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Make a Quick'n'Dirty Letterhead in ... MS Word!

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Yes you read that title correctly! In this tutorial we are going to take the brand we created in Part 1 and make a letterhead for Microsoft Word to accompany the business cards we put together and printed in Part 2. While traditional letterheads are made by getting them printed at a printers and then running the letterhead paper through the printer, in my experience there are a great many clients who are either too cheap or too lazy to take that option. For all those types of clients (including me!) this is a really easy way of providing a letterhead at very little expense that still looks professional.

This Post is Day 13 of our Graphic Design Session. Creative Sessions

Step 1

So we begin in Illustrator where we create a new document sized to A4 (210mm x 297mm).

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Step 2

Now just lay down your various details in a nicely presentable format. It's important not to run any design that goes into the margins of the page however. The reason being that this needs to be printed on a normal office printer and those things are pretty awful and leave all sorts of weird spacing from the edges.

Additionally you may decide like I have here that this letterhead is going to be printed on a black and white printer in which case we can desaturate any colour and make it all black and white.

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Step 3

Now just add a white rectangle behind the text which is exactly as wide as the canvas. We're going to use this block to place everything in the following steps.

If you need to arrange items to go behind or in front, remember you just right click on the item and choose Arrange > Send to Back.

So select the white block and all the text together and go to Edit > Copy to copy it to the clipboard.

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Step 4

Now switch over to Photoshop, and create a new document. Set the width to 21 cm (A4 width) and a height of about 7cm. The height is short because the letterhead I've used is only short, if you had a design that went over the whole page (like a faded out watermark) then you'd make it a full A4 size - I'm just taking a shortcut.

Don't forget to make sure the resolution is 300dpi.

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Step 5

Now hit CTRL-V to paste in the letterhead design. You'll see the utility of having that white box now because you can really quickly align the edges to the edges of the canvas to get it exactly the same size as you had it in Illustrator.

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Step 6

Now go to File > Save for Web & Devices and choose PNG-24 and create a .PNG file of your letterhead. We're going to then import this into MS Word.

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Step 7

Did you ever think you'd see the day where MS Word appeared on Psdtuts? Neither did I!

So go on, fire up that bad boy and let's make awesome Microsoft letterheads!

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Step 8

So once you have a document ready, go to View > Header and Footer.

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Step 9

The header and footer in Word are a sort of template that once set isn't editable from the main document (unless you go to View > Header and Footer of course!)

So once you're in here, go to Insert > Picture > From File and find that PNG file we saved earlier.

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Step 10

So there's our letterhead. If you try to resize it though you'll discover it won't go to the edges. So you need to right click on the image and choose Format Picture.

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Step 11

Then click on Layout and choose Behind Text and hit OK.

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Step 12

Now you can resize it correctly so it sits nicely on the page. Then hit Close.

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Step 13

And there you have your letterhead! You can now just adjust the margins on the document so any writing appears correctly lined up, so give it a test print then hit save and hand it over to your client!

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This Post is Day 13 of our Graphic Design Session. Creative Sessions
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