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12 Parts of a Newsletter

How to put together your newsletter layout from these parts



A newsletter can be constructed of many or just a few parts.

1933 newsletter from born1945 CC by 2.0 license
Continuation heads and jumplines

Continuation heads identify stories jumped from other pages

Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com

Both nameplate and masthead are on page 1 of this newsletter.

MCLNotes from Manchester Library CC BY-SA 2.0 license
Most newsletters will have at least a nameplate, body text, and headlines but usually there will be many more of these twelve parts of a newsletter layout.
  1. Nameplate
    The banner on the front of a newsletter 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 including Volume and Issue or Date.


  2. Body
    The body of the newsletter is the bulk of the text excluding the headlines and decorative text elements. It's the articles that make up the newsletter content.


  3. Table of Contents
    Usually appearing on the front page, the table of contents briefly lists articles and special sections of the newsletter and the page number for those items.


  4. Masthead
    The masthead is that section of a newsletter layout — typically found on the second page (but could be on any page) — that lists the name of the publisher and other pertinent data. May include staff names, contributors, subscription information, addresses, logo, etc.


  5. Heads, Titles - create a heirarchy that leads the reader into the newsletter content.


    • Headline - After the nameplate, the main headline identifying each article in a newsletter is the most prominent text element.


    • Kicker - Often seen in newsletter design, the kicker is a short phrase set above the headline. The kicker can serve as an introduction or section heading to identify a regular column.


    • Deck - The newsletter deck is one or more lines of text found between the headline and the body of the article. The deck elaborates or expands on the headline and topic of the accompanying text. The deck may sometimes be called a subheading although those generally appear within the body of the article.


    • Subhead - Appearing within the body of articles, subheads divide the article into smaller sections.


    • Running Head - More familiarly known as a header, a running headline is repeating text - often the title of the publication - that appears, usually at the top, of each page or every other page in a newsletter layout. The page number is sometimes incorporated with the running headline.


    • Continuation Heads (see #8 below)


  6. Page Numbers
    Page numbers can appear at the top, bottom, or sides of pages. Usually page one is not numbered in a newsletter.


  7. Bylines
    The byline is a short phrase or paragraph that indicates the name of the author of an article in a newsletter. The byline commonly appears between the headline and start of the article, prefaced by the word "By" although it could also appear at the end of the article. If the entire newsletter is authored by a single person, individual articles may not include bylines.


  8. Continuation Lines
    When articles span two or more pages, a newsletter editor uses continuation lines to help readers find the rest of the article.


    • Jumplines - Also called continuation lines, jumplines typically appear at the end of a column, as in continued on page 45. Jumplines at the top of a column indicate where the article is continued from, as in continued from page 16.


    • Continuation Heads - When articles jump from one page to another, continuation heads identify the continued portion of the articles. The continuation headlines, along with jumplines, provide continuity and cue the reader as to where to pick up reading.


  9. End Signs
    A dingbat or printer's ornament used to mark the end of a story in a newsletter is an end sign. It signals the reader that they have reached the end of the article.


  10. Pull-Quotes
    Used to attract attention, especially in long articles, a pull-quote is a small selection of text "pulled out and quoted" in a larger typeface.


  11. Photos / Illustrations
    A newsletter layout may contain photographs, drawings, charts, graphs, or clip art.


    • Mug Shots - The most typical people photograph found in newsletter design is the mug shot — a more or less straight into the camera head and shoulders picture. Also known as a headshot.


    • Caption - The caption is a phrase, sentence, or paragraph describing the contents of an illustration such as a photograph or chart. The caption is usually placed directly above, below, or to the side of the picture it describes.


    • Photo Credit Line - Similar to the byline for an article, the photo credit identifies the photographer or source of the image. It may appear with the photo or be placed elsewhere on the page, such as at the end of an article.


  12. Mailing Panel
    Newsletters created as self-mailers (no envelope) need a mailing panel. This is the portion of the newsletter design that contains the return address, mailing address of the recipient, and postage. The mailing panel typically appears on one-half or one-third of the back page so that it faces out when folded.

Not every layout has each and every one of these parts of a newsletter, but once a layout is established, each issue of a newsletter will usually have the same parts as every other issue of that publication. If, as a designer or newsletter editor, you find that you want to add or subtract some elements after a few weeks or months it is generally best to introduce just one change at a time rather than completely overhaul the layout every few issues.


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