Business and personal letterhead typically come in two versions: preprinted and electronic. How you go about duplicating your letterhead depends on which version you have available and how many copies you need. In any event, you will want to achieve duplicates that are crisp, clean and as close to the original as possible.
Duplicating from Printed Letterhead
Take it to a commercial printer if you have your letterhead’s original digital artwork and you need several hundred copies. Also bring a sample with you and ask the printer to match it as closely as possible.
Ask a printer if he can replicate it if you do not have your letterhead’s original artwork. Also ask how much he would charge for the extra design service. Many commercial printers will do this for a small fee.
Run a clean letterhead copy through a color copy machine if you need just a few copies. You also can scan the letterhead and print it, preferably on a high-quality laser printer. Either way, use paper that exactly matches or comes close to your original.
Duplicating from Electronic or Digital Letterhead
Open the file if your letterhead’s original artwork is on a word processing document, then simply save it as a template that you can use repeatedly in the future. In Microsoft Word, go to "File" then "Save As" and change “Save as type” to “Document Template.” Give the file a recognizable name such as ABC Letterhead and then select “Save.” To use this template later, go to "File" then "New Document" and select “Templates on My Computer.”
Scan separately the header and the footer of a clean copy at 100% scale if you do not have your letterhead’s original artwork. Scan the images tightly with minimal or no extra space around it. Save each image as a jpeg file and remember where you save them because you will need to get to them later.
Go to "View" then "Header and Footer" to display your header box on a new Word document. With your cursor in the box, select "Insert" then "Picture" then "From File." Navigate to where you saved your scanned images. Choose your header image and click “Insert.”
Right-click on the image in the header and select "Format Picture.” On the Size tab, check the “Lock Aspect Ratio” box and change scale height to “100 percent.” On the Layout tab, select “In front of text” as wrapping style and check “Center” for horizontal alignment.
Go to "View" then "Header and Footer" and place your cursor within the footer box at the bottom of the Word document. Then follow the same procedure to insert, size and align your footer image within the box. Save your new document as a template that you can use repeatedly in the future.
Instructions may differ slightly for Microsoft Word versions higher than 2003 and on other word processing software. If your original digital artwork is in a non-word processing format, save or scan the document as a jpeg that you can crop and insert into a Word document as instructed before saving as a template. You may have to play with the scanner settings to get a good image that is not too large. Try to keep image size to less than 500 kb.
- paper texture background image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com