Sketchbook B: Letterhead and Envelopes

Finally, after at least 4 years of using the Sketchbook B name for my personal projects, I have letterhead and envelopes.

Once the cornerstone of a corporate identity, letterhead and envelopes are becoming an endangered species. Digital communication is replacing written correspondence. And many people just print from a word processor with a logo at the top. (I personally think this has to do with how impossible it is to figure out how to load letterhead into a laser printer.) Pre-printed letterhead has become a luxury.

I printed business cards earlier in the year, but I hadn’t even considered doing letterhead and envelopes. I just don’t send that much written Sketchbook B correspondence.

I started reading Letters of Note and Letterheady and was inspired to start working on concepts. Something that would work for small quantities. Maybe a stamp or a label. But I couldn’t quite settle on something I was happy with.

One day, I was helping clean out a cache of old materials at the office and ran across a bin of old media – CDs, SyQuest drives, Zip disks, 3.5 inch diskettes and even 5.25 inch diskettes.

The 5.25 inch disks brought back memories of my Commodore 64. Using Print Shop for the C64 was the first time I used a computer to create and print a “design.” And it was likely the first time I ever thought about typefaces.

I had found my inspiration:

I took the dimensions of a 5.25 inch floppy disk label and worked up a concept. I’m sure at some point in the not-so-distant past, a floppy disk label was part of the standard corporate identity package.

All of the type in the system was initially designed with Fontstruct and later refined with other software. SbB Periodic is used for the address information and SbB Dradis for the logo.

The labels are odd dimensions - you can’t exactly buy precut labels that size anymore - so I had a local vendor print them on crack-and-peel on their Indigo press. I ordered a small quantity of Pop-Tone Sour Apple paper and envelopes from French.

On the letterhead and envelopes, the label wraps around the paper so the address is on the back. And the label can be used on folders, CD cases, binders and more.