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Newsletter Production

Top Ten Things to Avoid When Producing Your Newsletter

1. Donít use too many fonts.
This is a big one and a very common mistake that many newsletter publishers make. Approach your use of fonts carefully and youíll have jumped a major design hurtle from the beginning.

2. Donít make type too small to read or too large to feel comfortable.
Anything smaller than 10 point could be hard to read. Anything above 12 point for article text will look out of place.

3. Donít make headlines too long.
Rambling headlines take up too much room and will seem overbearing. Headlines shouldnít be over two lines in length, and one line is always better. Check out our tips for great headlines.

4. Donít overuse clip art.
Itís everywhere, inexpensive, and fun. So why shouldnít you fill up your newsletter with it? Because it can be overused and can clutter up your newsletter faster than any other element. It is also tempting to use several different pieces of clipart, when one larger one will do. Learning to use clipart to its best advantage is of the utmost importance.

5. Donít underline text.
This is a throwback to the days of typewriters, when the only technique available to emphasis text was to underline it or use the italics element. But weíve come a long way since then. Today, underlining text causes your reader to associate with a hyperlink, an active link to a webpage. So avoid using underlining if at all possible.

6. Donít forget to proofread (and donít rely on just your spellchecker).
Sometime we feel that weíve caught all our errors just because weíve been so involved in producing our newsletter. After all, youíve read it over and over, so it must be fine, right? Well, sometimes the little things get by us. If possible, have a friend, associate, or co-worker proofread for you. Different eyes see different things and can sometimes catch little mistakes.

7. Donít bury the point of your article in the middle.
Bring it to the first paragraph to be sure to bring your readers into the rest of the article. A rambling start is no way to keep your reader interested, or even to continue into the rest of your newsletter.

8. Donít forget to keep some white space in your publication.
Cluttering up your newsletter is a sure turnoff. Next time youíre feeling cramped, check out our tips for uncluttering your newsletter.

9. Donít box every article.
There is usually a need to emphasize some articles over others in your newsletter. You may also find that you have several articles to highlight. But putting a box around each one isnít the way to go. Use shaded boxes, rules lines, clipart placement, and adequately contrasting headlines to organize your pages.

10. Don't forget who you are.
Design a masthead for your front page that clearly identifies your newsletter, and if applicable, your company or organization. If you are stuck thinking of a great name for your newsletter, check out our suggestions. You may also want to include a short mission statement. Contact information is also crucial, especially if you are sending your newsletter to the public or to customers. Make it clear who the newsletter is from and how you can be reached.

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