5 Design Tips for A Great Newsletter or Magazine
Designing a newsletter is very similar in many ways as designing a magazine. The same basic concepts apply to both. There are some minor differences, but this article is about how much they are alike and if you apply these principles to both you will have a very professional looking publication for digital and print.
I also have found the principles also apply to designing websites, so these skills I learned work really well for this live presentation of a company’s store front.
To do a professional job on a consistent basis you will want to have a software that is up for the task. When I went back to school for graphic design the core of our school program was built on the rock foundation of three main Adobe products. Photoshop, Illustrator and, InDesign.
Here are the 5 Design Tips for A Great Newsletter or Magazine:
1.) The Masthead Is Your Newsletters Logo
It is most often located at the top of the cover and should be the first thing your reader sees. It must be legible and tell people about your newsletter. You have looked at your magazine thousands of times, but your readers have not. If the masthead is developed with illegible fonts, people won’t view it as you intended.
2.) Use Great Photographs
You will want to have great images throughout the whole newsletter and magazine. This is what attracts people to read the rest of the stories. All photographs must be of a good, high quality (in the proper resolution). I always recommend using images that are 240 DPI on printed material. Many times, I use the same images on Websites and blogs. The difference is the website images need to be shrunk down to 72 DPI. If your image is to big on the internet the website or blog will load up very slowly.
Sign up for a photo stock agency that you can use to find images that will match the article that you are writing about. I have a whole library of images that I have saved from stock agency’s over the years that I use on people’s newsletters when they ask me to do the layout.
* Remember: Do not use images that you do not have permission to use because it’s called copyright infringement and if you get caught you can be sued.
Some photo stock agencies are pricier than others, so it depends on what type of image you are looking for.
Here are a couple of agencies:
1.) Storyblocks has basic images that will give you usable images to use for around $99 a year and you can down load all you want.
2.) Shutterstock is more expensive but has a bigger selection for those hard to find images when only the right photograph will work.
Here is more information about Photo Stock Agencies and a bigger selection to choose from.
3.) Careful Font Usage
Typography matters. The choice of fonts can have a major impact on the overall professionalism a newsletter conveys. Using too many font faces is visually confusing to the reader. He/she may have trouble distinguishing the stories from the ads. Not to mention, that too much “stuff” can be tiring on the eyes.
I try to only use two font families on any one publication. A “serif” and a “san serif”. Using two of these and only two will break up the text and make it more reader friendly. More than two will cause confusion to the reader.
Within that family might have a regular, bold and italics so it’s OK to use those different selection because it will give the newsletter a feeling of uniformity without confusion.
4.) Multi-column Layouts
One trick for having your stories look professionally built is to use a multi-column grid to the page. For regular sized newsletter try using three columns, digest sized mags use two. Not only does it look more professional, but text will flow better on the page and you will have more options for placing photos.
Personally, I like a two-column layout grid, but everyone has their own preferences. The point here is to use something other than one column.
5.) Stay Away from the Edge
Many newsletters have layouts with text too close to the edge of the page. Again, don’t try to fill up the entire space. The minimum margin suggestion is 1/4″ but 1/2″ is better, or even more page margin is suggested.
Again, it looks more professional adding more white space and you will not worry about the possibility that text might be cut off when the magazine is cut down to size after printing.
I hope you have found these 5 tips helpful on your next design of a newsletter or magazine. Let me know how they helped and send me a copy of your next publication.
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