Designing Corporate Stationery that Stands Out

Whether you’re sending mail to prospective customers or handing out pamphlets at a trade show, your stationery is the first impression people receive of your business. The following tips can help you create a recognizable letterhead that builds your brand and promotes business growth.

Avoid Clutter

The letterhead on your stationery should contain only a few basic elements:

• Company logo
• Business name
• Physical address
• Email address
• Website
• Phone number
• Fax number, if applicable

When customers see this, they instantly know who you are and how to get in touch with you. Save more detailed information for the body of your printed communications. Trying to cram too much into the letterhead makes it hard to read and upsets the important balance of text, images and white space.

It’s All About the Brand

People who have visited your website should be able to recognize your company header on a mailing without having to think about where they’ve seen it before. Use the company logo as the basis for the fonts, colors and other design elements on your stationery. This creates consistent branding, an important part of business marketing. It also gives your stationery a streamlined look. Stick with one or two fonts so that the information is easy to read, and use color as a way to draw attention to the most important elements of the design.

Pay Attention to Details

The fonts, colors and images you choose for corporate stationery should draw attention in a memorable way. Consider what information is the most important for people to know, and design the header to emphasize it. Make use of various font sizes, and experiment with the alignment of different elements. Try to create a flow that directs the eye of the viewer along a path with a clear hierarchy.

Go With the Professionals

Professional logo and stationery designers know how to combine fonts, colors and images to create the desired effect on your target audience. Working with one of these printing services makes it easier to turn your vision of the perfect letterhead into a reality, and they will be able to suggest stylistic changes to give the design more marketing power. Their expertise can increase the impact that your stationery has on recipients, leading to better brand recognition and more responses.

At Stevens IS, we can turn your corporate letterhead into stationery that grabs attention the moment it’s received. Our Portland, Oregon shop is fully equipped to handle printing and promotional items to help you market your business and spread brand awareness to the widest possible audience.

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Tips for Creating Custom Business Catalogs

Showcasing your business’s products and services is the ultimate purpose of a custom catalog. It’s a tangible resource for consumers, and creating a catalog is one of the most widely adopted marketing strategies in the world. Of course, the fact that catalogs are so commonplace means that it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. While you don’t have to create a novelty item, you do need to create intrigue. Here are five of our favorite strategies for elevating your catalog’s design.

Always think of simplicity first. If you’re choosing between multiple designs, stick with the most simple. A straightforward design makes information easy for readers to find. This means that every page in your catalog doesn’t need a new look, and it also means that you should avoid cluttering pages with unnecessary images or text. Of course, simple doesn’t mean boring. The right designer can make your catalog simple and daring at the same time.

Use visual elements to maintain consistency. Incorporating elements that tie everything together is what makes your catalog look professional. Consistency is a key feature of all standout catalogs but staying consistent doesn’t have to be boring. Create consistency by using layouts, shapes, colors and specialty fonts that can be found across your catalog.

Go with little design changes that make a big visual impact. Something as simple as choosing rounded corners instead of square edges for your catalog can totally change its look and feel. Incorporate different textures, work in accent pages or choose stitched binding so that your catalog really expresses what your organization is all about.

Venture outside standard materials. It’s possible for business leaders to order catalogs for years on end without ever thinking of doing anything but a glossy cover and magazine-style pages. However, an array of different materials can be used to elevate your catalog. From chipboard to recycled papers, they add texture and visual appeal while communicating an element of prestige.

Think outside the traditional format. It’s generally accepted that catalogs share a look and format similar to that of magazines. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can use an entirely different format such as a deck of cards or set of brochures to create a catalog. Check out this totally unique catalog that we worked with Giro to create. Its unique design does more than sell. It speaks to the essence of the brand.

Of course, working with an experienced custom printing company is key to taking your catalog’s design to the next level. At Stevens IS, we create stunning catalogs, brochures and books for organizations throughout the greater Portland area. If you need help with your catalog, get in touch with us today.

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print materials

Keeping it Simple, Telling Stories, and Designing Graphics

Giving successful professional presentations means more than just making eye contact. Read on for the top five presentation-giving tips that will keep audience members talking long after they’ve gone home.

1. Tell stories.

Stories, whether they’re personal or not, engage an audience and keep them from becoming distracted or bored during a presentation. Not only are stories an excellent way to give examples of the point you’re trying to make, but they’re also easy to remember. Audience members will often recall a well-delivered story, especially one that is combined with custom printed presentation materials, flyers or posters.

2. Use relevant content.

This may seem like an obvious mandate, but you’d be surprised how many professionals attempt to fit each and every detail about their topic into a presentation, whether it helps highlight the big picture or not. This is known as a data dump and should be avoided at all costs. Using a poster or sign to emphasize relevant points is highly recommended. While you may be passionate about the many different varieties of beans in the Southern hemisphere, the audience who came expecting recipes for cooking tasty summer bean dishes is likely not.

3. Vary your delivery.

Monotonous droning, even if it’s your natural mode of speaking, tends to alienate listeners and turn them off to what you’re saying. The best public speakers know that changing the pitch and tone of your voice combined with eye-catching poster or sign visuals is a surefire way to keep audiences engaged. You could give a riveting hour-long discussion about how ballpoint pens work versus a boring 15-minute description of a potential impending apocalypse all by modulating or not modulating your voice.

