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Design

How to Create a Monthly Newsletter Template in InDesign

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a newsletter template that is quick and easy to edit.

InDesign newsletter templates are great to have on hand when you or your clients want to let customers know about news or new products. This is a great strategy if you want to bring awareness of your business and elevate sales.

This monthly newsletter template can also be turned into a weekly newsletter template by simply changing up the date. In this tutorial, we will follow an A4 newsletter format when it’s folded in half. For this newsletter design, we will use six columns across the width. This will give you the flexibility to play with the newsletter layout and customize it to your needs.

In a hurry? We’ve got amazing InDesign newsletter templates and printable newsletter templates over at Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. We've got many newsletter design ideas to explore!

What You Will Need for Your InDesign Monthly Newsletter Template

You'll need access to Adobe InDesign. If you don't have the software, you can download a trial from the Adobe website. You'll also need the following assets:

Download the assets and make sure the font is installed on your system before starting. When you are ready, we can dive in! 

1. Setting Up a Monthly Newsletter Template InDesign File

Step 1

In InDesign, go to File > New. Name the document Monthly Newsletter Template and set the file to the following newsletter format:

  • Width to 21 cm
  • Height to 29.7 cm
  • Orientation to Portrait
  • Units to Centimeters
  • Pages to 4
  • Check Facing Pages
  • Columns to 6
  • Column Gutter to 0.5 cm
  • Margins to 2 cm
  • Bleed to 0.3 cm (it is advised to seek your professional printer’s preference)

Click Create.

Remember you can also use this monthly newsletter design template as a weekly newsletter template.

create a new indesign file

Step 2

For this monthly newsletter template, we will work with three Layers. Organizing layers is an important step when creating newsletter design templates as the layers will make it easier for the user to edit.

Bring up the Layers panel by going to Window > Layers. Double-click on Layer 1 and rename it Background. 

On the Layers panel main menu, select New Layer. Name it Copy. Click OK.

Additionally, create a new layer named Images. Click OK.

create separate layers

Step 3

Head over to Window > Color > Swatches to expand the Swatches panel. Choose New Color Swatch button from the main menu. Set the Swatch Name and values to the following: 

  • Cream: C=5M=5 Y=10 K=0
  • Orange: C=0 M=80 Y=90 K=0 
  • Blue: C=100 M=0 Y=0 K=55

Click Add and OK after you input each of the color values.

create color swatches

Step 4

Head over to Window > Styles > Character Styles to open the Character Styles panel. On the main menu, select New Character Style. Set the Style Name to Drop Cap. 

Select Basic Character Formats from the left side menu. Use the following settings:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Extra Bold
  • Size: 9 pt

Select the Character Color option from the left side menu. Set the color to the Orange swatch. Click OK.

create a character style for the drop cap

Step 5

For this tutorial, we will create a list of Paragraph Styles that we will use to format the monthly newsletter template. This will help us achieve a consistent newsletter layout throughout the pages.

Head over to Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles to open the Paragraph Styles panel. On the main menu, select New Paragraph Style and set the Style Name to Front Page TOC Number. TOC stands for Table of Contents. Select the Basic Character Formats option from the left side menu. Use the following settings:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Regular
  • Size: 12 pt

Select the Character Color option from the left side menu. Set the color to the Orange swatch. Click OK.

add paragraph styles for type hierarchy

Create a New Paragraph Style, setting the Style Name to Front Page TOC Content. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Regular
  • Size: 8 pt

Click OK. 

Create a New Paragraph Style and set the Style Name to Headline. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Black
  • Size: 39 pt
  • Leading: 42 pt
  • Tracking: -10 pt

Select the Character Color option from the left side menu. Set the color to the Blue swatch. Click OK.

Create a New Paragraph Style, setting the Style Name to Intro. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Light
  • Size: 16 pt
  • Leading: 17.2 pt
  • Tracking: -10 pt

Select the Character Color option from the left side menu. Set the color to the Orange swatch. Click OK.

