To maximise the likelihood of the bulletin being read, it should be:
• Recognisable. Readers should recognise the bulletin when it arrives, or when they are searching for it. Having a distinctive, consistent appearance will help. This applies not only to the name of the bulletin (the masthead of the bulletin), but the overall look of the bulletin.
• Structured, so that readers can find their way around the bulletin. The bulletin will need ‘signposts’, such as contents lists and named sections to direct readers to what they want to find. These are particularly important if the bulletin contains more than 4 pages. As well as being able to see quickly what articles are in the bulletin, readers need to be able to find out easily how to respond to an article, to start a subscription, or to notify the bulletin of their new address.
• Readable. How clear and easy the bulletin is to read will depend in part on how the text is written (Chapter 7 discusses writing style). It will also depend on the size and style of the font (type), and width of the columns. Many font styles exist. The size depends in part on the width of the columns: the wider the column, the larger the type size needed. A font size of 10point is usually suitable for an A4 page with three columns, 11 or 12point for a two-column page, and 8 or 9point for a four-column page. The font used here is Palatino Linotype, 11point, and the heading of this section is in Verdana 12point.
• Appropriate to the subject matter and target group. You will need to judge what is acceptable to your target group. For example, readers might expect an independent drug bulletin to be quite plain in style, with little or no use of colour, as they may associate colour and glossiness with material published by the pharmaceutical industry. Too many cartoons might give the impression that the bulletin is not serious.