Style sheet-based design

You have been hired to translate your favorite editorial web site or blog into a newsletter. The client expects to see results in an hour and a half—90 minutes! Are they crazy? As some consolation they only want you to design the cover today, which must have a nameplate, a date, a teaser line or teaser box (which “sell” one or more inside stories) and either three stories, (if you choose to run a single teaser) or two stories if you have a box that mentions three or more interior pieces. Each article must include a headline, deck and body text. Your stories do not need to both start and finish on the cover—they may “jump” to interior page, however you must have a “continued on page...” line if you do jump.

Additionally, you must have two pictures (web-quality from your source site is fine for this project) each of which must have a caption.

The only conceivable way to accomplish this demanding project is to leverage the awesome power of templates and style sheets. Your text and picture boxes must be on template, and you must have a style sheet for every repeating text format on this page, at minimum:


body (which must lock to baseline grid)



and one more—continued line (if needed) pull quote or drop cap.

There must also be at least one character-level style sheet for a within-the-paragraph font change.

It is not permitted to use auto lead, Helvetica or Times Roman in any of your styles or anywhere on the page.

Style sheets must reflect the final text—in other words if the style is applied to something new, it must match is on your page.

Oh, design—almost forgot that part. Your newsletter cover should capture the editorial spirit of the web site you are recreating in print.

Don’t have a favorite blog? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Talking Points Memo

Design Observer


A Brief Message


Something Awful