Create a New Paragraph Style, setting the Style Name to Sidebar. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Black
  • Size: 17 pt
  • Leading: 20.4 pt

Select the Character Color option from the left side menu. Set the color to the [Paper] swatch. Click OK.

Create a New Paragraph Style, setting the Style Name to Drop Cap. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Regular
  • Size: 9 pt

Select the Drop Caps and Nested Style option from the left side menu. Set the Drop Caps Lines to 4 and Characters to 1, and under Character Style select Drop Cap. Click OK.

Create a New Paragraph Style, setting the Style Name to Copy. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Regular
  • Size: 9 pt

Select the Indents and Spacing option from the left side menu. Set the First Line Indent to 0.5 cm. Click OK.

Create a New Paragraph Style, setting the Style Name to Folio - Page Number. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Medium
  • Size: 8 pt

Click OK.

Create a New Paragraph Style, setting the Style Name to Folio - Section Title. Set the Basic Character Formats option to the following:

  • Font Family: Vistol Sans
  • Font Style: Medium
  • Size: 11 pt

Click OK.

paragraph styles panel

2. Setting Up Master Pages for Your InDesign Monthly Newsletter Template

Step 1

Head over to the Pages panel (Window > Pages) and double-click on the A-Master pages.

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text frame on the bottom left corner of the left-hand side page—ideally, outside of the margin. To add a page number, right-click while in the text frame and select Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number.

Follow the page number with the name of your company, adding "newsletter" at the end.

Using the Paragraph Styles, set the text frame to the Folio - Page Number style. 

add page numbers to the master pages

Duplicate the frame by pressing Option-Shift and dragging towards the right. Place the duplicated frame on the bottom right corner of the right-hand page. Using the Paragraph panel (Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph Panel), set the right page frame to align Right.

duplicate the page number to the right hand side page

Step 2

Select the Line Tool (/) and draw a line above the folio that extends from left to right. 

Head over to Window > Stroke to open the Stroke panel. Set the Weight to 0.5 pt.

Duplicate the stroke by pressing Option-Shift and dragging towards the right page. 

add a stroke above the page number

Step 3

Select both strokes and press Option-Shift and drag towards the top of the page. Place both strokes outside of the margin. 

duplicate the stroke at the top of both pages

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text frame above the stroke and add the word ‘SECTION’. Using the Paragraph Styles, set the text frame to the Folio - Section Title style. 

Duplicate the frame by pressing Option-Shift and dragging towards the right page. Using the Paragraph panel (Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph Panel), set the right page frame to align Right.

add a section text frame to the top of the pages

3. Designing the Cover for Your InDesign Monthly Newsletter Template

Step 1

Before we start working on the cover for the newsletter design, we need to delete the folio that was created on the A-Master page.  

Press Shift-Command as you click on the top section title and stroke and press Delete. This will override the item to either delete or customize it. 

On the Layers panel, select the Background layer.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle that covers the page. Using the Swatches panel, set the color to the Cream swatch.

create a background on the cover

Step 2

On the Layers panel, lock the Background layer and select the Copy layer.

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text box at the top of the cover. In my case, I typed Newsletter. This is also a great way to add your own company name. Open the Character panel by going to Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph Panel. On the Character panel, set the Font to Vistol Sans Black and Size to 95 pt.

On the Swatches panel, select the Blue color. 

add a newsletter title to the cover

Step 3

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text box on the left side, under Newsletter. Here, feel free to add a company name.

Create a second text box on the right side. This is useful to add a date if you are creating a weekly or monthly newsletter.

On the Characters panel, set both text boxes to the following: 

  • Font to Vistol Sans Bold
  • Size to 10 pt
  • Tracking to 60
add company name and a monthly or weekly date

Step 4

Select the Line Tool (/). Draw a line under Newsletter and another one under the company name

Head over to Window > Stroke to open the Stroke panel. Set the Weight to 0.5 pt.

add strokes to the top and bottom of the company name and date

Step 5

On the Layers panel, select the Images layer.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle that measures 17 cm in Width and 18 cm in Height. 

