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Placing content in order of visual importance to promote maximum readership begins the design process of a newsletter.
by Andy Attiliis

This doesn't necessarily mean filling a front page with the top story. Instead, the goal is figuring out how and where to start the first paragraphs of each piece to afford everything a great amount of visibility.
         Then, departmental areas are given consistent treatments to establish memorability. This strategy instills a kind of familiarity that says, "welcome back" to the target audience.
         Next, logical placement of images and typography for best fit into an established design grid, fine tunes the look of a newsletter. Special care is taken to create editorial spaces with elements that look great together. Thankfully, mind's eye guesswork needn't imagine how a number of illustration and photographic styles will work together. Instead, desktop publishing makes color proofing viable at any stage during the process. Whenever an incompatible relationship is found, Photoshop offers many solutions. Often, simple adjustments in the contrast, intensity, color or the style of offending visuals can make a design spread sing rather than choke.
         Finally, attention to well done newspapers reveals a headline style worth borrowing to achieve great flexibility. It involves using at least two type weights, one decidedly bolder than the other. With such variety comes the ability to control emphasis of editorial content, while achieving a most dynamic layout. For example, an important story that looks best at the bottom of a spread can be elevated in prominence if its headline is bold, so long as the headline positioned above is set in the book weight. Samples on the next two pages show how News Gothic Bold works with ITC Century Condensed Book.

Andy Attiliis has served as art director for three advertising agencies. Since becoming an independent professional in 1981, he has been hired by nearly every type of business organization. With focused concentration on improving the continuity of a message’s concept and quality, he has often performed multiple creative functions on a single project. His additional experience as a creative director, designer, illustrator and writer have made him an extremely efficient single source art director/creative provider. The kinds of communications for which he has provided art direction range from ads to newsletters, brandings to Web sites.

Copyright 2001 Andy Attiliis. All rights reserved.
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