The Importance of Having a Corporate Newsletter

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with 25 years of experience designing newsletters for major corporate clients including Kaiser Permanente, Metrolink, Metro, Time Warner Cable and the Cities of Norwalk, Orange and Santa Monica.

Don’t underestimate the importance of newsletters! A regular monthly newsletter has many outstanding benefits. It is a great way to…

  • communicate with clients, employees, vendors using a very effective medium that contains information which is usually very timely and up-to-date.
  • keep the audience up-to-date on current events, news and what’s happening in your company and in the industry. Your company will not only appear contemporary but also state-of-the art.
  • reach a broad spectrum of people, especially if the publication is delivered electronically as an online publication. This saves expensive print costs. Our innovative “iMags”  with flipping-page technology, can help your company save costs while still providing a highly interactive and technologically-advanced publication. Continue reading

A Few Shades of Grey: Adding Graphical Portraits to a Publication

boomer-living-1 Creating an effective corporate communication involves lots of creative experimentation to make your publication fresh and inviting. The graphics play an important part in making the publication visually intriguing. Adding special visual effects can make the publication more exciting to read and to follow.

We developed a special effect that involves converting portraiture to just a few shades of grey or gradations of one or two colors. It get away from the standard photo treatment and takes your publication one step further into the creative realm.  But it needs to be the right audience for a slightly more creative approach.

We used close-up portraits, especially of people with lots of character lines or distinctive features. This effect works great for newsletters about people, healthcare, living styles, baby boomers, seniors, authors, artists, and performers, to name a few.  It also works great for biographies.

Pictured above and below are some samples of newsletters using this effect.


To find out more about how we can help create an effective newsletter, e-publication, or invitation for your firm or organization, contact HWDS at

On the Lighter Side—Pets as Mascots


Pets can lighten up an employee newsletter.

Let’s try something new…Try drawing a cartoon character from your pet. It’s easy—just draw a quick sketch, add some bright color, exaggerate a feature, and add motion or gesture. You don’t have to be an animator to try this.

Have fun animating your dog, cat, pet turtle, hamster or pot belly pig. The character you create can be the new mascot for your animation project or a way to add a character to otherwise drab content. Then bring them to life with some gestures, thoughts and words. Add speech and thought bubbles to allow the animal to comment on the article or topic. Who knows? Your readers may even want to adopt your animated character as the new company mascot.

Then add the character to your corporate communication for a lighter feel. Of course, don’t try this on an annual report or a letter to the Board of Directors. An employee newsletter might be a great place to start.

In the sample above, I created these characters from two of my former dogs, Shoogie and Cotton, an akita-chow mix and a pure breed samoyad.

Lighten up and so will your audience!


If you’d like to talk about an animated character illustration for a newsletter, poster, website or other communication, please drop an e-mail to