Newsletters are a great way to tell your customers about your business or organization. And like every document you create, your newsletter reflects your company, so you want it to present the best image possible.
This Before and After column shows how just a few design changes can transform a ho-hum newsletter into one that is easier for people to read and enjoy. The newsletter is very inexpensive to produce. It is printed with black ink on both sides of plain white 11×17 paper. Printing 500 costs only about $70.
Designing in black and white can be more of a challenge, so you have to make the most of what you have without sacrificing readability. Always remember when you are working on a newsletter that any newsletter that’s difficult to read won’t be read.
Simplifying the layout, changing the fonts, and sticking to a layout grid makes the new newsletter easier to read. Visual cues such as consistent use of font sizes in the subheadings help guide the reader through the articles.
- The old newsletter used all upper-case text to set off subheads and the banner across the top. Because all uppercase text is more difficult for people to read than upper and lower case, the headings are not as effective as they could be.
- Photographs were randomly placed throughout the newsletter and font sizes were randomly changed to make articles fit in a given space.
- The size of the banner at the top of the page changed from issue to issue. Because the banner uses the same Times
Roman font, it doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the newsletter, even though it’s enormous. Sometimes
bigger isn’t better.
- In the revised newsletter, the banner was redesigned to emphasize the title. A simple pawprint graphic was added to make the newsletter more recognizable. The Friends of the Shelter logo was reduced along with the issue date. Font sizes are used consistently throughout the newsletter. A contrasting font is used for subheads and article titles to set them off from the body text used in the article.
- Rather than changing font sizes to fit copy, text treatments such as pull quotes and boxes are used to help articles
lay out correctly in their space and to add interest.
- The document is set up using a 5-column layout grid. Photographs are consistent sizes and fit within the grid. (On
this page the photos on the left occupy one of the five columns and the two text columns are two columns wide.)
Newsletter redesign by: Logical Expressions, Inc.