As you can see, I recently ordered letterhead that matches the theme of my blog and my self-publishing books. (My website header and book covers were designed by artist Melissa Stevens.)
There are two ways to do this:
- Design your own letterhead and have it printed from a printing service like Overnightprints.com. (That’s what I used, but there are a number of good services to choose from.)
- Add a header and watermark to a Word document and print the letter on your own color printer at home. (It’s worth using quality paper for this.) You may not be able to have the header extend all the way to the edges this way, as most home printers don’t print to the page edges (but you could use a cutter to trim the excess off, if this is the appearance you’re going for. This wasn’t an issue for my design, though).
If you already have your own website, the design concept can be incredibly simple:
- Just use the header from your website as the header for your letterhead.
- If you have a logo, you can use that for the watermark.
If you’re ordering from a printing service, check their specifications for letterhead. You may need to make your pages slightly larger than standard letter size and allow for bleed, or their specifications might not allow your header to extend to the page edges. If bleed is allowed, you simply change your paper size to match the specs, then size your header to extend all the way to the oversized edges (they will trim it down to size after printing).
In Microsoft Word 2010:
- Go to Page Layout and select Watermark.
- Choose Custom Watermark.
- Choose Picture Watermark.
- Select your picture (e.g. a logo).
- You can rescale it. Select washout.
Note that the watermark can interfere with the reading experience. If your intention is very brief text, like a congratulations or thank-you note, this won’t be as much of an issue. Otherwise, you don’t want the watermark to detract from the reading or make the text hard to read.
Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing