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Creating a successful newsletter means spending less time on repetitive tasks and more time creating the design. In Designing a Newsletter, graphic designer and Adobe Certified Instructor Nigel French teaches effective design and production techniques. He uses Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Bridge to create an eight-page newsletter that's eye-catching and impactful. Nigel establishes an efficient workflow using multiple programs, examines the aesthetics of integrating text with images, and teaches best practices for outputting a final document. Exercise files accompany the course.
To begin with, let's take a tour of the finished version of our newsletter and I have this annotated diagram indicating all the different parts of the layout. So up top, we have our Table of Contents with teaser images and very brief descriptions of the article and then we have the nameplate, the title of the newsletter itself. Here's an interesting picture treatment, a partial cutout of the picture so that the head pokes over the top of the picture frame. A caption, which in this instance is set against the black background so that it reverses out of the picture. A continued slug because the first story is continued on the back page. A sidebar article. A common theme in newsletter is combining various different articles on the same page and here we have a four-column article juxtaposed with a three-column article. A drop cap indicating to the reader where to start, a deckhead giving a brief description of the article and a nice bold headline.
Let's now move to the first spread, pages 2 and 3, where we see a lot of the same themes continued throughout. I'm just going to point out some of the additional stuff that we see on this spread. Familiar theme in a newsletter: a mugshot of the columnist, in this case the editor, department icons going with the department heads. Got a nice picture of our subject here, fully engaged with the camera and as much as possible, we want to go for imagery that involves people doing things, looking at the camera.
Here we have a pull quote used as a graphic element and also an enticement to read the article, kind of summing up really the essence of the article. A byline, which is distinguished from the text by the use of a rule above and below, a footer both on the left and the right-hand pages, mirroring each other so that it's on the outside part of the page. The masthead with the credits for the newsletter and some white space for visual relief.
Let's now move to the third spread. Now because we have an eight-page newsletter, pages 4 and 5 are our center spread where we have the luxury of being able to take a picture, cross it over from the left page to the right page and that's what I'm doing here. Again, we see the repetition of this white space column, either side of this repeating column which begins on the left-hand page, Page 4, continues on to Page 5, and is set in a contrasting font to the body text, both in terms of its weight, this is in a bold weight, and in terms of its alignment. This is left aligned whereas the body text is justified.
We also have a nice cutout of the dog here creating an interesting visual shape around which can wrap some text. Another common feature of newsletters is the Review section and in this month's newsletter, we are reviewing restaurants. So here we have six different restaurant items, all following the same fairly rigid format: the restaurant, the dish, the address and then a description and a nice picture to accompany each one. Nice use of white space so we're not overwhelmed by heavy blocks of text.
We see the repeating department heads with this common theme of the gray italicized serif type put next to the bold sans serif green type. A calendar distinguished from the rest of the text by being set against a tinted background and then in this article down here, our community profile. Again, we're combining a four-column grid with a three-column grid. Elsewhere we're using three columns. Here we're using four with one of those three columns being devoted to the picture and the picture caption.
Finally, on our last page, we have the self-mailing area occupying about one quarter of the vertical space of the newsletter and the continuation of the article from Page 1 with the two columns of text separated by a column of pictures and their associated captions.
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