Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Letterhead for Typewriter use
Don't you miss a more formal era? Oh sure, things like the computer I'm typing this on are handy, but really I'm using it to talk about "obsolete" typewriters! But there was something really neat, really cool, about typewritten materials, stuff "copied" by hand, by typewriter that is. Something that I fondly remember from my youth is when Dad would bring home papers from work, on fancy, official looking letterhead. Sometimes they were from other companies, sometimes from where he worked, but nothing made a letter look official or formal like letterhead did.
With the realization that we miss these things, or enjoy them, we seek to recapture them. With typewriters, it is still easy to do. And, with the help of our computers, we can have nice looking letterhead too. Yes, I am talking about using a computer to print out letterhead to then use in a typewriter.
For those who have PC's, Microsoft offers many free templates that you can download, which open in Word, which you can then modify to suit your likes. The photos accompanying this text are such a template, modified to suit our liking. Here is a link to the microsoft templates that you can use, just as we have here.
The above photo is of the letterhead style we liked the most for everyday use. This style isn't too formal, but formal enough that we feel it could be used for virtually any purpose. It's modern enough to not look outdated, but still conservative. Of course, you only need letterhead for the first page of a multi-page document, so you need only cook up one style, as subsequent pages use blank paper.
One of the fun things you might want to do related to this task is to whip out one of your typing books, if you have one, and revisit the various instructions for letter writing! How do you format a business letter on a typewriter? Or how do you format one that is informal, to a friend? What if your letterhead, like ours, does not contain an address? How do you add that? Find an old typing instruction book, and put it to use!
Another fun thing to consider is this: how does your font choice in your letterhead look when compared against your chosen type face? That is, do they look compatible, do they "go" together? We tested several machines, with different type faces, in both pica and elite, and settled on one in particular as looking the best for going with the letterhead font style we chose. We can't really quantify this, but since it is an aesthetic thing, we don't have to! But at least one of the type faces that I really like, on a machine I really like, just did not go at all with this letterhead. Somehow it looked wrong. So, what kind of font/type face combination will you come up with? Could you then customize the same letterhead style with a couple different fonts to purposely match a couple different machines? Sure! Or, could you intentionally design a letterhead with a particular machine/type face in mind? Of course! There's lots you can do with a project like this. And then, the next time you want to use the good 'ol fashiones U.S. Mail, you can whip out a nice fresh sheet of your new (old fashioned) letterhead, put it into your favorite typewriter, and really send something unique.