You Can Improve ... Your Print Publications

You can make your print publications look more professional - and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. Julie Bennett gives her top 10 tips for more professional publications.

1. Paper and Print

Use the best quality paper you can afford, especially for the front cover which should be a heavier paper weight than the contents pages. If you have the budget, have the publication professionally printed. Don't know who to use? We have a list of reliable printers. Contact us for details

2. Cover/Front Page

Whether it's a newsletter or a full-blown magazine, the front page of a publication is an advertisement for your company - so make it eye-catching and interesting. Have attention grabbing headlines and interesting pictures. The rule of thumb is to illustrate the cover using a people-shot wherever possible. That means a good quality, in-focus, high resolution photo of someone who features in your front page story. All digital cameras these days produce high resolution photos but if you have the budget consider using a professional photographer to take your people pics. It's worth the investment. Don't know a reasonably-priced photographer? Ask us!

3. Contents Page

Be enticing, be tempting - you want your readers to read on... Practice writing interesting intros to your stories and use the intros on your contents page. If there is room, put eye-catching graphics or pictures next to the intros on the contents page.

4. Make it Interesting Reading

Sounds obvious, right? But it's amazing how many publications forget this very simple rule. Unless you make your stories interesting, no-one is going to read them. If you must publish a report in your magazine or newsletter, consider editing it back to its core findings. If that's not possible, put in as many graphics, illustrations, break-out boxes (boxes of text which contain tips, statistics or other interesting snippets of information) and pull-quotes (quotes ‘pulled' from the text and set off in larger type for emphasis) as space will allow.

5. Grammar, Punctuation and All That Stuff

No-one wants to read something that sounds like the Oxford English Dictionary - but no-one wants to read something that's full of jargon, indecipherable abbreviations and horrible grammar either. Write the way you speak then tidy it up.

By the way, nothing is more irritating to a reader than the over use of punctuation - don't put spaces in the wrong places or get too free and easy with your exclamation marks and semi-colons.

6. Looking Good

Make your publication as visually interesting as your artistic flair will allow. That means lots of pics, graphics, pull-quotes and break-out boxes. If design is not your thing, consider using a graphic designer. Don't know any? We can help you to source one.

7. Jazz up your Masthead

A masthead is the design for the title of your publication - for example Our Company Newsletter. It doesn't have to set the art world on fire but it should (at the very least) be consistent. Choose a colour, a font size and a style and STICK WITH IT. This helps people to recognize your publication whenever they receive it.

8. Text

We strongly believe in using the same font throughout the publication. You might use different sizes, colours and effects, but the font itself should be consistent. If you are publishing a magazine, consider buying a font - these are not expensive but look infinitely more professional than standard fonts which can make magazines look decidedly amateur. 

9. Straps

Give your publication the strap - go on, we dare you! Straps are the top line headings on the top of each page of your publication. They help your readers know at a glance which part of the publication they are reading. Again, choose a design for your strap and then stick with it.

10. Proof Read

Proof read your publication, then proof read it again. Give it to a disinterested third party to proof read, then proof read it one last time before going to print. Once it's been proof read in its final version three or four times, it's time to publish - it might not be perfect after four proof reads but it will be close to it.

You don't have to spend a fortune to jazz up your print publications - all you really need to invest is time.


For help with your print publications including newsletters, magazines, white papers, brochures, flyers and technical documents... contact us

At 64 Media we offer everything from media advice and management to strategy development and implementation.



Whether it is newsletters, training material, press releases, or a full blown magazine, 64 media can do it for you.
Book one of our popular "Press Pass" courses designed to get the attention you need in the finance and general media.


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