While you undoubtedly understand the importance of making a great first impression, you may not realize just how quickly potential clients form their initial opinions of your law firm. According to several studies, you only have about 7 seconds to make a great first impression on potential clients.
If your law firm has a robust website and a modern, artfully designed office space, then you stand a good chance of setting a lasting first impression on prospective clients. However, there is one outward-facing instrument that often gets neglected during branding efforts. We are talking, of course, about your law firm's letterheads.
A professional law firm letterhead serves several purposes. First, it should make potential clients confident that your firm possesses the expertise necessary to manage their cases.
Additionally, it should include relevant contact details for your firm and office to ensure that all responses are sent to the appropriate staff members. The best law firm letterheads will also represent your brand in a positive light and reflect your style.
In this guide, we examine how you can create a captivating law firm letterhead that will help your firm differentiate itself from the competition. We address everything from the law firm logo to the color palette and everything in between.
Why Is Having Attorney Letterhead So Important?
Before we get into the particulars of creating your own law firm letterhead, let's recap why this document is so important in the first place.
A law firm letterhead is a representation of your business. If your law firm letterhead has a poorly designed logo, a bland color palette, or other lackluster elements, potential clients may doubt your professionalism.
Conversely, custom law firm letterheads can enhance the client experience, represent your practice in a positive light, and support your other brand-building efforts.
Contrary to popular belief, law firm letterheads are not just a tool for massive law firms. Independent attorneys and small law firms can benefit from creating their own custom letterheads.
How to Create Your Own Law Firm Letterhead Template
If you already have a logo and want to create your own law firm letterhead, we suggest that you leverage the following steps:
- Verify the quality of your logo and visual elements
- Download all necessary apps and extensions
- Finalize design elements like font
- Decide what details to include
During step one, make sure to verify the quality of your logo in both a digital and printed format. Your logo may look great on a computer screen, but that does not necessarily mean it translates well to paper. If you have concerns about your image quality, then you may need to connect with a web design team or graphic designer.
When downloading apps and extensions onto your PC, make sure to transfer your logo and other visual elements to the appropriate photo gallery as well. If these elements are already in your gallery, it will be easier to create your law firm letterhead templates.
While images, photos, and your law firm logo are critical components of letterheads, font is equally important. Ideally, you should choose a single font to use across all of your business documents. This approach will help you strengthen the brand of your law firm.
Finally, it is vital that you include the appropriate details in your law firm letterhead templates. Examples of details you should list on your law firm letterhead include your business phone number, company mailing address, and email address.
The tips above will help jumpstart your law firm letterhead creation efforts. However, you will still need to choose a platform to create your law firm letterhead. If you want to save money and time when creating law firm letterhead templates, we recommend that you use one of the following platforms:
Microsoft Word Templates
The Microsoft Word platform rose to prominence thanks to the wealth of features and tools that it provides, such as its template library. If you are not fond of any of their available law firm letterhead templates, you can customize a blank document to suit your style.
In order to do so, simply open Microsoft Word and double-click anywhere at the top of a blank document. When you double-click, a "header" section should populate on the document. The text below the header line will become temporarily inaccessible and notably lighter.
While the header is open, insert logos, images, or other visual content using the "pictures" menu. After you have inserted the desired design elements, add contact details and other information.
That's it! Creating a company letterhead for your law firm in Microsoft Word really is that easy.
MS Word Pros & Cons
Microsoft Word, like any tool, has its fair share of pros and cons. Professionals love Microsoft Word for its user-friendly design and suite of intuitive features. Just about anyone with some basic computer skills can navigate their way around Microsoft Word's template library with ease.
Even a first-timer can create an effective law firm letterhead in short order. To be clear, this will not be an advanced letterhead complete with all of the bells and whistles. For the most part, MS Word law firm letterheads are simple yet effective documents that appeal to attorneys who favor a no-nonsense approach.
Another perk to using MS Word is cost. You probably already use MS Word for several business tasks, which means that you won't have to invest in another program to design your law firm letterhead.
With that being said, MS Word is by no means infallible. The biggest shortcoming of MS Word is its lack of versatility. Don't expect its template library to be a source of inspiration, as it contains a meager selection of templates.
