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NEWSLETTER DESIGN

Resident Assistant Newsletter

OVERVIEW

Challenge

While at the University of Maryland, I was responsible for designing the logo and the layout for the newsletter that was put out for new and returning resident assistants. They wanted something that would be engaging but also informative so their resident assistants could keep abreast with the planned event through the summer and up to Move-In Day.

Goal

The goals of this project were:

  • Be easily readable so that resident assistants would be able to find what they need quickly.
  • Ensure that the content is engaging and draws the attention of readers.
  • Encourages readers to connect with the university’s Department of Resident Life.

Role

I was the graphic designer in charge of the logo and the layout of this project.

DESIGN PROCESS

The Steps

01 Research & Empathise

Company Research

For this project, I looked at previous newsletters put out by the department. It gave me visual inspiration while also allowing me to see what could have been improved from the past.

02 Define the Problem

The problem was that they had a lot of information that they needed to distil into a few pages. They also had a theme for the newsletter and overall onboarding of resident assistants that needed a logo to be created for it. For that year, the theme was navigation.

03 Ideation

Initial Thoughts

To start, I looked up things that were about navigation. I jumped between signs and a compass before eventually settling on a compass.

Visual Research: Colour

The colours I chose were based on the university’s brand colours: red, yellow, black and white, combined with the event’s theme colour which was green.

Colour Style Guide

Visual Research: Typography

Roboto is used throughout the entire design. Its is the font that is easy to read and has a lot of font weight in order to establish hierarchy when increasing size isn’t always an option because space is limited. Casey Classic was used for headers.

Visual Research: Layout

For the layout, I thought about how to organize the large amount of information in a way that would be easy to absorb. For that I used a 2-column grid because it allowed a large amount of information to be included while giving me the option of breaking it in places that needed more emphasis.

Visual Design

Logo

The logo is a yellow compass with a black and red stem that was used on a green or white background. The right side of the compass had text to suit the needs of the newsletter but mainly it read: ‘RA Training 2018.’

Resident Assistant Newsletter Logo Designs

Layout

The original 2-column layout evolved into a 4-column design. This was very malleable, with 1 columns used to hold the main body and keep it easy to read and engaging. When required, text could be split into 2 columns. Less important information to be broken up into 4 columns. It also allows one thing to use 3 columns if needed.

Resident Assistant Newsletter Layout Designs

04 What’s Next

Next, I added a bit of interactivity that while not strictly necessary for this project would improve the quality of life of the readers. I made the items table of contents link to the corresponding sections of the newsletter with anchor points. This made it so readers could tap an item in the table of contents and jump straight to it if the didn’t need to read the entire document.

CONCLUSION

Summary

Outcome & Lessons Learned
The final result is a newsletter that is informative but exciting. The use of an interactive table of contents allows readers to jump to sections of interest rather than have to scroll the entire document. What I learned from this was how to manage a project that has more than one moving part simultaneously. It is a valuable skill that I regularly use.

Final Thoughts
Designing this newsletter was a rewarding experience. It tested my use of typography, hierarchy, layout and interactivity in a way that made me think more critically of the projects I did in the future.

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