While selecting the rectangle, press Command-D to Place an image. Navigate to the Two Monks Meet and Salute in a Buddhist Monastery Asia and click Open.

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to resize the image within the frame. Drag from one of the corners while pressing Shift to maintain the image ratio. 

place an image on the cover

Select the Line Tool (/) and draw a line under the image. 

Head over to Window > Stroke to open the Stroke panel. Set the Weight to 0.5 pt.

add a stroke under the image

Step 6

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text box under the stroke that fits the width of the page from margin to margin. We will create a small table of contents for the newsletter template.

Command-B to open the Text Frame Options window. Set the Number of Columns to 4 and the Gutter to 0.5 cm. Click OK.

create a text frame with 4 columns

Place the page number at the top, followed by the article title and description. Use the Paragraph Styles panel to style the contents with the Front Page TOC Number and Front Page TOC Content. 

Select the title and head over to the Character panel. Set the Font Style to Extra Bold.

use the paragraph styles panel to format typography on the Table of contents

Using the Line Tool (/), create strokes between each column. Using the Stroke panel, set the Weight to 0.5 pt. 

add a stroke in between the columns

4. Designing the Interior of the Newsletter Layout

Step 1

For this section, we will create a range of newsletter layouts using different article lengths. The six-column grid will help us achieve different looks for the newsletter design.

Press Shift-Command on the Section title. Change the Section name to Explore this Month. 

override the section name and change it

Using the columns we created at the beginning of the tutorial, we will create article sections.

Select the Text Tool (T) from the Tools panel. Draw two text boxes that occupy the four outer columns on the left page. 

On the top text frame, add a headline and use the Paragraph Styles panel to set the style to Headline.

Add an intro to the second frame and use the Paragraph Styles panel to set the text to Intro. 

add text frames and format them using the paragraph styles panel

Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (/), create a rectangle that fits 4 columns in Width and 9.75 cm in Height.

Press Command-D as you select the frame and navigate to the Group of People Dining Concept image. Click Open. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), resize the image to fit the frame. 

place an image under the intro

Step 3

Create a text frame under the image using the Text Tool (T). Press Command-B to open the Text Frame Options window. Set the Columns Number to 2 and the Gutter to 0.5 cm. 

Add copy and use the Paragraph Style panel to style the text. Select the Drop Cap style for the first paragraph and the Copy style for the rest. 

add copy under the image and use the paragraph styles panel

Step 4

We can create a sidebar using the rest of the page. Using the Rectangle Tool (/), create a rectangle that covers the two columns left towards the gutter of the page.

On the Swatches panel, select the Blue color and set the Tint to 50%.

add a sidebar on the page and use the blue color

Step 5

Select the rectangle and press Command-B to open the Text Frame Options. Set the Inset Spacing on all sides to 0.5 cm. Click OK.

Add text and use the Paragraph Styles panel to style the sidebar. Set the title to Sidebar and the rest of the text to Copy. On the Swatches panel, set the color to [Paper]. 

add copy and use the paragraph styles panel

Step 6

Select the Ellipse Tool (L) from the Tools panel. Create a circle that measures 4.3 cm in Width and Height.

Head over to the Stroke panel and set the Weight to 3 pt. Set the Stroke color on the Swatches panel to [Paper].

Open the Text Wrap panel by going to Window > Text Wrap. Select the Wrap Around Bounding Box button and set the Offset to 0.5 cm on all sides.

create an ellipse and add a white stroke

While selecting the circle, press Command-D to Place an image. Navigate to the Pomegranate image and click Open.

place an image in the ellipse

Step 7

To add a cleaner look, we’ll add strokes between the columns. Using the Line Tool (/), draw two vertical strokes between each of the three columns. 

Using the Stroke panel, set the Weight to 0.25 pt. 

add strokes between the columns for a cleaner look

Step 8

You can add vertical sidebars or horizontal ones, as we’ll do on page 3 of the newsletter design. Feel free to add your own spin on the layout by using the columns system. Don’t forget to show us your version in the comments section below. I chose to use the width across the page to add an article and leave some space at the bottom for a sidebar. 

