Corporations, nonprofit organizations, schools and even families use newsletters to share news, ideas and events. Newsletter layouts may vary depending on the industry, audience and distribution type.
Software and Programs
You can create newsletters using design or desktop publishing programs like Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress and Microsoft Publisher. Each of these programs offers pre-designed templates you can use to create newsletters. If you'd rather create your own layout, these programs also offer blank pages that allow you to build a newsletter to fit your needs.
Format and Distribution
Print newsletters are usually 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches in size with four to eight total pages. However, they can be as small as a self-mailer postcard or designed to fit the back and front of a piece of paper. Email programs like MailChimp, Vertical Response and iContact make it easy to create newsletter layouts that you can send via email.
Whether in print on the web, a newsletter's header usually appears at the very top of the publication or vertically along either the right or left side. The company or organization's logo is included in the header area so that recipients can easily identify who sent them the communication. The nameplate appears as a part of the header, including information like the newsletter name, the subtitle, the volume number, the issue number and the date, if applicable.
Body and Columns
Newsletter layouts can contain one column, two columns, three columns and, in some cases, four columns. Columns work to break up content and highlight key sections covered in a newsletter. Arrange columns to show a small amount of white space so that all text and images are legible.
The footer of a newsletter contains the masthead, which includes the names of authors, illustrators, photographers or other newsletter contributors. It can also include information about how readers can renew their subscriptions or purchase a subscription for a friend.
Table of Contents
Present a table of contents in your newsletter, regardless of the format you select. The table of contents should include the main topics covered and direct readers to the pages or sections where they can find specific articles, tips and information. A table of contents will help guide your newsletter readers and avoid confusion. Include it at the top of your newsletter for higher visibility.
- “Newsletter Design: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creative Publications”; Edward Hamilton; 1995
- University of Missouri: Designing Your Newsletter
- Design Typography & Graphics: Make it Tall, Make it Elegant
Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Towson University and is working on a master's degree in publications design at University of Baltimore.