for a company or organization, you should check if they have an identity or “style guide”. Often times, they will have approved graphics they can give you in the appropriate image size and file format. Just like templates, style guides can range from simple to complex. For example, HubSpot has a lengthy article that includes examples.
Adding a Logo to the Letterhead Header
In this tutorial, I’ll create a simple template. The header will have my site logo and the footer will have my postal address. I’m also using Microsoft Word which is included in Microsoft 365. And yes, Microsoft Word could handle my new logo which is an SVG file.
- Start with a blank Word document.
- Click the View menu and select Print Layout.
- From the Insert menu, select Header. Microsoft Word will display a list with numerous starting Header styles.
- Click the style you prefer. I will use the top Blank style. You’re now in “Design” mode and you should see a Header marker tab to the left and placeholder text above.
- While on the Design menu, click Pictures from the Insert section. If your image is too large, it will scale down to fit the width.
- The Insert File dialog will open. Find your graphic file and click Insert.
- Review your image to see if it’s balanced. In the example below, I think my logo is twice the size I prefer.
- Right-click your image and select Size and Position…
- A dialog appears with various resizing options. My initial logo was 20% and I reduced it down to 10%.
- Click OK to accept new image size. The image will left-align.
- Click the image.
- Click Home.
- Click the Center Alignment button in the Paragraph section.
- Optional: Add any other text you might like in this area.
Adding Letterhead Footer
In the footer area, I include my address with a smaller font and a vertical line or pipe sign. I also centered the text.
- From the Insert menu, select Footer. Word will display a series of Footer styles.
- Click the style you prefer. A placeholder footer appears.
- Add in your text such as your address.
- If you wish to change the font, highlight your text and right-click. This will open the mini format bar.
- Optional: If you wish to center your text, click the
Homemenu and then the Center text button.
- Double-click the small Footer marker at the top left to get out of footer design mode.
This is also a good time to print your letterhead to check the color and clarity of any artwork. Your online version may show colors that are muted, but print fine. You may also need to adjust your printer settings if they are in draft or economical print mode.
If you need to edit either the header or footer to get into design mode, double-click anywhere in the footer or header area. The small tab markers will show to the far left.
Save the Letterhead as a Template
Aside from tweaking your header and footer, you may want to adjust other properties before saving the file. For example, you might change the margins, fonts or style.
- From the File menu, select Save As…
- In the Save As dialog, change the Save as type: to Document Template (*.dotx)..
- Provide a descriptive name for your template such as “letterhead”.
- Click Save.
Using Your Template
When you saved the template, Microsoft Word stored it in a templates folder. On my Windows system, this is “C:\Users\Anne\Documents\Custom Office Templates\letterhead-tutorial.dotx”.
To use the template,
- Open Microsoft Word and select New either from the File menu or Backstage view.
- Click Personal.
- Double-click the template you wish to use. A new document will open based on your selection.
Creating a letterhead template won’t take care of your correspondence. You’ll still have to write your letters. At least you won’t have to type your name and address information each time. And you can also this template to have your letterhead printed in bulk. Many printers have facilities where you can send them a Word file or PDF file and they can use it to do a print run.
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Disclaimer: Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. This site may receive an affiliate commission on these products. Updated: 2020-08-03