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How Much Should Stationery and Letterhead Cost?
If you want to add a professional touch to every letter, invoice, or quote, you should get custom stationery and letterhead design.
But how much should unique stationery and letterhead design cost? And, how do you balance the price you pay versus quality?
We answer your most important questions in our comprehensive stationery and letterhead design pricing guide below. For pricing guides for other types of design, click the drop-down below.
Stationery and letterhead refers to letters, envelopes, thank you cards, invitations (including wedding invitations), invoices, receipts, and so much more.
Whether you’re rebranding an existing business or starting a business, custom stationery and letterhead design is important to create a strong brand.
How much should stationery and letterhead design cost?
Free stationery and letterhead design options
Best for personal use
$0 to $50
|Stationery and letterhead design options||do it yourself||generic templates|
|Quality and value||not professional, generic||not professional, generic|
|Who needs it?||personal use only||personal use only|
Affordable stationery and letterhead design options (best value!)
Best for startups, growing companies, agencies, marketers
|Stationery and letterhead design options||freelance designer or design contest||freelance designer or design contest|
|Quality and value||high quality, original||elite quality, original|
|Who needs it?||startups, growing businesses, marketers||businesses, agencies, marketers|
Grow your business with beautiful design.
Expensive stationery and letterhead design options
Best for VC-financed startups and multinational companies
|Stationery and letterhead design options||small design agency||large design agency|
|Quality and value||high quality, original||elite quality, original|
|Who needs it?||VC-financed startups||multinational companies|
FREE BRAND IDENTITY GUIDE
How can you determine if you’re getting a good value for what you pay?
Your company’s brand identity (everything visual about your brand) is one of your most valuable assets. And, consistent branding is the best way to build strong relationships with your customers. So, you should view your designs across all mediums as a long-term investment.
But, design companies and agencies typically charge thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for their services. And, you can easily find an amateur designer who will create a generic design from a template for only $5!
With such a wide price range, it can be tough to identify the sweet spot that will deliver you an awesome, custom stationery and letterhead design for a reasonable price.
Here are important elements that you should look for when you buy design services:
- Custom, Brand-Informed Design. Look for designers or design firms who create unique, original designs that fit your brand. That's one reason why crowdspring thoroughly vets, in every single design category, every designer who applies to work on crowdspring. It's also the readon we accept only a small number of applicants.
- Collaborative Process. Design is a collaborative process. If the designer doesn’t provide proofs for your review and isn’t willing to make changes based on your feedback, any price is too high. As an example, here’s how design projects on crowdspring work.
- IP Protection. Stock art and templates create problems with trademarking and protecting your design. Without a unique brand identity, you expose your business to potential future lawsuits. If the designer or design company lacks the procedure for preventing intellectual property and transferring ownership to you, any price is too high.
- The Final Deliverables. In the design world, the design files you walk away with are called your final deliverables. For each type of design, you should receive specific high resolution and low resolution files, suitable for online and print use.
Free and cheap stationery and letterhead design options: $200 or less
Obviously, the most cost effective option is to create your own stationery and letterhead design. By using free design applications, or those you already own, you can craft your own stationery and letterhead based on your own vision.
But not everyone has the talent, or time, to make a DIY design. Plus, doing so would require you to know, or learn, a graphic design application such as Adobe Illustrator ($20.99/month) or Affinity Designer ($49.99).
Moreover, you also have to print them yourself – increasing your cost of production. Instead, some brands in this range turn to online template makers, which provide generic stationery and letterhead designs. These online printers charge anywhere from $0 to $50 just for the design(s), but can cost upwards of $150 if you print with them, too.
When should you use generic templates?
We’re serious. You’ll find many free or low cost automated options that can create generic stationery and letterhead design for you. But, online stationery and letterhead templates are generic, uninspiring, template designs that will make it impossible for your customers to fall in love with your unique company. There is nothing premium or professional about generic templates.
Sure, you might be able to use a free template and save a few dollars, but it will end up costing you much more when you struggle to build a strong brand.
