Fox Valley Wildlife Center (external link) is a wildlife rehabilitation center in Elburn, Ill. Their newsletters, which typically run 8–10 pages, are always full of stories of the wonderful work they do helping animals return home, and I loved designing them for two years.
New masthead and editorial bar
Designed a new masthead showing FVWC’s fox logo walking off the page to represent the center’s work of rehabilitating and releasing wildlife temporarily in its care.
The fox leaves behind tracks, of course, alluding to the name of the newsletter.
The new editorial bar, inside on page 3, used more space and could therefore include temporary staff (such as interns) and the educational animals.
New layout, fonts, and colors
Designed a new flexible layout built on a grid to organize and optimize the placement of text and images.
Articles typically spanned 2–3 columns to make the lines a comfortable length for reading.
New fonts were to chosen to be readable and look professional.
Used a new color scheme of burnt orange and forest green. Because the newsletter is printed in grayscale on newsprint, the colors were used in small ways, such as in the masthead, folios, drop caps, and recurring sidebar boxes. Using colors as meaningful accents, rather than depending on color for the layout or visual appeal of the newsletter, also means that less ink is needed for printing, which is both environmentally and economically beneficial.
Focused the reader’s attention on the main content by setting aside info that recurred in each issue in orange sidebar boxes. When located on the outer edges, these sidebars allowed readers to hold the newsletter and not cover up the main content.
Engaging use of photos
When it comes to sharing the triumphs and challenges encountered daily at a wildlife rehabilitation center, nothing is more effective than close-up photos of the wildlife being cared for. Photos were used to enhance and balance article text.
Feature stories featured large photos that stretched across multiple columns or the full width of the page, overlaid with the title and byline for an eye-catching effect.
Improved donation form
Rebuilt the donation form included in every issue, aligning content and providing more space for filling in information. I love optimizing forms by removing barriers that could discourage users from completing them (such as spacing that is too tight or confusing lines and labels).
Created an original illustration featuring multiple animal silhouettes (representing the different sponsorship levels) to draw renewed attention to the donation form.
Each issue of the newsletter had a separate table of contents for the print and digital versions. The print table of contents was opposite the mailing panel and therefore was visible on the outside of the folded newsletter for immediate reference. The digital table of contents featured clickable links to take readers to specific pages and sections of the newsletter.
All urls and email addresses within the digital newsletter were also clickable links.