Despite advances in technology that allow us to ditch snail mail correspondence for email, sending a typed or hand-written message on paper is still widely regarded as a way to communicate with a more personal touch. Many individuals, professionals, businesses, and organizations use letterhead today for formal correspondence, to follow traditional business or personal etiquette, or simply because they prefer a more tangible method of communication.
The word “letterhead” originated in 1887 as a shortened version of “letterheading”, which was used to describe the top of a letter (or the “head”) which contained the sender’s name and address, or to refer to the entire sheet of paper itself. In the 19th century, letterhead were created using either movable type or engraving & lithography. Then in the 20th century, the size of letter paper became smaller to adapt to typewriters. Today, people can easily design their own letterhead on their computer and have it professionally printed to make a statement.
When it comes to letterhead design, there are some who see it as a simple sheet of letter paper with a name, address and phone number typed at the top. For others, it’s a piece of stationery whose header is an opportunity to add personality into otherwise boring and routine letter.
Here are some examples of beautiful vintage letterhead, along with a few names you may even recognize.
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