If you want to access more robust templates with captivating color palettes, you will need to leverage a solution such as the one highlighted below.
Canva is a valuable tool that includes a dynamic template library. With Canva, you can create law firm letterheads, videos, social media content, presentations, and much more. Like MS Word, Canva is incredibly user-friendly, which makes it appealing to professionals of all technical skill levels.
What sets Canva apart is the depth of its content library. Whereas MS Word only offers a handful of law firm letterhead templates, Canva has dozens. You can customize any of these templates to match your style and brand image.
In order to start using this platform, simply Google the phrase "Canva" or visit canva.com. Once the website renders in your browser, you will be prompted to create a free account. You can create your Canva account with an Apple ID, Facebook account, or Google Gmail account.
After you create your account, query a phrase like "law firms letterheads" or "law firms." From there, simply choose the desired template. You can also generate a blank document and customize it with Canva's tools.
Once your blank document or template loads, add your company logo using the "Upload" icon. It should be located in a panel on the left side of your screen. If you elect to use one of the templates, you will need to delete the default images before adding your own visual elements.
Next, input textual information such as your phone number, email address, and physical business address. Remember, you should only include essential information in this section.
The final step involves downloading your new law firm letterhead from the Canva platform. Choose your desired file format and destination for the download.
Canva Pros & Cons
After reading about all of the dynamic features on Canva, you probably assume that using it requires a paid subscription. However, that assumption is only partially correct.
Creating a Canva account is actually free. Once you have created your free account, you gain access to quite a few templates in their content library. You can also use several of Canva's tools to customize your law firm letterhead.
There are a couple of potential drawbacks to using Canva. For starters, some of the more dynamic templates are not free. Fortunately, these premium law firm letterheads are only about $5, which is a small price to pay for bolstering your brand image.
Another concern is that a competing law firm in your area might already be using one of Canva's free templates. Therefore, you might want to scope out the competition's documents before selecting a template to use for your law firm letterhead.
Venngage is one of the most comprehensive platforms available for creating a law firm letterhead. The product has a massive template library, many of which are suitable for law firms.
With Venngage, you can easily edit existing letterhead templates or customize blank documents using your existing logo and images. The drag-and-drop editing tool offers a seamless letterhead creation experience that will save you time while also allowing you to design professional-quality documents.
When editing your law firm letterhead, you can effortlessly add company color schemes to ensure that your final document accurately represents your brand and style. The platform also includes a print optimization tool that will automatically adjust document properties to translate well to physical form.
Signing up for Venngage takes mere minutes. Like Canva, Venngage allows you to create a free account using your Facebook, Gmail, or email account.
Once you have created your profile, you can access many free law firm letterhead templates. You can start creating your customized documents right away and share a link to your letterhead with other members of your business.
However, you will need to upgrade to a premium account to access some templates and tools. Printing and downloading law firm letterheads is only possible with a premium account as well.
Venngage offers two different paid subscription tiers. The cheaper subscription is a Premium account, which costs $19 monthly. The highest tier is a Business account, which costs $49 per month.
Venngage Pros & Cons
Of the three template creation tools listed in this guide, Venngage is by far the most robust and dynamic. It includes the largest library of templates, royalty-free stock images, easy-to-use export tools, and drag-and-drop editing.
The primary drawback of Venngage is cost. While the platform will allow you to share a link to your content with other people, you cannot download or print it unless you sign up for a paid subscription.
Another issue is that learning how to leverage all of Venngage's tools will take time. Unless you have graphic design experience, you will need to devote several hours to familiarize yourself with the platform, at a minimum. Less tech-savvy individuals might have to spend even longer before they can take full advantage of all of Venngage's capabilities.
Attorney Letterhead Design: Tips and Tricks
Regardless of which law firm letterhead template platform you choose to use, it is important that you leverage some proven design strategies to create a captivating document. You can use multiple strategies in conjunction with one another or focus on a single approach. A few such tips and tricks that you can employ are outlined below.
Simple but Elegant
Law firm letterheads do not need to be flashy. In fact, there is something to be said for a simple and straightforward approach.
When using this approach, stick to the basics. Include essential contact information and your company logo in one corner.