Computers don’t understand human emotion or psychology. Real designers understand how people think and how to create emotionally powerful brands.
The truth is that free stationery and letterhead design is never free.
Don’t fall for statements that you can create a professionally designed free stationery and letterhead in seconds. This is not possible.
Look at the world’s most successful companies. Not a single one used a generic template to build their brand. That should tell you something...
You’ll either pay for professional design up front with a small fee or suffer the inevitable consequences of bad design.
Generic templates will not leave a lasting impression on your audience and will not give you a one-of-a-kind, professionally designed brand identity. Even if you can customize generic templates, you will get an uninspiring, non-professional, generic design.
Simply put: there’s nothing unique, custom or brilliant about stationery and letterhead when you make it using pre-made generic templates.
Affordable letterhead and stationery design options: $300 to $2,500 (best value!)
If you have a slightly bigger budget and need a high-quality professional stationery and letterhead design, freelance designers and design contests are your best option (both options are available on crowdspring). They also happen to deliver the best overall value.
Freelancer designers can invest their time to create custom, unique designs that will help you stand out from the competition. You can share your company values and your vision, and have a professional designer create unique stationery and letterhead that reflects your unique brand.
Usually, freelance designer costs fall in the following ranges:
- Offshore Designer: $150 – $250
- Beginner Freelancer: $250 – $1,000
- Experienced Freelancer: $1,000 – $5,000
- Renowned Freelancer: $5,000 – $15,000
Similarly, design contests, like those you find on crowdspring, also incorporate a high-quality, professional, and personable process. Yet design contests go a step further, and allow dozens of designers to submit their own unique designs. At the end of the project, you pick the one you love best! And, importantly, you set your own price.
With design contests, not only do you get that superior quality (with the added benefit of many options) – you get excellent service and communication, all wrapped up into one price.
Typical prices you can expect from design contests are:
- About 40 designs: $300 – $500
- About 60 designs: $500 – $800
- About 20 elite designs: $900-$1,000
- About 75 premium designs: $1,000+
A stationery and letterhead design contest is a perfect fit for individuals, small businesses, startups, growing businesses, agencies, and marketers.
Expensive stationery and letterhead design options: $2,500+
If you have a big budget, and are already a well established, multinational business, or want the 'complete branding package,' then brand agencies are your best option.
Branding agencies are equipped with talented teams of creative professionals. If using an agency for your project, they dedicate a team of creatives to design and plan your brand’s logo and brand identity. They also create a consistent visual style across your platforms, completing the all-inclusive package deal.
But the price can be staggering and out of reach for most businesses. Depending on your needs, and your budget, the following ranges represent typical agency costs:
- Local Agency: $2,500 – $3,500
- Small Agency: $3,500 – $5,000
- Mid-Sized Agency: $5,000 – $10,000
- Large Agency: $10,000+
As you can see, brand agencies costs are significantly higher than other options. But, if you have the budget to invest heavily in your brand, this is a good option for you.
More than 60,000 of the world’s best entrepreneurs, businesses, agencies and non-profits love and trust crowdspring for professional stationery and letterhead design.
Your unique stationery and letterhead can look this good...
How to choose a designer or agency
Below, we share questions you should ask before picking a designer or agency.
Are the designs original, or based on stock art or templates?
Stock art and templates are all over the Internet. That’s why so many amateur designers rely on them.
But stock art and templates are generic. If you use stock art or templates, your company’s brand identity will look like thousands of other businesses. You’ll simply confuse your customers and prospects. And, importantly, it’s impossible to trademark logos featuring stock art or templates.
Beware of overused designs. They are popular with online logo generators and pop up frequently in stock art collections. These designs are neither original nor unique and will not help your business stand out from your competition. We do not allow such design on crowdspring.
Look for a designer, design company, or agency that provides truly original designs to help your company stand out from the competition.
This is one reason why crowdspring has a zero tolerance policy for the use of stock art, clip art or templates in logo design projects.
