Graphic design is experiencing a renaissance. More than ever, we rely on its ability to express and contain ideas and messages that are encapsulated in branding of cities, corporations, and other socio-economical entities. Letterheads, billheads, logos and so on are the constituting parts of a fast communication by a specific brand. Whether one sends or receives a message, there’s a demand for streamlined clarity, an economy of means.
a printed heading on stationery stating a person’s or organization’s name and address.
– a sheet of paper with a printed heading stating a person’s or organization’s name and address.
In the past two centuries, designers have striven to reach the frontiers of efficient and perfect communication. They have been responding to the need for clarity and speed. They have employed all elements of design including; visuals, typefaces, compositions, and balance for communicating in the clearest, most efficient manner. The history of letterheads shows that excellence in design really does matter, and even today is not a quaint concept from the past.
The study of these letterheads reveals to us what difference does the composition the type make, and how does the position and placement of words on a surface and its relation to the illustration alter our perception, and in the final analysis, it shows what the designers hoped to accomplish by focusing attention on this aspect of creating identity, and how they tried at times to slow readers down and at other occasions tried the opposite, and why.