Newsletters are one of the primary reasons people first started creating communications with their computers.
This article was written primarily for people creating newsletters on paper, but its advice is also useful for newsletters created digitally.
It is so easy to change newsletter format on the computer screen, but the reasons why a lack of consistency is a no-no re as valid for online newsletters as they are for paper ones. This PDF will explains those reasons.
The additional no-no of not printing on colors is even more important online. Having a colored or worse yet, patterned background for an online newsletter is a reader's nightmare.
After reviewing a website with a very hard-to-read background of faded squiggly lines running through a tan and white background, I asked the creator of it why his church chose that background.
"Our communication secretary said it looked like parchment and that would be a cool look for a church online newsletter, " he answered.
It wasn't. Bless her heart, I'm sure the church communicator was thinking very creative thoughts and since she also wrote most of the newsletter and laid it out, she understood what it was about and so her focus had turned to making it look interesting. What I'm sure was put in with the best of intentions was a distraction that made the newsletter difficult to read. Paper or screen, nothing beats black print on a white background for clarity.
One associated bit of advice. White text reversed out of a black background is quite popular with some bloggers today. It does look good, but it is harder to read and quite tiring to read at length. Question for those enamored with this look: what is more important, that people think your site looks edgy? Or that they read what you have to say?
If you have short, snappy, pithy, and precise little nuggets, the reverse might work, but don't expect many to read any indepth teaching shared in that way.
To download the PDF and read about the no-nos in more detail, click here or on the image.