How does the designer or agency protect your IP?
Original designs belong to the person who creates those designs, until intellectual property rights for those designs are legally transferred to a new owner.
In our digital world, where everyone has easy access to millions of designs on the web, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the designs you commission are original. Otherwise, you may find another business or designer knocking on your door with a cease-and-desist letter, requiring you to pay huge fines and forcing you to pay tens of thousands of dollars to rebrand.
That’s one reason why crowdspring, from the day we launched in 2008, has included a free, custom legal agreement transferring the full intellectual property rights to any original design you buy on crowdspring, to you. And, it’s also why crowdspring is trusted by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, small businesses, brands, and agencies from over 100 countries.
Does the designer or agency offer reliable, timely customer support?
A great finished design is only part of the picture. How you get there is important, too.
Make sure the freelance designer, design company, or agency you choose has support staff available to help in case you run into an issue, your project changes direction or you just have a few questions.
The best designers, design companies, and agencies will offer support via phone, chat, and email 7 days a week to ensure you can get in touch when and how you need to.
How many designers will work on my project?
A single designer can only excel in a limited number of unique design styles. And, the lower the price, the fewer design options you’re likely to see.
If you’re not 100% sure what you’re looking for, it helps to see many options. And, a team of a dozen designers all providing varying artistic perspectives will ensure that you’ll find a design that resonates with you.
In what formats can I expect the final design files, and how will they be sent?
Your designer should send you a range of file types so that you can flexibly use the design in the future.
The most commonly used file formats are PNG, SVG, EPS, and PDF. The designer should send you files in each of these formats in case you need a certain format for future use.
Each format has its benefits. Here’s a quick summary:
- For digital purposes – from presentations to image watermarks – use PNG files. You can also use PDF and other similar formats They have a clear background and are a small file size. However, they can lose quality when manipulating the size.
- For printing on business cards, clothing, shipping containers, and more, use vector files. Preferably, vector files such as SVGs, EPS or AI are the best because they conserve quality regardless of size. There is no disadvantage to use a vector files, making them an essential file for you to have. Just remember you might need special software to view and change vector files.
- When you later need to make changes to a design, use SVG, AI, or EPS files.
Will I be able to easily ask others for design feedback?
Choosing and refining the perfect stationery and letterhead design can be tricky. And, sometimes, we get so close to the process that it helps to have outside opinions.
Not all designers, design companies, or agencies make it easy to share the created designs and get useful feedback to guide you. Look for a designer, design company, or agency that offers easy-to-use tools, like focus groups or polls, to get easy feedback without creating a lot of friction for you and your friends, colleagues, and customers.
Does the designer or design firm offer a money-back guarantee?
Design is a speculative field. You never really know what the end result will be. And, if you’ve been present and engaged in the creative process and you’re still not satisfied, sometimes it’s best to walk away.
Look for a designer, design company, or agency that offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee that covers all costs and fees paid.
When should you avoid specific designers or agencies?
Here are some of the classic warning signs a designer or design company may not be worth your money:
- They only ask basic questions like your business name and industry. A designer can’t differentiate you from other businesses when they aren’t asking questions specifically about your brand, the audience you want to reach, and the emotion you want your brand to convey.
- The price they are charging is too cheap to believe. For designers, time is money. A low price equates to little time and effort invested. This is true even for overseas designers who have become accustomed to being paid US rates for their design services. The quality of a design and the final deliverable files you’ll receive will both suffer if the price is too low. A unique, quality design evolves from a thoughtful and collaborative relationship with a designer - which will cost a bit more but is well worth the investment.
- No satisfaction guarantee. It’s a bad sign if the designer or design company doesn’t stand behind their work with a complete money back guarantee based on your satisfaction. If the designer isn’t confident enough in their work to offer a refund, why should you trust them with your brand’s visual identity?
If just one of these classic warning signs are present, you might want to keep looking for another designer or design firm.
What you should know about stationery and letterhead?
