What is it?

Back before computers, professionals would create publications for companies. If you couldn't afford a professional, then you used a box of crayons and hope you got your message out. Today we most often have to create our own publication materials -- fliers, brochures, books, etc.. It's not terribly difficult using your computer. For the purposes of this lesson we will be focusing on 3-fold brochures, one page newsletters/papers and books.

Why do it?

Technology is all about communication. So is desktop publishing!

Design Principles
Designing materials is important. Not only should print and online materials look good, strong design contributes to readability and being remembered. Follow Robin Williams' design principles (CRAP) and font rules when creating your materials. [Read Robin Williams The Non-Designer's Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice. Peachpit Press.]

To learn more about fonts play Type Connection. Also most interesting is the movie Helvetica which often can be found on NetFlix.

Your assignments:

  1. Create a desktop publishing webpage in your wiki. Then tell what desktop publishing is.
  2. Optional: Find two articles or videos where teachers talk about how they use desktop publishing with their students.
    Summarize articles/videos (2-3 sentences) and hyperlink to article or video on your wiki page.
  3. Samples:
    1. Design content focused 3-fold brochure. Include a bulleted or numbered list with a hanging indent. Demonstrate that you have followed the design principles. Post as jpgs.
    2. Create a content focused, one page newspaper/letter like your students might create associated with an assignment (Ie. "News from the Civil War as Told by Jenny, age 13, in Georgia"). At a minimum include 3 articles in your newsletter/newspaper (only use one side of one piece of paper please), at least one graphic, wrap text around the graphic, and include a title box for the name of the paper and date. Adhere to the design principles and be ready to tell where each is followed (CRAP and Fonts). Post your newsletter/paper as a document, jpg and pdf. View tutorials below for assistance if you create your newspaper using Word. You are welcome to use any templates or other products you wish to help make a nice looking product. Here's the newsletter I started:
      family news.jpg
    3. Reflections: Based on what you have discovered, on your wiki page tell how you and your students might use this tool to support learning.

Due Nov 8, midnight


Desktop Publishing: Newsletters & Brochures (, )
Note: This handout has not been updated to reflect new versions of MS Word. It still contains some handy hints.

Newsletters I --

Newsletters II --

Bonus Material

Why post pdf's? Most people have downloaded the free pdf reader available from Adobe. That means they can read your materials. If you post your document as a Pages file and I only have access to MS Word, I can't read your file. Be polite, post pdf's. They also will generally save your formatting.

How do I make a pdf? See Handy Tools page :)