Designer: Mandy Barrett
Drum Business is a trade publication
by Modern Drummer Publications
exclusively for drum retailers. To
effectively live up to its billing, “a new
design should be more dynamic, lively,
and engaging,” says Modern Drummer Publications’
senior art director Scott Bienstock. “It should have a
cleaner design that draws more readers.”
The newsletter needs to remedy a number of
issues first, notes designer Mandy Barrett. “There are
too many stories on the cover,” she says. You don’t
need to start all your articles on the publication’s
cover—with effective titles, the table of contents will
draw your readers inside. For her redesigned cover,
Barrett used one of the newsletter’s existing photos.
“I enlarged the photo and did a color manipulation
to tie it into the story,” says the designer. With zero
budget for original photography, Bienstock says photography
is supplied by drummers and the industry.
But Barrett doesn’t think this should deter the group.
She suggests making the best photos as large as possible
with captions over them, instead of next to them.
“Use the fonts and headlines to make up for any
articles that don’t have a great image,” she advises.
Barrett selected Trebuchet Regular for titles,
Copperplate Light for subtitles, and Univers Light
for body copy. “You can have larger, more exciting
titles, have a pull-out intro, and use different fonts
as subtitles,” she says. “I wanted something modern
for the main title font to give the newletter a current,
fresh look.” She also selected an earthy palette of red,
green, brown, and black that works with the modern
fonts and gives the newsletter cohesiveness.
To work around large, off-sized ads required in
the newsletter, Barrett suggests pulling out an intro
paragraph as a call-out to work with the space. “You
can remedy the top space of the page with strong
titles,” says Barrett. “Additionally, each of those sections
now has a header that lets you know where you
are in the newsletter.”
1. Original newsletter
art director Scott
Bienstock says this
Drum Business, needs
a fresher look.
for titles, the serif
cap font Copperplate
Light for subtitles, and
a smaller-size, yet still
legible, Univers Light
for the text.
The original design
lacked a cohesive palette.
modern, earthy tones,
including brown, red,
green, and black.
4. Blow ’em up!
Barrett says Drum
is no problem: “The
photos they have are
pretty great. They’re
just not getting the
most from them.” Her
tips: Use the good
ones as big as possible.
Make better use
of space by running
captions over the pictures
instead of next
5. Intro paragraphs
Pulling out an intro
paragraph as a bold
call-out helps designers
work around necessary
and draws readers
into each article.
6. Bigger headlines/
For heavy copy,
Barrett suggests using
larger point sizes
on headlines to gain
attention, and smaller
sizes in text. She
employed two fresh
fonts to differentiate
story titles from column
7. Story focus
In the initial design,
five articles began on
the front page. “Way
too many stories,”
says Barrett. “Nothing
holds it together.”
choosing one story
that stands out and
make it the main
attraction to pull readers
in. The table of
contents will let them
know about other stories