4. Create a simple outline.

You may know what you’re trying to get across during a presentation, but it might not be nearly as clear to your audience. Avoid long, rambling digressions by following a simple outline you created while forming the presentation. A simple outline, especially one shown on a printed overview, helps maintain a direct path for you to stay on track while presenting a clear structure your audience can easily follow.

5. Design eye-catching graphics.

Designing attention-grabbing graphics is a crucial part of any professional presentation. Elegant printed materials can complement a slide or spoken presentation and highlight its most important aspects in an easy-to-read, memorable way. Signs, banners, brochures, catalogues and other personalized materials are all fantastic ways to lend visual interest to and heighten the overall impact of a presentation.

If you’re looking to make a professional presentation with printed materials that pop, Stevens IS offers Portland printing services with just the right amount of personalization to win over your next audience. Contact us for more information.

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How to Integrate Your Efforts Across Marketing Mediums

Marketing has changed a great deal in the last decade. Print, TV and radio advertising have been joined by online and mobile marketing. While tackling these new marketing frontiers can offer big benefits for businesses, it’s important to incorporate traditional marketing techniques such as print too. When you bring your print and digital branding strategies together, you’ll be able to leverage the best of both markets.

Bringing Together an Odd Couple

Making your print and digital strategies work together doesn’t have to be tough. Start with simple strategies such as including a contact email or website address in your print ads. If your business runs coupons in a local paper, publicize them via your social media profiles so that your online followers can connect with you offline too.

It’s a good idea to incorporate social networking information with print advertising when possible. Many companies have had success with hashtag campaigns launched in print. These types of campaigns ask your readers to join an online conversation by appending a hashtag on relevant social media posts. Depending on the campaign, you may want to include geolocators such as Portland, PNW or PDX in your hashtag.

Driving potential customers to your website via print advertising can be as simple as writing a strong call-to-action that lets consumers know they can reach you via email. If you offer online tools that are helpful to potential buyers, make sure that you highlight those as well. In turn, you should also include your offline contact info in online ads and on your website. Make sure that your website visitors can find your business’s address or phone number without hassle.

It’s a good idea to put the marketing metrics you gather from your online campaigns to work in your print campaigns as well. Use your data to figure out where your followers spend their time, then make a point of advertising in those locations. Make sure that you don’t just duplicate your online ads as print ads or vice versa. Offer unique information in both types of ads so your target audience will want to follow you both online and offline.

Creating Consistency with Different Strategies

Bringing together your print and digital marketing campaigns also means creating unique content that still has strong elements of consistency. Including company colors, logos and other branding images in both online and offline campaigns will help your readers connect your company across mediums. You can also choose ads that have similar visual elements or styles.

Interested in working with a professional printing services company that knows exactly how to integrate your print and online strategies? Get in touch with Stevens IS today to find out how we can help.

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These templates make it that easy to bring your marketing or personal projects into the 3D realm.


Whether it’s a place setting for a corporate event or a takeaway for a guest at a wedding, these templates are brilliant solutions for adding a touch of something extra. Customize each piece with our variable printing capabilities. You design; we make it personal.

How to Use these Templates:
1. Download the correct PDF template.
2. Open the template in Adobe Illustrator (or your preferred software) and begin building your design in the “your artwork” layer, directly on top of the template. Try to maintain all artwork and type inside the blue “live area” boxes. Any portion of your design that falls outside of the live area could experience a shift in color when printed.
3. When your file is ready to send to us, turn off the “info box” and “template” layers and save as a PDF. Done!

Cube Box (4” x 4”)

Golfball Box (5” x 1.7” x ”1.7”)

Gift Box (Pillow Box, 6.85” x 3.55” x 1.1”)

For questions regarding pricing or other template offerings, please email

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We recently launched the new [SIS Order Desk] service via Stevens to our far-flung network of charter schools. My company provides all the print-ready templates, we determine what fields are editable and provide an annual printing allowance. Each portal is custom and unique to the specific school. Stevens tracks the spending and works with us on quality control via Email alerts.

Removing us as the middle man to getting print jobs completed empowers each of the schools to take charge of their high quality print needs and ultimately saves the parent organization both time and money.

[Stevens IS] has been a dream to work with – they are professional, responsive, and produce gorgeous finished products with a true commitment to their craft. This has been one of the greatest upgrades we have made to the service we are able to provide to our client in ages!

~ Jennifer Bryan, Managing Partner, Think Joule Marketing

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The Prothero Press

It used to be that many companies had dedicated print buyers: individuals whose sole job was to purchase the various printed needs for their employers.  But those days are gone, and rarely do you find a dedicated print buyer.  Today’s print buyers are administrative assistants, marketing staff, various levels of director or managers for a company.  And often, they are not sophisticated in their knowledge of print, or print specifications.  They have a job – to get something printed, and often, they are overwhelmed with other tasks, so they are not wishing to become experts in print – in fact, that really is YOUR job as a print sales rep to be the expert for them.


Even though it is my job to be the expert when I meet with a client to discuss print terms, or take a call about quoting a job, or get an email…

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