Craft an official letter format UK standard.
Unlock the power of effective communication by learning how to write official letters that fit the formatting and style guidelines in the United Kingdom.
This article will delve into the rules and standards of official letter writing for UK audiences and give tips on how to write format letters so that they look professional and polished.
How to format an official letter in the UK.
Formatting an official letter in a traditional style is relatively easy, as official letters follow a common standard that is easy to emulate. Your letter should include these nine elements.
1. Your address
At the top of the letter, include your full name and address. The address should be aligned on the right side. Each line of the address should have its own line, following the standard address format. Leave a line space beneath your address.
Beneath the address, add the date in full and in a UK date format, e.g., “20th January 2024”. The date should be right-aligned. Leave a line space beneath the date.
3. Recipient’s address
Next comes the recipient’s full name with the correct title and full address. You can include the recipient’s telephone number and email address. Leave a line space beneath this address.
You may include a reference if the letter is either in response to a matter or concerning a particular matter. Include the reference before the salutation.
The salutation is a greeting; an expression of goodwill and politeness. It sets the tone for your formal letter in British style. Typically, you would use a formal greeting “Dear Mr Jones”, however write “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” if you don’t know the recipient’s name.
6. Body of the letter
Beneath the salutation you can begin your letter. Keeping within British writing etiquette, ensure that your tone remains formal, polite, and professional. Use paragraphs to organise your messages and use proper grammatical rules to ensure your letter is written in a polished and comprehensible manner. For more help with structuring the body of your letter, check out these top 20 business letter examples.
Conclude your letter with a polite and formal statement. Use “yours sincerely” if you don’t know the recipient and “yours faithfully” if you’ve addressed the recipient by name. Leave a space between your closing statement and the previous paragraph and after your closing statement, before your signature.
8. Your signature
Your letter should always include a handwritten or electronic signature after your closing statement. Beneath your signature, ensure that your full name is clearly typed out.
9. Enclosed documents
If your letter includes additional documents or information, make sure that you list these attachments at the end of your letter.
Learn more about all of the different elements and create a formal UK letter with letter templates from Adobe Express.
What is the UK formal letter format?
Along with the nine elements discussed above, official letters in the United Kingdom have a particular format and style that is quintessentially British. Here are three tips for formatting a formal letter for UK audiences.
Polite, direct tone
A letter addressing a British audience will always carry a certain tone, one which is polite and to the point. Stick to the topic and try not to come across as over-friendly or too casual.
The formal structure outlined earlier is the standard for all formal letters. Many official letters contain a business logo or organisation name in the letterhead.
Legal, official, and professional layouts
Always use official letter layouts to issue official notices or share important documents, but beware, sometimes official letter styles are not appropriate and will make your letter seem silly, like when writing a letter as part of a job application. Explore these cover letter examples to learn more.
Learn the formal letter layout UK.
Now that we’ve established some ground rules on writing and formatting a letter for UK audiences, here are some additional things to help you craft the perfect formal letter.
Identify your recipient. Once you’ve understood exactly who you’re writing to, this should help you to hone the tone and overall level of formality in your letter.
Next, pin down the purpose of your letter. A letter for a job application will be quite different from a letter used in general business correspondence or as a complaint letter to a company. Browse these letter templates for examples of formal letter styles.
Try to make your points as quickly and succinctly as possible. Use additional documentation for further details. This will help the recipient handle large amounts of information with ease.
One last tip: before you send anything, ask someone else to read it. Get them to check for errors and clarify if your message is clear. Use their feedback to improve the tone, clarity, and structure of your formal letter.
Key points to remember when formatting an official UK letter.
Always make sure the font, layout, and images suit the style of your formal letter.
Typically, most letters will be written in Times New Roman or Arial font sizes 10 to 12. Make sure you choose a font that is legible and keep the font size the same throughout. Use a bold or italic effect for emphasis. Learn more about the importance of pairing fonts for maximum impact.
Follow the standard layout of a formal letter to clearly communicate with your recipient and encourage a quick response. If you want to create a unique letterhead in line with formal letter layouts, you can do so with the help of Adobe Express.
If you use imagery, for example a logo of your company, make sure you format it correctly. This includes adjusting the size of the image so that it doesn’t dominate the letter or upset the structure.
Write your letters in the official UK format.
Adobe Express offers many templates that follow the official format in the United Kingdom. Choose a professionally created template for your official UK letter, add your own text, and your letter is ready to send!
Useful things to know.
Does Adobe Express contain official UK letter templates?
Adobe Express contains hundreds of UK letter templates that closely emulate official styles used in UK businesses. This means that you can easily create your own professional-looking letter that fits UK formal letter style conventions.
Can I use Adobe Express to format different letter styles?
Yes! There are lots of different letter styles available on Adobe Express. You can customise whichever template you prefer for each of your different letters.
Is Adobe Express free to use?
Yes! With Adobe Express’ free plan, you can access professional fonts, templates and top-quality free media. Get started with Adobe Express’ free plan.