As part of our ongoing series focusing on newsletter design details, we put the spotlight on the cover structure and detail the five key elements every newsletter front cover should include.

When creating your newsletter your designer will help to make sure that all the necessary elements of your design are included and this will often start with the cover.

The cover of your newsletter is the gateway to the rest of this important marketing communications piece. Getting this right in terms of layout and structure is crucial to its overall success.

The image above shows a relatively standard layout for a single article cover with the key elements highlighted in terms of structure and hierarchy. For consistency and reader appeal, here are the five things every newsletter cover should include:

Newsletter Nameplate

The newsletter nameplate is normally found at the top of your newsletter but depending upon the design and layout, it could appear elsewhere on the cover. We find that around 95% of the newsletters we work with have their nameplate at the top.

The nameplate contains the name of the newsletter, which is often accompanied by subtitle or slogan and a logo or brand mark too.

It is important that the nameplate is clear, concise and instantly visibly appealing and memorable too. This is the part that your reader will see first and will remember. It is the statement of intent and will attract your readers and has the important job of  communicate your key information.

Date / Issue / Volume Number

Your newsletter should always have a date, issue and volume number. Even if you only publish your newsletter annually or quarterly, it should still include the edition information so that your readers know when it was published. This is perhaps more prevalent if you consistently produce your newsletters on a weekly or monthly basis.

Including the date of issue alongside the volume and issue number could look like this:

May 2018  | Volume 9  |  Issue 5

This enables the reader to see both when it was published and where this particular issue sits alongside previous publications. In the instance above, this is the May issue, which is the fifth issue this year (published in the fifth month) and there have been 9 volumes previously which suggests it has been published for 9 years.

One reason you may include this is because you may refer to older articles to be found within previous issues and have this information allows your readers to quickly find the relevant issue too. It also adds credence to your newsletter for new readers too.

Main Article

Depending on the design and layout of your newsletter, you may have multiple articles or you could just have one that fills the entire cover. Either way, it is important to draw your reader in with a strong main article or feature that piques their interest and encourages them to read it.

Whether it is a large, full article with a strong headline and a bold image or just a small amount of text and a main eye-catching image and the rest of the text continued inside your newsletter, either way, it is important to grab your readers attention from the front cover onwards.

Much like a newspaper, this main article is often the most important message that you want to get across – maybe it is a new product launch, an award win, staff celebration or perhaps an exciting new project… what every it is, if it is on the front cover it should be both unmissable and instantly readable.

Contact Details

You should make sure that there is a way for readers to quickly find your contact details. Your newsletter is another element of your overall marketing communications arsenal and should have key callouts appropriately highlighted.

Often this is a website or email address and or a telephone number, depending on your preferred method of communication.

The contact details should be visible with clear directions and should ideally be placed in a consistent position within your design template. For example, your website address should always be placed in the bottom right or left hand corner.

This allows your reader to quickly see how and where they can find out more.

Logo / Brandmark

Finally you can also include your company or brand logo to give additional credence and enhance familiarity with your newsletter. We recommend having your logo on the cover – either the front or back cover where possible – only if it

We find that having multiple versions of your logo on the cover in various positions is overkill and doesn’t add anything to the overall aesthetic of your design.

So don’t put a logo in the masthead and at the footer, it’s too much. However, if your masthead doesn’t contain your logo then having a small version of your logo lower down the page – should space allow – is fine in most instances.