Design can make or break a newsletter 

Everyday, we see newspapers, magazines, billboards and advertising signs. Each publication uses a different design and layout specialized for its audience, hoping to capture readers’ attention.

Specifically, a newsletter must be visually appealing, and easy to read to communicate with readers. A newsletter with an organized layout design will aid in communication by moving readers through the page with ease, emphasizing important stories. A well-designed newsletter has the ability to effortlessly convey important and interesting information to readers, and capture readers’ interest in a publication.

Many aspects contribute to a successful newsletter's layout and design

Many aspects contribute to a successful newsletter’s layout and design

Balance baby!

A key aspect to the design of a newsletter is balance. Balance can be achieved through matching identical elements, such as copy, headlines, photos and colors, on the right side of the page to the left side. This is called formal balance. Due to its rigid structure, copy editors have to prioritize form over content, making formal balance unfavorable. Instead, copy editors tend to favor informal balance, which is achieved by matching weights of the elements on the page (Bowles, 2011). Additionally, contrast, proportion and unity must also be considered.

Keep it simple

Because many newsletters have limited space, it is easy for stories to blend together. However, a good layout and design can prevent any confusion among readers. Paul Swift, editor of The Newsletter on Newsletters says, “The soul of newsletters-in both design and editorial content- is simplicity.” Using hairline borders and white space around stories can help keep readers organized while reading.

newsletter layouts

Copy editors have many options to chose from to achieve organization and balance in their newsletters

Layout and design for my newsletter

My newsletter will pertain to the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band, and target current and prospective members of the band. To achieve a cohesive, easy to read newsletter, I will design my newsletter keeping balance, contrast, proportion and unity in mind.

From our lecture on InDesign, I learned that the human eye is attracted to visuals. So, to keep my reader interested in reading the whole page, I will alternate graphics from left to right, starting from the top of the page, and ending at the bottom.

I will use red and yellow colors to match the university’s theme, and to also attract the reader’s eye to certain words or headlines I want to emphasize. Color adds life to the newsletter, and can excite and attract readers to certain sections. The key is to appropriately and tastefully use color, with out cluttering the design.