Use your LETTERhead only on letters.
Keep your letterhead close (0.5cm) to the top edge of the paper and the letterhead itself should be no deeper than 4cm. Personally, I don’t like a letterhead which is half up top and half down the bottom of the page. It’s more efficient and businesslike to put all details up top where your addressee can see it quickly and efficiently – not go hunting for information.
YOUR NAME should be in the biggest typeface. You’re not promoting your occupation or address or phone numbers. You’re promoting YOUR NAME — always.
Also, think twice before using colour, or fancy design frames, or shading . . . they scan and fax badly and confuse the receiver. It costs a lot more to use fancy ink colours. Use bold black only in letterheads please. Never use script, cursive or “running writing”.
It’s unprofessional. Script is for personal letters.
Please don’t put a logo, Tahitian scene or little motto your letterhead. Your old family crest or your favourite quote may be important to you, but it’s un-businesslike to editors. It’s also seen as egotistical . . . you are wanting to say something about you.
Download the sample letterhead template (above) for Microsoft Word here
Additionally Microsoft hosts a huge collection of Office templates here, just search for “letterhead”. Just pick one that is simple and follow the guidelines below.
It’s important to display your telephone numbers in the standard way. If you send your letterhead only within Australia, set out your details like this:
phone (07) 9399 7634
fax (07) 9399 9876
mobile 0417 333 765
That is, enclose the area code inside brackets, a space, then the first four digits, a space, and then the last four digits. For mobiles write the first four digits, a space, then the next three digits, a space and then the last three digits.
If you send your letterhead overseas, set out your phone details like this:
phone +61 7 9399 7634
fax +61 7 9399 9876
mobile +61 417 333 765
A person overseas who is dialling you will first dial his own digits to connect to his international service and this is represented by the “+”. All countries’ international dial-out digits are different. Then your caller dials “61” which is Australia’s country code. In dialling into an Australian phone from overseas, the zero is dropped from our four area codes (02), (03), (07) and (08). Also, the zero which is at the beginning of all mobile numbers is also dropped when dialling from overseas. If you put your mobile number without its first zero on a letter to an Australian, it can be confusing. So be careful. Some of my students prefer this double style:
Within Australia: From overseas:
Phone (07) 9399 7634 Phone + 61 7 9399 7634
Fax (07) 9399 9876 Fax +61 7 9399 9876
Mobile 0417 333 765 Mobile + 61 417 333 765
Do not write “Email:” in front of your email address. Everyone realises what an email address looks like with its @ sign. Anyone who doesn’t know, doesn’t care.
Ensure every detail is easy to read. Don’t have a line under your email address. To remove that line, select (“block” or “choose”) the whole paragraph that contains the email address. Then hit Control+U (or point the cursor to the icon U and click) and EVERYTHING will be underlined. Then hit Control+U (or point to U and click) and everything will contain NO underlining.
And don’t use a tiny typeface because if you have to fax your letterhead, the poor technology of faxes makes a “6” look like a “5” or an “8”, or an “8” might look like “6”, etc. Use a bold sans serif type, at least 14pt. Always make other people’s lives easy.