The banner on the front of a newsletter or other periodical that identifies the publication is its nameplate. The nameplate usually contains the name of the newsletter, possibly graphics or a logo, and perhaps a subtitle, motto, and publication information.
Although usually found horizontally across the top of the front page, vertical nameplates are not uncommon. The nameplate provides a visual identity for the newsletter and except for a dateline or issue number is usually the same from issue to issue although variations are not unheard of — such as making color changes or adding graphic embellishments to match the theme of that issue.
The nameplate is not the same as the masthead but the terms are often used interchangeably. For a newspaper, the masthead may be the equivalent of the nameplate on a newsletter, but the masthead of a newsletter is a different element.
Designing a Newsletter Nameplate
Newsletter Design Checksheet: Nameplate offers up a bullet list of considerations to make sure your nameplate fits the tone and image of your newsletter and organization.
Tall News presents an unconventional newsletter format and includes nameplate tips.
Creative Kerning and Tracking suggests using kerning for special effects in a nameplate (see the Hoofbeats example in the sidebar image as an example for a nameplate).
Type Families Lend Variety to Single Typeface Documents shows a newsletter example, including the use of contrast in a text-only nameplate.
- Replace the letter O or other round letters in text with a circular shape that suggests that letter. Try an orange in the word Orange or a basketball, baseball, or soccer ball to replace an O or other letter in the nameplate of a sports newsletter. Replace the letter A or V in a nameplate with a triangular shape that suggests that letter.
- For magazines (or newsletters) sold on magazine racks, place the nameplate at the top so it is easily seen.
Designing a Nameplate (PDF) is a Serif PagePlus tutorial on creating a nameplate with the Logo Studio.
Switch newsletter nameplate colors automatically with a simple macro is a Microsoft Word-focused tutorial and tip for doing quick issue-to-issue updates of the nameplate.
- Creating a Nameplate in PowerPoint is two tutorials, for PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint for Mac 2004.
"Newsletter success begins with the nameplate, the stylized treatment of your newsletter's title that appears on the front page of each issue." — Roger C. Parker in Create the perfect business or organization newsletter; see step #2 for his tips on choosing a newsletter name and creating the nameplate
Nameplates Not on NewslettersAnother type of nameplate that is not directly related to desktop publishing or newsletters is the plaque (typically metal or plastic) stamped or engraved with a product name or person's name that may be affixed to a product, to a door, or placed into a stand (nameplate holder) sitting on someone's desk. Usually associated with businesses, nameplates may be found in schools and homes as well. Just like nameplates on newsletters, this type of nameplate may include graphics and special font treatments.
Also Known As: masthead | banner
Alternate Spellings: name plate (two words)