Fall Ideas for Newsletters
To gather ideas for fall newsletters, a graphic designer will sometimes visit websites where publications are displayed and judged or look at the region or organization for which the newsletter is meant and consider its mission or objectives. Ideally, the newsletter will have consistency throughout. The fall factor can be fun, but fall ideas, especially those that venture far from the company’s standard publication, should be discussed with others involved.
Border Designs in Fall Colors
It is customary to use fall colors for a fall newsletter, and unless the client for whom the newsletter is meant advises otherwise, it’s an acceptable practice. To make sure the colors and patterns are uniform, the designer should create a basic template to use on the inside pages. If fall leaves are used to border the page, make sure the pattern is uniform. These same patterns can be drawn into an individual page and placed, for example, in the center of the copy with a runaround or as a faded image in the background. Make sure the copy is readable in either case and don’t use a large image for the copy to runaround.
Pumpkins and Gourds
Fall items such as pumpkins and gourds are seasonal favorites, but it’s always more pleasant for readers if the design has local significance. Because harvest has been a fall fare for thousands of years, choose a local crop. If your region is known for grapes, use grapes. Always take into consideration the company or organization for whom the newsletter is designed and its mission. A newsletter for an animal shelter can use pumpkins or some other fall symbol, but it should incorporate animals into the design — such as a dog peeking out from behind the pumpkin. Even when you can’t find the graphic you’re imagining, most can be easily created in a photo program such as PhotoShop.
Some designers see diversity as more appealing, and it can be done with success. Diverse patterns can be used for sidebars. For example, copy can be placed within a different pattern (gourd, pumpkin, fall leaf, squash) on each page. Diversity is best within boundaries. It’s best not to represent completely opposing ideas from one page to the next. The diversity should be tasteful and not too obvious otherwise it may tax the reader’s patience at best and offend him at worst.
Some clients want a hint of fall without the bold fall objects that accompany them. Newsletters can vary in the colors used in spring, summer, fall and winter without making the newsletter appear too different to the subscribers. Changing to fall colors in the borders, headlines, subheads and flags is one way to present fall with subtlety. A faded symbol of fall behind the flag, which usually remains a constant design in every newsletter put out by a single organization, can be presented elegantly.
June Farquhar has been writing for newspapers and special publications in California since 1998. She's the recipient of a press club award for organizing and designing a 42-page "Red Ribbon Week" tabloid, which received recognition from the California State Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives. Farquhar studied newspaper journalism at Bakersfield College.