design letterhead

How To Design Your Own Letterheads & Business Cards Free

If you’re the creative type, you can opt to design your own letterhead and business cards rather than hire a professional graphics artist. This will practically cost you nothing as the software you’ll be using are the ones you already have for your business or are free to download from the Internet.

Use MS Office templates. Perhaps the easiest program you can use to design letterheads and business cards is Microsoft Word. And the easiest way to go about it is to download templates. The Microsoft Office website has a section that displays various templates for the different Office applications. Simply type in ‘letterhead’ or ‘business card’ on the search input field and you’ll get a long list with thumbnails so you can preview the design. Click on a particular template and follow the instructions for downloading. Once you’ve opened the template in Word, you can then replace the default text and place your own company’s name and other contact information. You can tweak the graphical elements to a limited degree such as resizing or repositioning them. You can add new graphics through the Insert menu.

Design from scratch using Word. The features of MS Word have gone beyond simple word processing. It is now used to make and design documents. If you want a completely custom letterhead and business card, you can design it from scratch using this application. For letterheads, you’ll probably be using the 8.5 x 11 inches letter size for paper dimensions. You can position the text and graphics through the View menu and the Header and Footer option. For business cards, you will need to define the actual dimensions of the card. In the Page Setup dialog box, pull up the Paper tab and choose the Custom Size option. Use the Insert Picture menu to put in graphics. From that same context menu you can use WordArt to make more stylish text.

3. Create the graphics in image-editing software. Remember that Word has very limited graphics manipulating capabilities so unless you already have a prefabricated logo or other graphics, you’ll only be choosing from built-in styles and Clip Art. For making your own company logo, you will need programs like Photoshop or GIMP. If you don’t want to spend a single cent, go with GIMP because its free software. This application has Shape and Text tools useful for making simple geometric images and styling text. You will need to familiarize yourself through a tutorial or two to eventually get the hang of it. You will also need to save the image file in a common readable format like jpeg or gif. This is so you can easily insert it into the rest of your layout in MS Word.

Letterhead designs in Word are better saved as document templates since you’re probably going to write and print those business letters in the same program. Business cards done in Word can be printed out with high enough quality through an inkjet or laser printer. Just make sure to use the right kind of paper.


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