What is the best/cleanest way to create letterhead artwork to be used on a Word template?
Right now I'm just creating, copying and pasting, but it seems there must be a more professional way. InDesign, or is Illustrator OK?
Neither InDesign nor Illustrator can save to a Word file you can use as your letterhead. Your best method is to save individual graphics as hi-res PNG files and bring them into Word using Insert Graphic. Then position the image exactly as part of the header, so that the graphic appears on all pages and is hard for the average user to accidentally move or delete it.
You’re asking in the Illustrator forum, so I’ll assume you are using Illustrator and, further, that you are using either CS4 or CS5.
Use File > Export to export the layout as a PNG. Set resolution to 300 ppi, antialiasing to off, and transparency to none.
Now insert the image into your Word file in the header and edit the position so it does not flow with the text and is exactly in the right place. To test, export your Word file as a .pdf and open that in Illustrator and compare with the original. Adjust and re-export .pdf until you have the position just right.
The answer doesn't lie in Illustrator as much as Word.
1 - Plan and draw your layout in Illustrator and then, yes, save it out as a PNG (like shown above).
2 - In word, refer to the "insert" panel and insert your whole page as a 'picture'.
3 - With the picture hi-lighted you will see a "Picture Tools" tool bar at the top of the interface. Press the "position" button and then select "more layout options" from the drop menu.
4 - Select "Behind Text", this will allow you to scale your PNG up to the size of the word document and not interfere with the primary text field as it will be in the background.
5 - For detail, add text fields in places where you've created grids and lines but selecting "Text Box" on the Insert panel.