Letterhead design basics
Never design a letterhead without an actual letter on the page.
Never present a letterhead design without a real letter on it.
Take into consideration the location of the folds.
Get an ink draw on the paper that you have chosen.
Do a fax test.
Design a second sheet.
Research the right size for a foreign country.
Feel the paper, and identify the proper weight.
Find out biases regarding formats.
Provide templates for letter positioning, type style, and size.
Always test the paper and envelopes on a laser printer.
Look at recycled sheets.
Alina Wheeler, Designing Brand Identity, 3rd ed., 2009, 147
Business card design basics
Think of a business card as a marketing tool.
Make it easy for the receiver of a card to retrieve information.
Make it easy for new cards to be produced.
Minimize the amount of information, within reason.
Consider using the back as a place for more information or a marketing message.
Carefully choose the weight of the paper to convey quality.
Feel the paper and the surface.
Make sure that all abbreviations are consistent.
Make sure that the titles are consistent.
Make sure that the typographic use of upper- and lowercase is consistent.
Develop system formats.
Alina Wheeler, Designing Brand Identity 3rd ed., 2009, 149
Color brand identity basics
Use color to facilitate recognition and build brand equity.
Colors have different connotations in different cultures. Research.
Color is affected by various reproduction methods. Test.
The designer is the ultimate arbiter for setting color consistency across platforms. It’s hard.
Ensuring consistency across applications is frequently a challenge.
Remember, most of the world uses a PC. Test.
Sixty percent of the decision to buy a product is based on color.
You can never know enough about color. Depend on your basic color theory knowledge: warm, cool; values, hues; tints, shades; complementary colors, contrasting colors.
Quality insures that the brand identity asset is protected.
Alina Wheeler, Designing Brand Identity 3rd ed., 2009, 128
Typeface family basics
Typefaces are chosen for their legibility, their unique character, and their range of weights and widths.
Intelligent typography supports information hierarchy.
Typeface families must be chosen to complement the signature, not necessarily to replicate the signature.
The best standards identify a range of fonts but give the users flexibility to choose the appropriate font, weight, and size for the message conveyed.
Limiting the number of fonts that a company uses is cost-effective since licensing fonts is legally required.
The number of typeface families in a system is a matter of choice. Many companies choose serif and sans serif faces; some companies choose one font for everything.
Basic standards sometimes allow special display faces for unique situations.
A company website may require its own set of typefaces and typography standards.
The best typographers examine a level of detail that includes numerals and bullets.
Many companies identify separate typefaces for internally produced word-processed documents and electronic presentations.
Certain industries have compliance requirements regarding type size for certain consumer products and communications.
Alina Wheeler, Designing Brand Identity 3rd ed., 2009, 133