What is stationery and letterhead?
Stationery includes business cards, envelopes, thank you cards, invitations, invoices, receipts, and so much more.
A letterhead is a heading on a piece of stationery. Letterheads typically include your business name, address, and your company logo or unique design. Put together, stationery and letterheads complement each other and create professional and consistent brand identity.
Good design helps your company stand out from the competition
Stationery and letterhead provide an opportunity to promote your logo or design, company name, tagline and your contact information. They provide a fantastic way to combine your branding with personalized messages.
This combination is very effective and important in promoting your business and improving your marketing. Strong stationery and letterhead make the business appear legitimate, helps to develop connections with clients and prospects, builds brand awareness, and improves exposure for your brand.
Strong stationery and letterhead promotes authenticity
These days, information and authenticity is everything. People take the time to look into brands before stepping into the role of a customer or investor.
Prospective customers are typically looking for five different bits of information, depending on the type on stationery. Typically, these are found on a letterhead within the stationery. A personable letterhead contains:
- Who you are. You should provide your company name, your name, and your job title.
- What can you do for them? Make sure to state your company’s call-to-action or purpose.
- How to get in touch? You should clearly display your company’s number and, depending on the type of stationery, your cell number or personal office number, too.
- Where are you located? Be sure to indicate your office address and the hours of operation.
- A welcoming design. Simplicity goes a long way. Be sure your design is unique, reflects your brand, and follows your website and product branding.
There’s really not a more personal way to market your business. Stationery is made to add that unique charm and, with the correct information and design – it can make your business more attractive and memorable.
Strong stationery and letterhead creates lasting bonds
One of the first interactions between a potential customer and business involves stationery and letterheads. These introductory elements typically include envelopes, letters, brochures, folders, quotes and estimates, contract proposals, and more.
Obviously connecting with people is important to grow brand awareness. But, not every connection is positive. If your brand looks generic or non-professional, you may confuse your customers and prospects.
Strong stationery and letterhead promote brand awareness
Brand Awareness is no one-and-done process. Rather, it’s a lifetime strategy for your business. As such, one of the most important aspects of branding is through visual elements such as logos, websites, and stationery. Therefore, stationery and letterheads should echo the ambiance of your logo and product designs.
If properly designed, they are impactful, memorable, and evoke emotions. Stationery and letterhead should be distinguishable from competition and give a face to your brand. They act as important starting points for potential customers or investors to take the next step with your company.
Strong stationery and letterhead are memorable
With all that said, creativity is key. A creative design molds a unique one, and that is essential to pulling attention to your brand. If people recognize your brand, they are more likely to interact with it, and more likely to share it. And, importantly, more likely to buy from you.
You should impress people with your stationery and letterhead design. The better the design, the better the impression, and the more people it will reach.
Tips for successful unique stationery and letterhead design
Have a simple design
Ultimately, your stationery and letterhead should have accurate, easy-to-read information. If people can’t easily read details like contact information or your company’s name, your design has failed. Also, make sure your stationery and letterhead have the most essential information and keep the design elements minimal.
Include only essential information
For some stationery, such as letters, there is plenty of room to share your information in a meaningful way. But, for other types, such as business cards and receipts or invoices, you have to be concise with the information you share.
What information should there be? Must-haves include your business name, company logo, your role or position, and the best way to contact you. Whether that’s via email, social media, chat, or the good old telephone, you should have a preferred method.
If you have extra space, you can add other ways to reach you, a headshot, or some other info, but try and keep whatever you choose brief. Don’t offer too many contact options, even if you’re a member of every social network on the planet.
Be smart about using space
To go two-sided, or to not go two-sided? When designing stationery such as letters, it is important to plan out your design in a simple, yet effective way.
In fact, for all stationery it is essential to carefully plan how to meaningfully use the limited space available.
Your stationery and letterhead are a fundamental part of your brand, so it should be clean and well-structured. Multi-surface designs might work well for your brand, or it may be better to stick to one side only. In general, when in doubt err on the side of simplicity.
