How to Format a Newsletter
By Carl Hose
Updated September 28, 2017
Newsletters are used to disseminate information because the format is ideal for presenting information in a streamlined style. Companies create newsletters for their employees, small presses often use the newsletter format for their creative publications, and schools often use newsletters to teach students about the publishing business. A newsletter is a cost-effective way to publish and get your information to the public easily and effectively.
Design your newsletter before you begin formatting. Take into account your newsletter's graphic content in relation to the textual content. The way you format your newsletter will rely largely on this information.
Create your newsletter using desktop publishing software or Microsoft Word. If you don't have Word, there are several desktop publishing programs available. Microsoft Publisher is priced reasonably and Serif PagePlus is free desktop publishing software (see Resources). These programs include properly formatted newsletter templates that you can use for your newsletter or they are customizable to design your own layout.
Open your desktop publishing software and select a newsletter template that resembles the way you want your newsletter to look or choose a template that is a close match that you can edit. The newsletter template will be filled with nonsense text and generic images as placeholders. Delete the generic material and replace it with your own.
Decide how many columns your newsletter will be. Try a simple, two-column newsletter. Add couple of graphic images to break up the text. Keep your graphic images to a minimum to avoid crowding your newsletter's page and overshadowing your article content.
Select Times New Roman, Courier, or similar font for your article text so it is easy to read. You can use other fonts, but try to keep them along the same characteristics as Times or Courier. Keep the font size around 11 point and use bold or italics for image captions. Use fancier fonts for article titles and other headings, but apply the same standard for readability as used for your article text.
Aim for a clean, streamlined look. Don't use fancy borders around your articles. If you want a border, use a thin, solid-color border instead of a border with images. Include the title of your newsletter on the front page. This can be a graphic logo image or simply written as text in a large, creative font. Include your contact and subscription information on the back page of your newsletter.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.