Everyone has received newsletters at one time or another, from school bulletins to Christmas-time descriptions of what the family has been doing. Some of these publications, however, are more effective or memorable than the rest, largely due to the care taken with their design. In education, newsletters must convey the idea that the school is both approachable and professional, so designers of school newsletters should pay close attention to the rules of design.
In addition to being used for communication, newsletters can also be used as a teaching tool. Teachers and students can work together to create a class newsletter to help students feel some ownership of the publication. Furthermore, the use of student-written elements will not only elevate the learner, but also capture the audience’s attention and reduce the teacher’s design workload.
Teachers increasingly need more tools to capture student attention, and communication between parents and teacher is a vital component of every child’s education. Newsletters can accomplish both of these goals in an exciting, creative way.
Newsletter Design Resources
This site gives examples of various alignments and explains why they are effective.
This site, created by graphic artist and teacher Jim Saw of Palomar College, outlines the two basic types of alignment and provides alignment tips.
This page, also created by Jim Saw, explains how similarity and proximity can improve your design.
This media company-produced page shows examples of both good and poor uses of proximity.
On this page, about.com explains how contrast works to improve design.
This site shows how to use contrast in online publications.
This site shows how being consistent with elements of your publication can make the publication more cohesive.
This site uses examples to illustrate the importance of repetition in design.
For More Information...
To get more ideas about how to use newsletters in your classrooms, or to find out more about designing newsletters, visit the following sites:
This site provides step-by-step directions for creating a newsletter using Microsoft Word.
This site provides some suggestions for creating a newsletter using AppleWorks.
This site features a list of helpful and simple tips about the design of newsletters and what kinds of information to include.
This site offers some tips on teacher-written newsletters and student-written newsletters.This site offers suggestions from teachers about how to use newsletters in the classroom.