Press Shift-Command on the Section title. Change the Section name to Food & Health. 

Use the Text Tool (T), add three text frames, and style each with the Paragraph Style panel. Use the Headline, Intro, Drop cap and Copy styles for each section. For the copy text frame, divide the columns by pressing Command-B to access the Text Frame Options window. Set the Columns Number to 2. 

repeat the process on the right hand side page by adding text frames

Place images by pressing Command-D. Choose the Girl and Cherry image and click Open. Place the image on the right side of the two text columns.

On the Text Wrap panel, select the Wrap Around Bound Box button and set the Offset on all sides to 0.5 cm.

place an image and use the text wrap panel to add margin

Using the Line Tool (/), draw two vertical strokes between each of the three columns. On the Stroke panel, set the Weight to 0.25 pt.

add a stroke between the columns

Step 9

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle under the article, making sure that it covers the width of the page.

On the Swatches panel, select the Blue color and set the Tint to 50%.

Select the rectangle and press Command-B to open the Text Frame Options. Set the Number of Columns to 3 and the Inset Spacing on all sides to 0.5 cm. Click OK.

create a 3 column sidebar under the article

Add text and use the Paragraph Styles panel to style the sidebar. Set the Title to Sidebar and the rest of the text to Copy. On the Swatches panel, set the color to [Paper]. 

Using the Line Tool (/), draw two vertical strokes between each of the three columns. On the Stroke panel, set the Weight to 0.25 pt. 

add copy and use the paragraph styles panel

Step 10

On the Layers panel, select the Background layer.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle that covers the page. 

Using the Swatches panel, set the color to the Cream swatch.

On the Layers panel, select the Copy layer. Press Shift-Command on the Section title. Change the Section name to Lifestyle. 

Use the Text Tool (T), add three text frames to the top section of the page. This time, create the headline and intro to take up the width of the page, while the copy text frame should take up four columns. Style each with the Paragraph Style panel. Use the Headline, Intro, Drop cap and Copy styles for each section.

repeat the design on the back cover

Place images by pressing Command-D. Choose the Friends Toasting Each Other on a Rooftop image and click Open. Place the image under the intro—ideally, it should run across the width of the page.

place an image

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle under the image and to the right of the copy. Select the rectangle and press Command-B to open the Text Frame Options. Set the Inset Spacing on all sides to 0.5 cm. Click OK.

Add text and use the Paragraph Styles panel to style the sidebar. Set the Title to Sidebar and the rest of the text to Copy. On the Swatches panel, set the color to [Paper]. 

Using the Line Tool (/), draw two vertical strokes between the copy and sidebar columns. On the Stroke panel, set the Weight to 0.25 pt. 

add a sidebar on the bottom right corner

5. How to Export a Monthly Newsletter Template File for Printing

Before exporting a file for printing, it is useful to take a look around all the edges to make sure all the images and vectors bleeding out are touching the bleeds.

Step 1

To export the file, go to File > Export. Name the file Monthly Newsletter Template and choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format dropdown menu. Click Save. 

export the file for printing

Step 2

In the Export Adobe PDF window, set the Adobe PDF Preset to Press Quality.

select press quality on the adobe PDF preset

On the left side of the panel, select Marks and Bleeds. Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings. Click Export. You will have a ready-to-print PDF file.

select all printers marks and use document bleed settings

Great Job! You’ve Finished Your Monthly Newsletter Template!

In this tutorial, you learned how to create a newsletter template. You can use this template as a monthly or weekly newsletter template. We covered important tools that will help you create your next InDesign newsletter templates easily. Today, you learned to:

  • set up a printable newsletter template
  • add color swatches
  • create paragraph styles to format typography
  • use the text wrap panel to add margins to images
  • design different article layouts by using columns

If you are new to InDesign and need weekly newsletter templates or monthly newsletter templates right away, head over to Envato Elements and Graphic River. Go check them out!

If you liked this tutorial, you might like these other newsletter design ideas:

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