Business, just like everything nowadays, happens a lot in the digital world. So it’s easy to forget about a quintessential piece of brand image and marketing: stationery design.
Branded stationery is an “old school” marketing resource that is every bit as efficient today as it was in the XVIII century and one you should not dismiss or overlook.
Today we’ll tell you where to find the best stationery design that is cost-effective and immediately available, to give your business the ultimate professional look.
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The premium version of the service gives you full access to all features –including an image editor, an automatic background remover, and more– at very affordable rates.
And now, you can get it for even less with our exclusive Pixlr discount! It gives you 25% off on all plans, and it's a limited-time offer, so don't miss it!
Want branded stationery for your business fast and easy? Then look no further than Canva Pro! The Canva Brand Kit feature is everything you need: a user-friendly and collaborative feature to apply all the visual identity marks of your brand –logo, colors, fonts, and more– to your designs automatically, and yes, this includes thousands of design templates for varied stationery items!
No time to read? Then dive right in and discover amazing stationery design templates ready to download and use, clicking on our search bar right here:
Alternatively, check out many great providers of templates for print materials!
Stationery is the name given to materials needed for written and print communications, especially in businesses, companies, and organizations. Office supplies such as letterheads, envelopes, pens and pencils, notepads, etc. Stationery design, then, refers to applying custom graphic art to these items as part of a branding strategy to make them part of a brand’s image, commonly including logo design, name, and slogan, plus graphic elements to make them pop.
To know more about what colors to choose for your branded stationery, check out this guide on the best color combinations!
Brand stationery design is something you can hire a stationery designer (or a graphic designer) to do, or use a DIY approach if you have good design skills –find out all you need for this in our massive list with 102 tips for visual content creation!— and the appropriate design inspiration. However, hiring professional designers and stationery design services is expensive; in both cases, creating the designs from scratch takes time.
Lo and behold, the modern solution for this is in stock photo agencies and companies that offer an array of stationery design templates that you can buy, customize (with the help of graphic design tools), and use in your materials for a polished corporate identity. These stock stationery designs are immediately available and cost much less than a designer’s hourly rate!
We have a compilation with over 20 great stock photo sites where you'll find visuals for everything from web design to social media posts, but here are the top 5 options we recommend for stationery design:
Stockphotos.com – The Budget-Friendly One
Stockphotos.com has over 10,000 beautiful stationery design options for all kinds of companies, covering the most varied items, from letterheads and paper backgrounds to USB pen drives. All fully customizable vector files in EPS format!
This is a service aimed at small and medium-sized businesses and individuals, and its plans and prices reflect this: from the popular Club Easy offer –200 images a year for just $99– to larger annual subscriptions, on-demand image packs, and even single-image purchase, they are sure to have the design you need, at a price that fits your pocket depth.
Learn more in our Stockphotos.com review.
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Shutterstock – The Massive Collection One
The stock photo giant Shutterstock currently has over 290,000 stationery design templates in vector format, ready to download and personalize as much as you want. With such a huge pool of content, you are certainly not short of choice in terms of graphics and styles for business card design, envelope design, and many other brand identity resources!
This agency offers subscriptions with a monthly download cap, billed monthly or annually, as well as image packs to pay as you go. Subscriptions offer the best per-image rates starting at 10 images per month for $29 monthly, billed yearly. This is an ideal pick if you like variety.
Find your creative stationery design right now using Shutterstock's search bar:
Learn more in our Shutterstock review.
Take advantage of the new Shutterstock Free Trial and get up to 10 free stationery designs for one month!
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And here is a very cool thing: Shutterstock Creative Flow is this agency's complete creative solution, a platform where you can find lots of user-friendly tools to design stunning visuals. It comes with Shutterstock Create, a very easy-to-use image editor that includes stationery design templates you can customize and use. The best? Creative Flow+, the premium version of this service, is included FOR FREE with any Shutterstock subscription!
Canva – The Non-Designer-Friendly One
Canva is a ground-breaking online design platform thought for the non-designer. Their editor has a very user-friendly interface that is as intuitive as easy to use, and it is packed with stock media resources and templates for every occasion including, you guessed, business stationery items.
Canva is free to use for everyone and there are free stationery templates available, organized in categories that feature letterhead designs, business card designs, and all the basics plus extras like calendars, postcards, and the like. However, their premium memberships come with a special brand kit feature that lets you create your brand’s image and apply it to anything you need, including stationery assets. Memberships start at $9.99 a month, billed annually.
Learn more in our Canva review.
Interested in a web-based editor? See our list of websites similar to Canva.
