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Custom stationery is the best way to go if you're running a professional business or organization and want to exude a professional image. If you're a designer trying to come up with creative ways to represent a company or brand with custom stationery, you might feel limited by layout possibilities. Have no fear: There's another way to set yourself apart as a designer and your client apart as a company - color.
As you know, color is one of the most powerful tools in a designer's toolbox. It can be used to separate graphic elements and ideas, to highlight important points, and to draw eyes to a call to action. Color can also be used to make your custom stationery designs carry great weight when important people see them. Here are three ways to use color in custom stationery.
Watermarks are often employed in custom stationery designs, but they're usually bland faded grayscale images behind the text. Instead, add a splash of color to your watermarks to make them pop. This doesn't mean your colors should be so verbose that you can't read text through them, but it does mean you shouldn't be afraid to make your watermarks colorful enough to be noticed.
You can also make watermark patterns using color in lieu of a watermarked logo (or used in combination with it). Your pattern could even be your logo, repeated many times over such as in old-fashioned computer wallpaper. Probably, though, you'll want to repeat a pattern of circles, squares, stripes, lines or some other shape. If you can use your pattern to add the impression of texture to your custom stationery, all the better.
Design your custom stationery to have a color background - blue, green, orange, red, yellow, purple - it doesn't matter what color it is so long as it matches your brand or company colors. Again, it's important to ensure that your background is light enough to print black ink on and still be easily read. Best of all, you can incorporate multiple colors as patterns into your background, which will make your custom stationery sizzle with more pop than faded watermarks are capable of.
It might be tempting to use rich, solid colors and patterns as backgrounds for your custom stationery, but most desktop printers will not print well on them (even white ink on black paper does not look good). To get a similar effect and keep your stationery easy to read with plenty of body copy contrast, use your richest colors as thick borders around the outside of your design. Place an interior rounded corner on the borders to give them a modern, refined look that's sharp as a tack.
As you can see, creative use of color is a great way to design custom stationery that stands out from the crowd. Now all you have to do is finish it off by printing your stationery on professional 70-pound. paper with a white wove finish or premium 24-pound synergy bond paper with a sleek, smooth finish. Don't forget to print matching envelopes, too!