We now come to applying the logotype and the visual elements to the set of paper products that all companies have – the official stationery package.
Letterhead, Business Card and Envelope
In Turkish we call this package “resmi yazışma evrakı” and every company and institution has these because of a legal necessity since for a communication to be official it has to be written on a letterhead which carries the company name. This company name is not the name that is on the logo and it is not a part of the logo. It is part of the address which is put on official stationery. So, it is stuff like “Karabeyaz Aydınlatma A.Ş” or “Tekirefendi Gıda ve Eğlence Hizmetleri Ltd. Şti”. In the example I have made for you you can see very clearly how this works. The logo is one thing, the address is another and the official company name (in this case alpha.tribe design inc.) is part of the address and not the logo:
The stationery package is a design system which consists of 4 basic parts – the letterhead, the envelope, the business card and the company folder. Outside of these 4 essentials other elements (such as notepads, different packaging devices, CDs, stickers, etc) can also be a part of the package. All of these separate items are actually the components of one whole thing and have to be designed in such a way that the elements we put on them (fonts, shapes, colors, etc) as well as how we use these things (left aligned, centered, right aligned etc), and the spacing and relationships are consistent throughout the package.
The core component of this package is the letterhead. So, we almost always start out by designing the letterhead first and then applying the design we establish there to the rest of the package components.
Letterhead (Antetli Kağıt): In Turkey, like in the rest of Europe except the UK, the size of the letterhead is A4, in other words 21 x 29.7 cms. The central part of this piece of paper is used for writing the actual letter, so what we have left to work with are the margins. The letter gets folded into 3 and is put in a 22 x 11 envelope and sometimes there is an address window in this envelope so there should be a space on the letterhead that corresponds to that window space on the envelope.
Another thing to be aware of is that left side margin around the letter writing space is slightly wider than the right side width since letters are filed in ringed binders by having holes punched on their left hand side through which the rings of the binder go.
Where to find dummy business letters, and how to prepare them for your mockup: If you search for “business letter template” on google you will find plenty of stuff, but here is a good link from microsoft itself:
The way you use the microsoft word template is like this:
- Open the document in Microsoft Word or Open Office.
- You will see that there are a lot of entry field boxes in the text. In fact the text is almost made up of these. Replace what is there with your own information.
- Make bold pieces of text regular. Make all the text black. Make all the text the same size. (Some of it will be bigger and colored. We don’t want this.)
- The font should be Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman.
- Save the word document.
- Convert the document to a pdf by using the pdf panel inside Word.
- Open the pdf in photoshop. You will see that the document opens on a transparent background. simply do ctrl/cmd + A and select the entire document. Copy and paste it into your letterhead design.
- After you paste it you may still need to align some text, especially the recipient address at the top may not be aligned. Check and make sure everything is correctly aligned.
The envelope that the letterhead gets put inside is 22 cms x 11 cms. In Turkey we call this type of envelope “diplomat zarf” and there are 2 kinds of these – an open version, which has a window through which we can see the recipient’s address that is typed onto the letter enclosed, and a closed version that has no window. The important issue with envelope design is to arrange the typography (in other words, the sender’s address) in such a way that it does not get confused with the recipient’s address. Please look at the above image carefully in order to understand which areas of the envelope can safely be used in order to avoid such a confusion.
The Business Card: The business card is an 8 cms x 5 cms piece of cardboard which carries a huge amount of information that has to be placed on a very small space. While the letterhead has an address, phone numbers, and some online information; and while the envelope only has an address, the business card has a massive amount of information: Address, phones, online stuff (also including social media, depending on the client’s wishes); and then there is also the person’s name and position – which are both things that we do not encounter on a letterhead and or an envelope.
As you can see in the picture above business cards can be vertical, horizontal, or they can have a fold.
Point sizes and general guidelines for typography: The point size for the letterhead and envelope for address, phones, online stuff should be between 8 and 10 points, although depending on the font this could also go up to 11 points.
The point size for a business card should be between 5 and 8 points.
Writing all of these in uppercase (majiskül harf) can look very nice, which is what I also did in my examples. And you will see quite a few examples like these in the following page where I collected nice examples for you online. Mixing different font weights (again you will see examples of this on the following page also) also gives very nice results. Play with leading (satır arası) to get the best result, do not leave leading and kerning values in their default state.
Important! We Turks make one important mistake when we write addresses – we write the word Turkey with big letters, even if everything else is lowercase (küçük harf). Do not do this. No other nation does this, so this is one reason not to do it. But the other, and for us more important, reason is that when you write just that one word with uppercase letters, then your entire typographic stack ends up looking wrong because of the difference in spaces between the lines that the uppercase word brings about.
Samples of good stationery typography:
As you can see, text is used in small sizes, usually in an elegant, understated (iddiasız) way. There are cases of all uppercase usage here, and there is quite bit of mixing of font weights – some things are made bold, usually small amounts, such as just the letters “P” and “F” to indicate phone and fax in the one at the far right on the middle row, for example. Most of the type is in light weights. There are also some usages of underlined text, and some usages of small amounts of color to emphasize one particular piece of text, such as a website or something like that. And then there are also subtle combinations of shapes and text, such as the tiny line in the one on the top right, or the dotted background in the one on the left.
How to prepare your document in such a way that you see the correct point sizes when you print it for class critique:
- Work in illustrator for this package. It will be hard to determine point sizes in photoshop since they will change from resolution to resolution.
- Get a printout of all the stuff when you come to class. This is very important since it will be impossible to see whether your address texts are the correct size by looking at a computer screen. We absolutely need to see the physical object to make sure that your texts are not too large and not too small.
- In order for us to see the point sizes correctly the printout has to be made at 100%. So, tell the guy who is printing it that he should NOT do a “fit to page” or a “sayfaya sığdır” when he prints it since that will shrink the type and we will not be able to see it correctly. When he does this (print at 100%) some of the design at the very edges will stay outside the paper, that is OK, what is extremely important is that we see the correct text sizes.
What you can do to make sure the size is at 100% and that everything, including the very edges of the letterhead is this:
If you do this then we have no problems at all and we will see everything exactly as it should be. But still caution the print guy about the 100%.
Presenting your package – Photoshop Mockups:
Above you see three examples [yours truly (top), Naz Kırelli (middle) and Leyla Mutlu (bottom)] of how to present the full stationery package through a three dimensional table top display. We use mockups, which are photoshop files that work with smart objects, in order to create such simulated images.
You can find many free to use photoshop mockups for the simulated display of all kinds of objects including stationery packages online. While some will be three dimensional simulations, others will create a bird’s eye view. Some will have additional elements (such as the CD cover in the top image above), others will confine themselves to the basic 4 items. Here are some links: