Adobe InDesign enables you to create templates and is the perfect tool for newsletters. Making a template is easy, once you have the layout of your newsletter complete save the document as InDesign CS3 Template. This will save ruler guides, layers, place holder frames and any graphic and text you need each month.
Ruler guides help you with the placement of news letter elements. You place ruler guides by making sure the menu View has Show Ruler selected. Place the Selection Tool over a ruler and drag a line into place. If Snap to Guide is selected in the menu View objects like text boxes and line elements will snap into place making precise layout easy.
The banner or the masthead of the newsletter contains your logo and common elements that are reprinted each issue. The title of your publication, tag line, the date, and issue number are included there.
Content for a new letter should be based the purpose of the organization and should follow a plan of action to fulfill that purpose. Content throughout the newsletter should flow and be easy to read. A letter from club officer, manager or ministry person often goes on the front page. It contains a current overview of the organization and upcoming events. The most important information should go on the front page and should point back to a purpose statement. If the newsletter is for an arts organization whose purpose is to promote the arts within a local community, news promoting arts activities and local artists should fills its pages. Secondary issues that might be of interest to the membership will be in the later pages. Informative article like “how to Keep Track of Expenses for Tax Purposes” might be included inside the newsletter.
A Calendar of events that is easy to read can be incorporated somewhere in the layout. A list of events with basic information concerning the who, what, when, where and how much of the events listed together helps members be better informed of what’s ahead.
Detailed promotion of events, articles of interest, announcements can be grouped together in a section of the newsletter or sprinkled through out to fill space or add interest. Art work for an event should be used consistently. If you are printing flyers for an event and create a piece of art use that art in the newsletter, on the website, the tickets or any other promotional materials created. This will help brand an event and help your readers remember the event.
Newsletters are typically printed on 11″ x 17″ sheets of paper. Sixty pound text weight works best. It is sturdy enough to be handled by the machinery used by the postal service and light enough to not cause excessive postage charges.
When setting up the file open a new 11″ x 17″ document. Pull a vertical guideline to the 8 ½” mark. The right side of the sheet will be the front page. Allow an half an inch margin around the sheet and an inch gutter. The left side of the sheet will be the back of the newsletter. The upper left corner of the sheet is where the return address, postage and mailing labels go. (web address for postal requirements)
Add a second page and divide in half with guidelines. This will be the second and third pages.
Additional pages can be inserted, either full 11″ x 17″ sheet making the total pages in the newsletter eight pages or an 8 ½” x 11″ sheet making the total pages in the newsletter six pages. When adding additional pages you will need to adjust your page numbers. For an eight page newsletter the first sheet will be page 8 and 1, the second sheet 2 and 7, the third sheet, 3 and 6 and the fourth sheet 4 and 5.
It is a good idea to understand the look you desire for the printed product before you design. Design for the process you are using. Is your newsletter is going to be copied on a high quality black and white copier, printed or color copied? Since cost is usually a consideration talk to the printing professional who will be reproducing your art work before you design. It maybe helpful to consider themes, the season of publication and the events you are promoting when choosing paper color and ink.
Unless the desired effect that you want for the newsletter requires a pleura of fonts, stick to a very few coordinated fonts. Adding bold and italic to the few you select will give you a lot of variation in design to keep it interesting without making the layout confusing or jumbled looking. Text fonts should be simple. Save decorative fonts for titles and headlines.
To figure the timeline for newsletter production start with the date you want the newsletter to arrive in your reader’s home. Allow 1 -2 weeks for bulk mail. For first class mail allow one to three days. Allow your printer 1- 2 weeks to process your order depending on his production schedule and if you are having the printer do the folding, tabbing and labeling. If you are doing the folding, tabbing and labeling allow the time you need to accomplish this task. If you have members contributing content set a deadline for them that gives you enough time to layout and edit the newsletter. It is always advisable to have several people check the document for errors. The content of the newsletter is your responsibility, not the printers.
Use high resolution photos that have been resized or cropped in PhotoShop to give you a good quality print without making the document file size too big. Most commercial printer accept InDesign files or Adobe Acrobat files created from InDesign or other publishing software programs like Microsoft Publisher.
Keep a copy of the printed piece for your record and save the file by the date the newsletter is issued instead of copying over the file. That will allow you to reprint the newsletter if extra copies are needed and to retrieve content at a later date.