Stationery Design Proofs


We've received compliments from clients about stationery design proof sheets used by Ella Sinka. Ella has written a guide for the crowdSPRING community and has also graciously shared her template so that others can download, modify and use it. Thank you, Ella!

Whether you're working directly for the client or are selected by the client in a project on crowdSPRING, you'll need to present the client with stationery design proofs. Everyone handles proofs differently. For example, some send a JPG or PNG as their proof. I present stationery design proofs on a template that I developed after looking at examples used by other people. I wanted to share this template with the entire crowdSPRING community. Please feel free to download, modify and use it. This guide will explain why I include certain things in the template.

Please keep in mind that some stationery projects are more complicated than other projects. Not all buyers will want a full set of stationery, so adjust the proof sheet to your project. Also, the sizes below assume U.S. sizes – sizes for stationery pieces in other countries may differ.



As you can see, I date the template so that the client can easily identify the most recent proof sheet. At the top, I always put my username and real name and the name of the project (including the name of the client).


I include the names of the fonts I used in the design. The client's printer will later need this information and the client will ultimately want to know what fonts are used in their design. I also make it clear where I've used commercial fonts that the client will need to purchase, or free fonts that I will include with my final deliverables. You don't want the client to be surprised if they are unable to load the design because they don't have the correct font(s).

You should consider always converting the font to curves, even if you are including copies of the font files. The client might send just the AI file to someone, for example, without the font. That person might be unable to print the stationery as designed, but if you've properly prepared the files, your client won't run into a problem. I also list the web colors used in the design, so that others can easily match the colors used in the design.

Standard 8.5" x 11" Letterhead – Full Color

I first show the client how their letterhead will look on a normal sheet of paper.

Standard Matching White #10 (9.5" x 4.12") Business-Size Env. – Full Color

I next show the client the design for their envelope and include both front and back views.

Standard Matching White (9" x 12") Envelope – Full Color

Clients who need to send a large packet of paper will typically use a larger envelope. If the larger size envelope is included with the design, I show the client the design for the 9" x 12" size envelope, and once again include both front and back views.

Standard (3.5" x 2") Business Card – Full Color

I next show the business card views (front and back).

Compliment Slip (8.5" x 3.75") And Matching Envelopes – Full Color

Clients may sometimes want to send a short business letter or note. Where appropriate, I show the client the design for the compliment slip and matching envelope.

Monarch Sheets (7.25" x 10.5") And Matching Envelopes – Full Color

Some clients will prefer to send a slightly different sized letter or note. If this is included in the stationery package, I show the client the design for monarch sheets and matching envelopes (front and back views for the envelopes).

Message Card (3.44" x 4.88") – Full Color

Some clients like sending message cards – small notes attached to items of interest. Message cards can also be attached to flowers and gifts. If this is included in the stationery package, I show the client the design for the message card.

Notepads (5.5" x 8.5") – Full Color

For those clients who like using custom notepads, I include the design for such notepads.

Name Tags With Adhesive Back (4" x 2") – Full Color

Finally, where the project calls for it, I include the design for name tags.

File Types

At the bottom of my proof sheet, I always include a short list of definitions to help the client understand the differences between the final deliverables they'll receive and to provide some guidance on what they can do with those files. I remind them that I'll include a copy of this proof sheet with the final deliverables, so that they will always have it with their files, for reference. It's a good practice to include, in addition to the AI/EPS versions, a PDF version of the stationery variations. Some clients are small companies and might not have Illustrator or Photoshop installed on their computers. They will usually print the stationery on their office desktop printer, so a PDF file suits their needs better than other formats.

Clients really appreciate the file descriptions on the proof sheet. In many cases, this is their first custom set of stationery and they don't know what formats they need. By briefly describing the file formats, we help to educate the client – which also saves us a lot of time in having to explain the formats. And clients often reward this extra effort by providing great feedback and ratings.

Last updated: 30-Sep-15 5:26 p.m. GMT