Best way to supply templates to clients?

I have a client that needs custom designed stationery, but is requesting it to be supplied in a template that they can modify for different divisions within their company. What would be the best and easiest way to use to do this. I need to supply letterhead, business cards that will be modified.

Create original in Word. Now every employee and his/her cousin can modify to hie/her heart’s content.

Or, you can avail yourself to create art for every branch, every division, and laugh all the way to the bank.

Or, create one press-ready art template, and suggest that everyone in the company to be provided with InDesign, Illustrator, or QuarkXPress, and have at it.

Also suggest that you will create their graphic standard. $$$$

Not ideal, but save as PDFs with fillable form fields.

Picking up on what Eriskay said…

Lots depends on how they will be printing their stationery and who will be making the modifications to the stationery.

If the stationery (including the logo and the contact information) will be printed off one at a time on various office printers, it’s best to stick with whatever those people will be writing their letters on, which is likely MS Word. In other words, people get a blank MS Word template with all the elements already in place, like logos, contact info, etc., then type their letter and print it out on their office printer. If this is their company approach, you’ll need to make sure the printing on the stationery doesn’t bleed off the edges of the paper since most officer printers don’t have that capability.

On the other hand, if this is a company that plans to have all their stationery commercially printed, it would likely be best to design the stationery in a good layout application, like InDesign or even Illustrator. Of course, this company would need someone on staff who has and knows how to use these applications to make the alternations for the different company divisions. This approach assumes that they company will order reams of commercially printed stationery with the logo, contact into, etc., then load that pre-printed stationery into their office printer. Even if this is the case, however, people would still need an MS Word template to use, on which they would do their typing, where the logo/contact info would be on the template but wouldn’t actually print since those elements would already be on the preprinted stationery.

Lot’s of companies also have two or three levels of stationery — executive stationery for the corner office people to use and run-off-the-mill stationery for everyone else. The executive stationery will typically be preprinted on better paper and include things like foil stamping or embossing. The run-of-the-mill stationery is often just printed as needed from office printers.

This is often an awkward conversation to have with a client since they’ve likely not thought it through and it’s difficult to explain the options. The reality is that unless it’s a company with some tight brand standards, once it leaves your hands, it will turn into a mess where everyone in the company does whatever they want with the stationery. I didn’t really answer your question because there really is no one-size-fits-all answer. What they need depends on the company, so you’ll need to ask them.


The short answer is “No”. There is no win-win solution to provide a quality product without either side conceding quite considerably.

For the vendor (the designer), this means a loss of income.

For the client, the erosion of branding and company outward face through ignorance, lack of expertise in maintaining standard, and simply the professional attitude towards graphic integrity, is immeasurable.


This might be an option if PDF forms worked for everyone using them. However, from my experience, PDF forms cause a never-ending series of problems for the wide variety of people trying to use them.

We take the letterhead and add it as a header into word so that they can type whatever they want into the body. It also keeps the average office person from mispositioning it in word since you need to select header to be able to change it.
This is only for clients that pay us to print the normal letterhead, and even then we only do it when asked. Sometimes we need to add the other info as an image into the footer as well.

That doesn’t seem to be what the OP asked.

Thank you and this is basically what I thought I need to do. I was hoping for a better solution to just a Word template.

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