What’s your style? Bulletin layouts for every taste

Every publication is unique, but there are several different styles commonly used for bulletin layout.


cover layouts


Inside Pages

inside pages

Which style is best for your church?

When choosing a layout, first and foremost, consider the amount and type of content necessary.  Is there a lot of important information that must be included?  Choose a design that keeps the text clear and readable. On the other hand, if you have room to spare, you will probably have more flexibility in your bulletin’s design.

Next, think about your organization’s culture.  Is the parish conservative and conscious of tradition?  Or is the church progressive and up-to-date with current trends?  Perhaps your congregation falls somewhere in the middle?  The design should reflect your parish values and interests.

Third, consider your technical abilities.  As an editor, you are responsible for working within a regular deadline to gather articles and assemble them within your template.  Be honest with yourself about your comfort level in using a more advanced layout, which may include grouped images, master pages, various font styles, tabs, etc.  With practice you will become a pro, but if you feel stressed at the thought, perhaps a simple, traditional layout would be a better starting point.  You can always redesign the publication at a later date once you feel ready to take on a new challenge.

Finally, remember that there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to bulletin design.  Any of the above options can be transformed to fit your needs!


What Is a Thumbnail Image?

By definition at Merriam-Webster Online:
thumb·nail noun [thuhm-neyl]

1. the hard covering at the end of a thumb: the fingernail of a thumb
2. computers: a very small copy of a larger picture on a computer

Since we all understand the first definition, let’s talk computers. A thumbnail image is a tiny graphics file. It is a small-scale, low-resolution image generated from the original image. Thumbnail images are created from standard size images and are used on webpages. The small size allows Web surfers quick access to webpage content. People would find retail shopping nearly impossible if it weren’t for the use of thumbnail images, and surfing pages with multiple images would simply take too long.

In many cases, thumbnail images are clickable, causing a larger image to load at the user’s discretion. This makes webpages user-friendly, saving the user from having to download large image files that he or she doesn’t need or want to see. With a page of smaller images, the user can click on only those images of interest and then download the large, original, high-resolution image file and not the small, low-resolution thumbnail image.

So, when designing your print documents, be sure to download the high-resolution image and not the thumbnail for the best quality image.

Print Preview Using LPi Express

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. — Benjamin Franklin

Franklin’s adage is just as true today in the cyberworld as it was in colonial times. Before you submit your publication to LPi to be printed, always preview your PDF file by clicking the Preview your .pdf file link on the Ready to Submit screen. Clicking the Preview your .pdf file link gives you one last opportunity to review your publication. When you click the Preview your .pdf file link, what you will see is what we will print. If everything looks good to you, close the preview window and click the Submit button. If, however, you spot something which you wish to change, close the preview window and click the Reset button to return to your publication. Make whatever changes you wish to make and then print your publication to the LPi Express printer again. And don’t forget… preview your PDF file again before clicking the Submit button. Doing so will obviate the need to submit your publication a second time. If you do need to submit your publication a second time, please call us as soon as possible so that we can intercept the job which you submitted previously.

Are you Linked into Linking?

If you use Publisher, Quark or InDesign to create your publication, one of the options you have when placing images is to link them to your publication file. But what does that mean and why would you choose to do that?

Generally speaking images files are large and take up lots of storage in your computer. When embedded in a Publisher, Quark or InDesign publication, the file you are working on becomes larger and takes more memory and hard drive space. In most circumstances this is an acceptable practice, and while it will make the program respond slower, the average computer used today is able to process data so quickly you will not likely notice. The same can be said for the space used by larger files in that most computers have very large hard drives and expansive amounts of RAM so that the effect of these larger files is rarely a issue to the average user.

This brings us back to the question of when is linking a good idea? Linking allows all high resolution image files to remain in one centralized location such as a server. This is commonly used at companies that work with high volumes of large image files such as newspapers or magazines. The files remain on the server and are not being copied to individual workstations across the company network slowing it down. When the document is finally ready for printing, proofing or final print, the software then finds the original high resolution image file and sends it to the printer.

The drawback to linking files to a page layout program is that, if the link is ever broken the high resolution file can no longer be used when you need to print it. When this occurs you will see a warning like the one in Microsoft Publisher. It states Publisher cannot find the following linked picture. It then lists the image that is missing. Publisher then offers up three options, find the linked picture and update it, print the low-resolution picture currently displayed in your publication, or print an empty space in place of the missing picture. In that instance you will always want to find the original file as printing the low resolution image or an empty space would only possibly be useful for proofreading.

As you can see, linking images is best avoided for the average user of page layout programs since it amounts to more confusion. Simply inserting the high resolution graphic is generally the best bet. The files you will find on LPi’s Art and Media Portal are all designed to keep the file sizes compact to allow for quicker downloading while at the same time making your bulletin or newsletter look great!

