As we’re working on a layout, there are some details we’ll want to pay attention to that are often forgotten. Not all of these apply to all layouts, but it's a good idea to check for these things anyway, just to make sure you didn't miss anything.
- Publication information: You’ll want to make sure you’re including information about the editor and publication offices of your publication, if necessary. This collection of information is called the masthead. The masthead is typically included on page 2 or the back page of the publication.
- Mailing a publication: Is your publication being mailed? If so, you’ll want to include a section for the mailing address and return address – and if your document is to be folded, make sure the fold is on the bottom of the address field. This might mean that your address section is upside-down – however, having the fold on the bottom of the address section is essential to your publication making it through the various postal service machines in good condition.
- Giving credit where it’s due: Make sure to include credits for photos and bylines for stories, especially if working on a periodical or a publication that contains many different articles submitted by different contributors. These can be as simple as a line stating who wrote or contributed to the story before the first paragraph, or the photographer’s name tucked into one corner of a photo.
- Eliminate awkward white space: Make sure there's no awkward trapped white space, such as whole blank lines between paragraphs or extra space around an image where text could wrap around it. Too much white space between paragraphs can make the paragraphs seem isolated, and make it a little distracting for our readers as they read through our publication. To help eliminate awkward white space in our text, we’ll want to indent new paragraphs to indicate the start of a new paragraph, or adjust the spacing before and after paragraphs if necessary. For images with awkward white space around them, you’ll want to apply a text wrap around the image if you haven’t already – and if you have, you may want to adjust your spacing around the image.
- Pay attention to your text: We’ll want to make sure our columns are of an appropriate size, and also be aware of how many words there are in a column – depending on the audience, we might want to aim for 9-12 words of text in a line. (For more information on line length, read this article that discusses line length and column width.) We’ll also want to make sure our text elements are not crammed up against other elements or borders, as this will make it hard to read the text that’s pressed against another element.
- Jump lines: If we’re jumping a story from one page in your document to another page that’s further on in the document, make sure to include jump lines – these act as signposts for our readers that let them know where the story continues on. Jump lines are included where the text stops, as well as where the text picks up again, letting readers know where the rest of the story is.
If we make sure we've looked for these items and included them where needed, our publication should be in good shape!