When in doubt, stick with what you know
Yes, uniqueness and creativity are important. And, you may be tempted to make designs with unusual sizes or shapes. But, unless you can find a compelling reason to use something different, stick with the standards.
Also, think long and hard about what colors you choose for your stationery and letterhead design. Keep in mind that your brand’s primary colors may not translate to a larger or smaller size. And always remember – make sure your design is optimized for readability.
Quality is important
Flimsy materials are like limp handshakes: they feel terrible in your hand and leave a poor first impression.
The quality of the material you choose reflects on your business or products. If you’ve picked fragile paper for letters, or have printed menus on cheap cardstock, you may make people feel like they’re dealing with an unreliable or low-quality company.
A unique stationery and letterhead design is a good first step...
Once you have your information planned out, it’s fun to try and think of interesting ways to make your stationery and letterheads more useful to the recipient. Your products are physical objects, and as such, they can potentially have some interesting extra features.
For example, an arts and crafts company could make an eraser in the shape of their logo. Or, a shipping company could design letters with directions on how to fold the paper into a gift box. Regardless, it’s important to have a design that sets you apart from your competition.
But beware, straying from traditional shapes and sizes of stationery may increase your costs. On the other hand, the added delight and brand recall that special, and unique, designs can have, may be worth the expense.
Invest a little time to make sure your design is attractive, accurate, and on brand, so that handing someone your stationery is impactful and meaningful for the start of a beautiful friendship.
How you can hire professional stationery and letterhead designers
We know you have many choices to design stationery and letterhead for your company or organization. The most common method is to hire a freelance designer, and you can work 1-to-1 with an expert designer on crowdspring.
There are other ways to get your stationery and letterhead. For example, you can crowdsource your design by starting a stationery and letterhead design contest on crowdspring.
Nothing makes us happier than connecting people, businesses, agencies and nonprofits with talented designers.
We have a terrific community of logo designers, graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, product designers and namers. Over 220,000 talented creatives from 195 countries work on crowdspring.
When you post your custom design project on crowdspring, you’ll get custom designs submitted by designers from all over the world. You won’t have to waste your valuable time digging through bids and proposals. You’ll pick your favorite from actual designs. In fact, clients have told us that choosing their favorite is the hardest part of the whole process!
When using crowdspring for custom design services, you can focus on getting the best result possible. We take care of everything else. With our award-winning customer service, hassle-free guarantee, customized legal agreements, strict intellectual property standards and fantastic project management tools, we know you’ll be happy. And if you’re happy, we’re happy.
And if you prefer to work with a single designer, we’ve got you covered. Just like a traditional crowdspring project, in 1-to-1 projects, you decide how much your project will cost. The minimum price for a 1-to-1 project starts at $200 (which includes crowdspring’s fee) and you can always increase the award.
Designers receive 100% of your award. Our fees cover the cost to host the project, our award-winning tools, escrow and payment, and custom contracts and non-disclosure agreements.
You and the designer you pick will be able to negotiate both the scope and the price for the project. When determining your award amount, please remember to price your project based on the scope of work. More labor-intensive projects deserve larger awards than very simple projects. You can set your own budget or you can ask the designer to provide a price quote based on the scope of work. It’s your choice.
We like to have fun at crowdspring, but we take our business very seriously. Although the vast majority of the businesses we work with are smaller, we regularly work with the world’s best Brands, including Amazon, LG, Random House, Starbucks, Barilla, Phillips and many more. We also regularly work with many of the world’s best agencies - and tens thousands of entrepreneurs and startups from over 100 different countries.
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Crowdspring is an online design platform linking businesses like yours with over 220,000 design and naming experts. Instead of investing over $10,000 with a branding agency - or paying an unknown freelancer for a single design you hope you like - crowdspring delivers dozens of custom designs to choose from for every project. With over 12 years of experience, we’re the reliable, affordable solution for small business.
Frequently Asked Questions about stationery and letterhead design
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