A Graphic Arts Glossary #7

This is the seventh post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The seventh term in the series is grain.

Grain: A paper’s grain is the direction in which most of the fibers line up during the manufacturing process.

crossgraindirGrain is determined during the paper making process, when plant fibers, typically wood pulp, tend to line up in one direction or the other. Paper is identified as either grain short (grain is parallel to the paper’s short side) or grain long (grain is parallel to the paper’s long side), depending on how the paper is cut. It is easier to fold, bend, or tear the paper along the same direction of the fibers. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.

The eighth term in the series will be halftone.

Color Makes You Key

You may see the letters CMYK mentioned with regard to the printing process. They refer to printing ink, and while it may seem to be an acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, on closer inspection you’ll note it does not.

The obvious issue is the letter K which oddly enough stands for the key as in the key plate. Just as with a keystone, the key plate is a crucial part of color reproduction.

In the subtractive color model, the three colors of cyan, magenta and yellow are used in varying amounts to create a gamut that more or less represents all the colors of the rainbow. This is done by the inks subtracting reflected light off the substrate which in our case is white paper.

In theory if you were to combine equal amounts of those three colors what should appear is black, and smaller percentages of equal amounts would create shades of gray. In practice, the impurities of mass-manufactured printing inks will reproduce a dark color, but one that is rarely close to what we would all agree is black.

This is where the key plate comes into play. In printing, the key plate is used with black ink. Since this ink is a purer black than the three process inks can produce added together, images reproduced on press will have richer contrast and darker areas will look neutral

Black ink can be manufactured less expensively than cyan, magenta and yellow so when color separations are made, the three colors are often replaced with certain amounts of black which is an added benefit.

Black ink is also used for type. This has the advantage of producing sharp type with only one impression on press which is a technical challenge if using the three color inks as minor changes in alignment will make a blurred effect that can be hard to read.

So next time you see the letters CMYK, you’ll be a little wiser as to how key the letter K can be in making a good impression in your printed bulletin or newsletter!

Time for “Spring Cleaning” of your bulletin

Spring is here—time to spruce up your house, get rid of clutter and get things organized. But this year, go beyond your home and yard when you do your spring cleaning and look for ways to rejuvenate your bulletin. And springtime is as good a time as any to take a fresh look at your bulletin. So consider these suggestions:

* Dispose of things that aren’t working. Whether it’s a burnt-out computer, a non-vacuuming vacuum cleaner, we all own things that are no longer useful. And the same may be true of some areas of your bulletin. Look through your bulletin from the cover to the last page. Can you utilize the space better?

* Get rid of duplicates. If you went through everything in your bulletin, you might find several items that do the same thing. Do you really need a staff directory on the cover and also on the inside pages? If you took it off the cover, would you have more space to add a new photo to the cover? Or if you keep it on the cover and remove it from the inside page, you might find you do have room for that fundraiser article you just didn’t have room for before. I mean, how many radios do you really need and do you even use them? If you looked at your bulletin in this same way, you might be surprised to find some redundancies. Always look for ways to diversify your information and get your readers attention.

* Put things back in order. Over time, and inadvertently, the spaces in your home can get “out of balance.” Perhaps you have too many chairs in one corner, your flat-screen television is crowding out your family pictures, or your new desk takes up too much space in your home office. With some rearranging, however, you can usually get things back in order. And the same need for rearrangement may apply to your bulletin, which might have become unbalanced with all your articles looking exactly the same. Restore your bulletin to its proper balance—use consistent size headers but have an article go across the whole bottom of the page instead of just two columns running up and down the pages or simply rearrange a few articles and add some new clip art.

Spruce things up by designing a new front cover. And if you need help with this new look, contact our designers at your local LPi service center for some additional help and ideas.

Spring cleaning really puts a smile on your face. I think it’s because we know that summer is right around the corner but a fresh new look to your bulletin can too. By giving your bulletin an annual spring cleaning, you can help make sure it reflects the current needs of your church community. And you won’t even have to get near the dust cloths or furniture polish.

Spread the Word

With Ash Wednesday coming up on February 13, 2013, many churches are preparing for the onslaught of questions about Mass times, Lenten penance and prayer services, Friday fish fries, and other events.

So take a few minutes now and save your members’ some time, and yourself a few (dozen) phone calls. Make sure schedules are updated and made available everywhere possible: bulletin, voicemail, outdoor sign, Facebook page, website, Seek And Find page. The following link shows three different ways to add this information to your listing, so pick the one that makes the most sense for your community: http://SeekAndFind.com/about/blog/387-do-they-know-when-to-find-you.