If you want to add a little extra flair while still keeping your overall design simple, consider superimposing your company logo in the background of the letterhead. If you elect to use this approach, remember that color palette choice is critical. It is vital that your superimposed image does not make letterhead text difficult to read.
A Classic Symbol
If you prefer a more classical approach, consider using an image synonymous with justice in your law firm letterhead design. Examples include a gavel or, of course, the scales of justice.
This design style is a little bolder than the aforementioned one. However, it is important that you do not overdo it. With that in mind, you should consider keeping the supplemental images relatively small so that they do not overshadow your logo.
Less Is More
Not a fan of bright, vibrant colors? Then you may favor the "less is more" approach to law firm letterhead design.
When using this approach, the majority of your letterhead should be in black. However, you should accent your company logo and the corner of the document containing contact information with one of your brand colors. This setup will draw the viewer's attention to the most important elements of your design.
A true minimalist approach uses very little color or text. Instead, it leverages the principle of addition by subtraction.
There are many ways to incorporate minimalism into your design. One approach involves presenting your contact details in a bold, sophisticated font and placing your company logo prominently in the center of the top header.
Just Add Color
The final strategy is the polar opposite of the minimalist approach. When using this tactic, a dynamic color palette is your ally. However, do not use colors to the point that they overshadow your company logo or contact information.
Printing Your Law Firm Letterhead
After you have crafted your law firm letterhead, you have one last hurdle to overcome — printing your document. While the majority of correspondence is relayed via digital channels, it is still important to have physical copies of your law firm's letterhead on hand at all times.
When preparing to print your letterhead, ensure that your logo has a minimum dots per inch (DPI) quality of 300. Otherwise, its visibility will be diminished during printing. Additionally, you should save your document in PDF format before attempting to print it.
Once these issues are addressed, you can either elect to print your document in-house or outsource the task to a third-party print shop.
Choosing a Printer
Frequently, purchasing a professional quality printer will be the more practical solution, especially if you regularly need to print documents on short notice. If your law firm letterhead does not contain any colors, then you will only need a black-and-white laser printer. These printers are more budget-friendly than color options.
However, if your letterhead includes colors, you will need to invest in a more expensive color laser printer. Alternatively, you could purchase an inkjet printer. They are one of the most affordable types of printers, but they are not suitable for producing a large volume of documents.
Partnering with a Printing Company
Working with a printing company can be a great option if you need a large volume of generic documents like letterheads and lawyer business cards but conduct most daily correspondence via electronic mediums. Printing companies often offer volume-based discounts, which can help you save money and avoid the need to invest in a costly color laser printer.
With that being said, make sure to obtain a sample of your law firm letterhead before placing a bulk order. Most print shops are more than willing to generate a couple of samples.
When requesting samples, find out what options the shop offers in terms of paper type. Opting for a slightly thicker and more rigid paper for your letterhead might be a smart move if you want to differentiate yourself from other firms.
After you have vetted a print shop's work by viewing sample documents, you can determine whether they are the right partner for your printing needs.
Creating vs. Outsourcing Your Law Firm Letterhead Design
Maintaining a positive brand image has become more important than ever before. In order to nurture and maintain such an image, your attorney website content, law firm social media presence, and letterhead must exhibit a consistent tone.
This tone must align with your organizational values, beliefs, and mission. Otherwise, you may find it more difficult to secure a viable market share in the ultra-competitive legal sector and differentiate yourself from the competition.
That brings us to the question of outsourcing your law firm letterhead design vs. creating it in-house. Utilizing the aforementioned tips to create a letterhead for your law firm appears easy enough at first glance.
However, actually transforming a generic letterhead template into something that effectively conveys your style, professionalism, and passion for your clients is a much more difficult feat.
Conversely, leveraging web design services for lawyers can give you a distinct advantage over firms using generic templates. A reputable digital marketing firm for law firms can create a letterhead that serves as a cohesive component of your overall brand-building strategy.
Obtain a Custom Letterhead from Grow Law Firm
If you want to obtain a truly customized law firm letterhead for your company, then it is time to connect with Grow Law Firm. As the premier digital marketing agency for lawyers, we offer a suite of brand-building services.
In addition to creating a custom letterhead, our team can revitalize your existing website, manage your pay-per-click marketing campaign, and drive organic traffic through search engine optimization.