A newsletter gets attention without
overwhelming its readership.
Designer: Sueann Hoppock
Like a lot of well-intentioned newsletters, Mortenson
Construction packs its newsletter’s pages with
information and images. But this can overwhelm
the reader and cause the company to look less
than professional. With a planned transition from
a bimonthly format to monthly in the works,
Mortenson should be able provide the same amount
of information without making pages so copy-heavy.
Marketing assistant Amanda Schank says,
“Seattlelites are proud of our city, area and Puget
Sound, so a design that reflects that and differentiates
us from a corporate feel is needed.” DG designer
Sueann Hoppock’s main concern for the current
newsletter is a lack of cohesion: “They need to establish
a consistent grid layout, photo and color treatment
to create a more polished, professional look.
The nameplate is small and gets lost on the front
page, and column widths throughout the newsletter
are varied and irregular.”
Hoppock recommends a consistent callout
treatment. “At times, information is run over the
photos, which makes it hard to read. Or it’s placed
underneath and sometimes above the image. A lot
of textured images are used behind photos—which
compete with the main photos and make the newsletter
look cluttered,” she says.
“Their new logo—introduced last year—is
a graphic of three ascending columns [Ingenuity,
Expertise and Exceptional People], so I incorporated
vertical columns and established a five-column grid
for layout. The newsletter name is set in Frutiger,
with the word Seattle in a bolder version to stress the
region. Each month, a different photo of the Seattle
area could be used for variety,” explains Hoppock.
“Using tints of color [from the photo] helps create
breaks in the stories and adds additional color without
overpowering the photos.”
The company can afford to print in full
color—but at times the problem is too much color.
“The photos should speak for themselves without
competing with other dominating images and unnecessary
effects. After all, most of the photos are of the
employees whom this newsletter is supposed to be for.
They should be allowed to shine,” says Hoppock.