You might have noticed, but Shop DC Edit is now LIVE! We’ve embarked on yet another adventure — possibly the most exciting one yet — with our series of original lifestyle merchandise. Shop DC Edit is conceptualised entirely in-house and an integral part of its makings was creating our own unique range of corporate stationery. I.e. The tags and postcards you’ll receive with every order from us! Our corporate stationery dreams for Shop DC Edit were brought to life by PapyPress, a local bespoke design and print studio. In the wake of our shop’s launch and the mushrooming of so many small enterprising ventures this year, we thought we’d give you a low-down on personal branding. Whether you’re looking to start-up with impact or wondering how to reinvigorate your current branding, we’ve got the juice *wink*.
So from the artisans at PapyPress, here’s everything you need to know about corporate stationery and personal branding!
1. What exactly is ‘corporate stationery’? How does it differ from normal stationery?
Corporate stationery (also known as business stationery) encompasses every bit of paper that a company uses in her communication with customers/associates. This includes letterheads, envelopes, invoices, business cards, shipping labels, notebooks and product packaging – just to name a few. It is essentially ‘branded’ stationery that reflects the business image your company is trying to portray, in order to make the best impression on prospective clients and business contacts.
Freelancers and businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to stand out in today’s saturated market! So a cohesive brand image communicated through various coordinated corporate stationery carries a subtle but potent message about your business and brand identity.
2. Why is corporate stationery important?
A set of well-designed corporate stationery defines your brand. A professionally-printed set of stationery tells clients that you are a legitimate and trustworthy company. Corporate stationery is all about making that first impression a lasting one! We often get feedback from clients saying that their letterpress business cards are the envy of everyone — from customers to competitors. There have also been clients who thanked us when a big prospective client called them back, specifically because of their unique business cards!
3. Tell us about some of the work PapyPress has done.
As a print studio, we’ve worked together with many brands across a wide variety of industries. Almost everyone (including those in the high tech industry) will need something tangible like a business card or corporate presentation folder to reach out to potential clients and associates. We’ve designed and produced everything; from business cards to more specialised items like a laser-engraved wooden menu board… Even a hardcover box to house test tubes for a whiskey’s scent notes!
4. That makes us curious… Do you have a favourite project among everything you’ve worked on so far?
The most memorable project thus far was for a brand new resort in the Maldives called Maafushivaru. We spent a good amount of time just before the circuit breaker designing the logos and menus for all of the hotel’s restaurants and spa. Then followed by almost an entire month for production, only to have Maldives enter into lock-down the moment production was completed! But all’s well that ends well and the resort has since gotten back on track with their opening.
5. Tell us more about the design/creative process behind your work. How long does the entire process take, from conceptualisation to actualisation?
This is where the fun starts. Our design and creative process involves our client from the get-go. From the initial ideation stage in understanding the requirements, all the way through to production. For example, to design a logo we will first need to understand the personality of the brand, its backstory, and the preferred look and feel of its founders.
Based on our understanding, we go through a research and development process which involves creating a mood board for our ideas. Mood boards contain details like reference images, sketches, colour palettes and font choices. All of which dictate the final look and feel of the design!
Once the details have been confirmed, the execution design process begins. We can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks for the initial draft, depending on the complexity and the scale of the project. Of course, clients are also involved at this stage to provide constant feedback and the design team will translate these changes into their artwork. We also step in as professional consultants for our clients, to help them achieve their ideal look within a specified budget. We’ll always advise our clients on the best possible approach — right down to paper selections and print methods — by leveraging on our deep experience in this industry!
6. For complete beginners: how do I start designing my own corporate stationery? Should I have a branding direction in mind?
Corporate stationery is the physical embodiment of your brand identity. Just like your personal identity makes you uniquely you, your brand identity is what will differentiate your company. So it’s important to spend time and effort thinking about your brand’s DNA (AKA the company’s vision and mission). Besides that, also have a think about your brand personality. Are you loud, quirky, fun, creative… Or more about being sophisticated, trendy and opulent?
Your brand DNA and brand traits will then inform the design direction for your corporate stationery. They will also enable your designer to develop an effective and consistent brand message.
7. Do I need to produce a design myself? How should I budget?
If you are artistically inclined, by all means develop the design yourself. But more often than not, we feel that these are best left to the professionals to distill the essence of your brand into tangible design elements. Budget wise, a basic logo design typically starts from S$380 and goes up to thousands of dollars for a full suite of corporate stationery depending on the scale of the project!
8. What are some key things to consider when producing your own corporate stationery? Do you have quick tips on what makes effective branding?
Definitely, definitely be focused. You need to have a razor sharp idea of your brand identity. Not a mish mash of everything that’s cool and trending on social media! Essentially, you need to have a unique voice. This will inform all your decisions related to the creation of your corporate stationery.
Beyond having a consistent design style, always make sure everything is financially sustainable. We often see clients spending huge amounts of money on their first set of corporate stationery when they first start up or rebrand, only to realise that it’s not financially sustainable in the long-run. Then they end up forfeiting most of their designer’s well-intentioned design elements in search for cheaper, less brand-defining and dare we say, more “chapalang” alternatives.
So the single, most important tip we can give for ensuring effective branding in the long-run? Find the middle ground when it comes to producing your brand identity vis-a-vis your budget!
9. Finally, tell us more about PapyPress! What sets you apart?
We pride ourselves on being both designers and print artisans. Being skilled in both areas means that we are often consulted (even by other designers) on the best way to bring ideas to fruition without compromising on aesthetics. As consumers ourselves, we are also mindful of our client’s budget. We’ll always recommend otherwise if we feel the marginal return is not significant enough. Ultimately, we believe that success depends on our client’s satisfaction with our service and products. So putting ourselves in the shoes of a client to understand their needs is second nature to all our designers and artisans!
Discover more from the artisans at PapyPress here!
And if you haven’t swung by already, our second in-house merchandise collection ‘Days Like These’ is now launched on Shop DC Edit. We’re so excited to have you on this adventure with us and can’t wait to bring you more. Exciting things coming your way as always, stay tuned and stay curious!