Visme – The Simple (Yet Effective) One
Visme is an online design platform that aims at covering all possible design needs in one place, through specific image creation tools. All with a user-friendly concept, in Visme you can find a presentation creator, a social media graphics editor, a newsletter maker, and much more, including a whole set of printable templates for every stationery design you need: business cards, brochures, invoices, etc. Plus, a branded document creation tool also lets you make your custom letterheads and other relevant materials.
With this tool, it's as simple as selecting a template and customizing it with a few tweaks here and there.
Visme is free to create an account and start designing. You only need to pay if and when you decide to download your design, starting at $29/mo for a personal plan with unlimited downloads.
Crowdspring Brand Studio – Branded Stationery Templates in One Click
If you really can’t spare a dime to invest in stationery graphic design, the Crowdspring Brand Studio tool is the answer.
Crowdspring is a platform that connects designers and customers, simplifying the hiring and designing process to reach faster and better results. But as part of their offer, they include a web-based and completely free tool that produces a handful of design templates for your brand, automatically.
Upon signing up –which is free–, you can enter your company website and logo, and add a few specs regarding the design –like brand colors, fonts, and preferred style–, and the tool will automatically generate designs for things like letterheads, business cards or brochures, all with your brand. These are fully editable templates that you can easily customize, download, and print, totally free of charge!
Check out Crowdspring Brand Studio!
At any of the above-listed agencies, you'll find everything you need to create the perfect stationery design concept and turn it into the final, print design.
Tailorbrands – The Innovative One
Tailorbrands is a company providing an original service for brand image: they use intelligent software to analyze your company and your style preferences to produce several options for logos, that you can further customize and pay for. The service includes additional branded assets such as business stationery design, social media management, and more.
It’s a very complete solution that gives you personalized stationery graphic designs on the fly.
The offer works under an annual membership scheme and has three different tiers, starting at $3.99 a month and billed annually, each adding extra benefits for your design projects for a higher price point, but they are all super affordable. If you wish to unlock branded stationery assets and social media tools, you’ll need at least a medium-tier plan that costs just $5.99 per month for a year.
If you’re still unconvinced about using high-quality, branded stationery items for your company, have a look at these 5 powerful reasons to get a stationery design today:
1. Enables non-intrusive presence
Most marketing resources are an in-your-face type of concept. Their goal is to catch people’s attention and send a message to them. Business stationery is a lot more subtle, instead of screaming your company name and services to the customer, it subtly goes, “hey there, remember us?” every time they look back on the letter you sent them or the invoice you gave them. This non-intrusive approach to brand presence is the essence of the stationery business and has a proven success record that goes back for centuries.
2. It’s Highly Visible
With adverts, flyers, and even social media or your website, you need to “fight” to ensure people will find, see, and remember your brand. But when you use branded stationery, you have that visibility granted, as your brand is literally right there on the office supplies and communications they use or receive from you.
3. It Projects Professionalism
Brand image is a whole that needs consistency. Having a personal stationery design makes you (and your company) look professional, serious, and reliable. This impacts not only your prospective customers but also your colleagues and your employees.
4. It Engages People
Great stationery not only reminds people of your brand but also connects them to your brand. Every time you forward correspondence on your brand letterhead and send out a branded invoice, your customers (or potential customers) get the message that you want and value their business, and they respond to that.
5. It’s Accessible to Most Budgets
Marketing efforts can be quite a struggle for startups, freelancers, and small businesses. However, a basic business stationery package is usually within budget no matter how tight it is. And thanks to stock photo agencies and their offer of business stationery design templates, having personalized, corporate stationery is also doable without breaking the bank.
From what we spoke about so far, you probably got that business stationery is rich in assets, and you may wonder which are the absolutely necessary ones to look professional and not miss out on the branding opportunity stationery means. We got you! Below is our list of the 5 essential stationery materials for businesses.
And if you're looking for inspiration on stationery design ideas, check out this cool list with 60 of the best professional stationery design examples by Inspirationfeed.
Creative business cards are a means for introducing your company to a new customer or potential customer, even a colleague, a prospective partner, or a competitor.
Business cards work where you can’t, and in the long run, because they stay in possession of the client, representing your brand once you or your representative is gone.
Having custom-made, fully designed business cards with the perfect typography speaks volumes of your professionalism and your appreciation for your customers.
All correspondence you send within your business should include a letterhead consistent with your branding. This element emphasizes your brand in all communications for that subtle, non-intrusive presence we discussed earlier.
For this, you need a creative stationery design that attracts the eye but doesn’t distract from the letter’s content.
A branded envelope is the real-life equivalent to the e-mail subject line: it ensures your letter will be identified in any pile of mail, helping recipients familiarise themselves with your brand, anticipate your communication and increase the rates of letter reading.
Make sure to have envelopes in different sizes for every purpose, and do keep in mind bigger envelopes are immediately associated with more important contents.
In any case, you need to group more than one sheet of paper together, a folder is a must for a neat presentation.
Be it a package of brochures, pricing details, and other info sheets for customers, or internal documents like contracts, invoice copies, and customer details, a branded folder is perfect to contain those important papers while remembering your brand and being easily spot on a busy desk or shelf.
Plus, folders offer extra chances for creativity and visibility as they have room to add images, graphics, and more.
Customizing your invoices with your brand design is a super simple way to make your business look serious and to help your client know exactly who is that invoice from with just one glance.
Normally invoice sheets don’t allow for a lot of design, but still adding your logo and a very minimalist version of your stationery design is a wise move.
What about all the other stationery items available, then? Are any of them more useful than others? Certainly yes. The best additional assets are those that serve a purpose within your business operations, but also increase customer satisfaction and become a chance for spreading the voice about your company, as you can gift these items to customers as a company courtesy. We listed the best 5 below.
Pens & Pencils
They are basic office supplies and widely used in nearly all types of businesses and in most business interactions, and they bring up your company every time someone uses a pen or pencil with your logo and name.
Cards & Calendars
Greeting cards and postcards for holidays, or to mark a company milestone, are a nice way to strengthen customer relations. Branded calendars are a useful token for day-to-day living and they keep your company presents every single day all year round. Not bad!
You scribble notes all day at work, and your employees do too, wanna bet your clients also need pen and paper on their auxiliary table at home? A notebook or notepad with your logo is great to make sure your brand image is consistent if you hand out a quick note with important information, and makes for a great subtle image presence in a client’s daily life.
Coffee Mugs, Cups & Cup Collars
Now coffee mugs can be a tad more expensive than other assets on this list, but they are certainly worth it. Few things look more naturally professional than an office where all employees drink from branded mugs. And if you gift them to a customer? That’s your logo on their countertop, in their hands, inside their cupboard, every single day.
A modern twist to this is in branded cups to go, and the best: is branded cup collars, a simple cardboard piece with a lot of visibility.
A relatively new stationery asset that demands a bigger budget, but with a lot more value these days. Especially if you work with digital files, having branded USB memory sticks make for the ultimate professional appearance, and handing them out to customers is a very effective way to win their favor and their business.
Why is stationery design important?
Having well-designed and on-brand stationery creates a great first impression of your business. It makes you look professional and serious, as it enforces personalized communication with customers. And equally relevant, it's a very effective marketing resource that puts your brand, company name, and slogan in your clients' faces all the time, without being too intrusive.
What is brand stationery?
Brand stationery is essentially stationery for your company or brand that is designed to display your logo and company name, sometimes also brand colors, slogan, and other elements. It's an important aspect of brand image and every serious business owner understands the need to have it.
How do I design my own stationery?
There are several ways to get a great stationery design.
-The traditional approach is to hire a graphic designer. There are stationery designers that specialize in this, too. You can contact one directly, or use 99Designs or similar platforms to launch a stationery design contest where you only pay for the winning design.
-The hands-on approach is to use design resources online to do it yourself. Customizable templates and stock graphics, and user-friendly image editors can help you create your own materials easily.
What items are included in the stationery design?
Stationery design comprehends all the writing equipment and office supplies you normally require for day-to-day use, like paper, letterheads, pens, pencils, folders, and cases. Plus useful contact resources like business cards.
What is a stationery template?
Stationery design templates are kits of graphics where your brand design (company logo, brand colors, etc.) is applied to different preset elements and dimensions –like business cards, letterheads, etc.– so you can speed up the design and printing process.
Stationery is part of almost all businesses’ daily activities. And now you know that every time you hand out a business card, every time you send out a corporate letter, every time you ask a client to sign a form, you have an opportunity to strengthen your brand image and secure the connection between that person and your company in a non-invasive way.
All it takes is an amazing stationery design!
Remember, you can get it done easily at:
- Stockphotos.com if you're working on a tight budget
- Shutterstock if you want tons of design options
- Tailorbrands if you want a complete brand image solution
- Vecteezy if you want it for free
Have you experienced the perks of branded stationery already? We’ll love to read your comments!
Image header copyright: Nuchylee / Photocase.com, all rights reserved.