A Great Masthead Can Make All the Difference

Let’s face it; a masthead is the first thing we see when we pick up a newsletter.  It generally tells, who, what and when.  It’s like taping a sign to your forehead and shouting, “look at me.”  A great masthead can help determine whether a publication will be successful.

An interesting masthead can make or break a newsletter.  It can get people to read further and it puts a company’s “best foot” forward.  It is often the first thing that people see in terms of a company’s image on page.  So it better be good.

Here’s some samples of mastheads that HWDS has helped design for our clients.

MTINewsbytes CommuterConnections1

HarborToHillHRESummer MMatters NorwalkTransitNewsmasthead OrangePealApril2013masthead

KPBPReflections

csnews

An effective masthead requires six main traits.  1) it should be memorable; 2) it should show strength; 3) it should convey a positive image; 4) it should embody a distinct elegance in design; 5) it should contain a catchy name and 6) it should contain the company’s name and/or logo. Yes, it is a tall order to cram all this into 2 or 3 inches of vertical space.

A masthead should be branded.  It needs to compliment other company publications and be consistent with the approved the brand.  A masthead should also be easily discernible as representing the topic it stands for. For example, a railroad newsletter should have a masthead which quickly tells the reader that it is a publication about trains.

Choosing the right typeface can make a world of difference. We work closely with the client to select a typeface that is strong, powerful and aesthetically pleasing and yet works with the topic.  Selecting the most appropriate typestyle for the topic can set the tone for the entire publication.  We often go through many iterations of a masthead before a final design is approved.

The color of the masthead can say a great deal about who you are as a company. Certain colors can show strength.  Other colors convey warmth or personalization.  We work with the client to develop the most effective color combination.  Sometimes, the masthead colors change from month to month. This provides freshness and variety and makes it easy for the reader to see that the issue is “new.”

Images included in a masthead can also define your company. We select images which best represent a company’s mission or vision for the future. The images should be positive and forward-looking and should represent the them of the newsletter.

Having the right graphic design for the masthead is critical.  So give your newsletter a makeover.  Start with the masthead and work down. To find out more about how we can help create an effective masthead for a newsletter or e-publication for your firm or organization, contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.net.

Go ahead and top-off your newsletter with the right message.  It’s like icing on a cake.

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Please note: All projects displayed on this blog are meant for educational and instructional rather than promotional purposes. We respect our clients’ brand integrity.

Creating Effective Newsletters: Tip #10—Color Me Pink

Now’s the time to take advantage of the rich pink hues found in the spring. Pink is a passionate color and a great attention-grabber.  Pink can signify good health and sweetness and innocence.  In color psychology pink symbolizes hope. So let’s add a little “hope” to our documents with pink.

Wildflower

PinkWildslowersriginalphotofromastheadFor this newsletter sample, we simply photographed wildflowers found growing on the side of a road. Then we outlined and knocked out the intricate spaces created by the shapes of the flowers and the brush. Several hours of handiwork in Adobe Photoshop are need to effectively remove the background.

For the headline we used an elegant type typestyle, Zapfino, available from Linotype.  We then used the eyedropper tool to extract a color swatch of the pink from one of the flowers. We used this color as the background behind the body test. Next, we wrapped the body text around the flowers and carved out a shape at the top of the pink box to provide more visual interest.

Pink is a great color to use for newsletters when you need to grab attention or to help sweeten up a topic. You can add darker colors such as rich blues or brown tones to pink to help make the layout look more serious and sophisticated.

Perk up you newsletter designs with pink. People will notice.