Warmer weather gets our creative energy flowing. This is the perfect time to take stock of your newsletter design and see if you can do a bit of “spring-cleaning.” Consider these ideas as you take a second look at your newsletter.
Get Rid of the Clutter
A good spring-cleaning of your home means getting rid of excess clutter. Your newsletter can be weighted down with clutter of its own. Be careful of using too many boxes, lines, and shading in your newsletter. Although it is important to strive for an organized layout and good readability of your newsletter, it can be easy to get carried away. If you find that your newsletter has many boxes filled with text, consider using lines instead to break up sections. You essentially are going from four lines to one, without losing any structure. Once you’ve taken that step, see if lines now clutter your newsletter. Try using strong headlines to differentiate sections of your newsletter. And be careful of shaded boxes. Although they can be quite effective if used properly, overuse of these design elements can distract your reader, make your newsletter harder to read, and fill up your pages without adding substance.
Give It a Good Scrubbing
Your newsletter may be in need of a good cleaning. Start by looking at your fonts. If you are using more than two or three types of fonts, your newsletter is probably suffering from font overload. Using many styles of fonts clutters up your newsletter and makes it harder for your reader to navigate and understand your message. Clean up your newsletter by choosing a main headline font and a main article text font. Use these consistently and only use other fonts as accents occasionally.
Whiten and Brighten
White space is an important element of any good design. It is not necessary to fill up every spare inch of space with text, graphics, boxes, or lines. Newsletters with an appropriate amount of white space seem more organized. Your message will get through without your reader having to wade through a thick sea of extras. White space can include the space at the ends of headlines, spacing between articles, and even deliberate use of empty space as a design element. Try incorporating more white space into your newsletter if it is beginning to feel cramped and cluttered.
All design rules are made to sometimes be broken, but these guidelines are beneficial as starting points. Take a look at this newsletter before and after a simple spring-cleaning.