Getting a Swell Letterhead

Are letterheads soon going to be obsolete? With email, texting and mind-melding communications, there may no longer be a need to write letters on paper. While business and personal logos will still exist, showing them off, printed well on a sheet of bond, may be a vestige of a bygone age.

Still, admiration of great—and not so great, but campy—letterheads continues among the design community. I once heard an advertising man at the Art Directors Club of New York say when asked to define what graphic designers did: “They make letterheads.” Of course, it’s a gross diminution of the role, yet there’s no shame in making a great letterhead.

Designer: Stefan Kantscheff, Bulgaria

Designer: Stefan Kantscheff, Bulgaria

The examples below are from Der Briefbogen In Der Welt (An International Letterhead Revue) published by Zanders Fine Paper GMBH in the early 1960s. The foreword by Kurt Weidemann noted that “It is scarcely possible … to attach too much importance to the letterhead and the wide scope of possibilities it offers as a characterization of its sender.”

If you like letterheads, these eclectic and modern examples will make you want to design one today.

Letterhead016

Designer: Klaus Winterhager, Germany

Letterhead015

Designer: Olaf Leu, Germany

Letterhead014

Designer: Hans Haderek, Germany

Letterhead013

Designer: F.G. Boes. Germany

Letterhead012

Designer: William R. Stone, USA

Letterhead011

Designer:; Herb Lubalin, USA

Letterhead010

Designer: Herb Lubalin, USA

Letterhead009

Designer: Baumgartner Papier, Switzerland

Letterhead008

Designer: Felix Behrmann, Switzerland

Letterhead007

Designer: Valter Falk, Sweden

Letterhead006

Designer: Jan Hollender, Poland

Letterhead005

Designer: Peter Brattinga, Netherlands

Letterhead004

Designer: Henry Steiner, Hong Kong

Letterhead003

Designer: Fletcher/Crosby/Forbes/Gill, UK

Letterhead002

Designer: Oldrich Hlavsa, Czechoslovakia

 


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