Clever Business Stationery Ideas | The Photographer’s Guide To Printed Business Stationery!
Clever Business Stationery Ideas | Has print really been replaced by emails, websites, and social media? If you can reach your potential client with just a few keystrokes, or a couple of taps on your smartphone, why on earth would you even consider investing in custom business stationery? While it’s true that you can engage your potential and existing clients and business partners without using printed business stationery, you’ll want to keep in mind that an email will deliver your message, but it won’t do all the things a custom printed letterhead will do for your business.
You see, printed stationery will help you leave an impression of an established, reliable business, reinforce your brand, deliver your message, but also say plenty about your business and the services you’re providing without using any words. The benefits of well-designed stationery are practically endless, but only when done right. A poorly designed business stationery will deliver a wrong message and can do a lot more damage than you think! Curious how to design a business stationery packet that will work for your photography business as hard as you are? Read on to find out everything you need to know!
You Don’t Need To Get Everything! | Clever Business Stationery Ideas
Business stationery is a term that covers a plethora of items, and one of the main issues with generic templates (in addition to being generic!) is that these packages usually include countless items you’ll never use. Instead, they’ll end up lying around your office collecting dust. So, before you approach a designer or order one of the packages available online (Which you really should reconsider – more on that later!), think about the items that will be most useful. But what are the most common items most business owners will need? First, there’s the small business trifecta: business cards, letterheads, and matching envelopes – three items you can’t go wrong with.
You can also considering throwing in a compliments slip if you deliver your photos through mail. This is much like a letterhead, with a pre-printed salutation “with compliments” or “with our/my compliments”, and it will create a more intimate link between you and your clients, even if you’re not in the same room. If you choose not to get custom envelopes, you can get stickers instead and use them to seal the generic envelopes to add a bit of your branding, which leads us to our next point!
Branding Is Everything | Clever Business Stationery Ideas
All of your materials can and should convey the essence of your brand, from your website and the colors, fonts and images you use to set it up, to your logo and the tone of voice you use on social media. You want your potential clients to recognize your brand whether they stumble upon your Twitter profile, your website, or find your business card in their old wallet, and the only way to do it is through creativity and consistency. There’s nothing really wrong with sending out a generic blank envelope – but branded stationery will turn your brand into a memorable visual experience. What can you do to ensure consistency?
First, take a look at your logo and make sure you’re using the latest version on each item – this might sound like an obvious one, but you’d be amazed how many photographers use different versions of their logos on their stationery items simply because they don’t want to update their stationery. This will only confuse your potential and existing clients into not being sure whether the logos represent two different businesses. Once you make sure you’re using the latest version of your logo, take a look at its elements and see which one you can use to brand your stationery items and tie them together, whether it’s the color scheme, font family, or style of graphics.
Simplicity Reigns Supreme | Clever Business Stationery Ideas
Your goal here is a unique business stationery packet that stands out – remember, we’re all handed dozens of business cards each week, which means your business card is more than likely to end up in a desk drawer on a pile of other business cards, and it’s only natural you want yours to instantly stand out from the pile and grab the attention of your potential clients. However, keep in mind the primary purpose of business stationery – to deliver a message or provide people with certain information. It’s your job to come up with a unique design that doesn’t overshadow the information. After all, the content is the reason why you’re sending out the stationery in the first place.
To help you achieve this balance between creating a unique design without overwhelming the viewer, you’ll want to do some serious restricting. For example, when it comes to colors – it’s best to limit your selection to 2-3 colors. Use a neutral color for the background, either white or champagne, add a pinch of your brand’s main color, and throw in a contrasting color that stands out from the background for emphasis. However, use this color only for the most important pieces of information – the more you use a color, the easier it is for the eye to get used to it and completely ignore it.
Readability Is Absolutely Vital | Clever Business Stationery Ideas
Another thing you’ll want to limit is the number of fonts you use throughout your materials. Just as with the colors, it’s best to stick to 2-3 simple fonts, as the human eye finds it difficult to scan multiple fonts at once. While choosing fonts, it’s also important you pay attention to readability. We all have fancy script fonts we love, but if it’s difficult to read, it definitely doesn’t belong on your stationery items, so stick with simple, easy to read fonts.