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You don’t say if you would like some constructive criticism or not so I’ll give some (with apologies in advance if it was not wanted).

  1. I like the clean look of the cover. You could have filled it with loads of unnecessary stuff, just because you could, but you didn’t.
  2. I don’t know if it’s just me but the whole thing seems to be on a slight slant over to the top-right. It’s probably just an optical illusion or similar but something to think about.
  3. The word “Sentry” doesn’t look like it’s fully centred in the grey box. Not a major problem but it might be better if tweaked slightly.
  4. I think the “Newsletter – September 2021” text could do with a bit more space at the top and bottom inside the white rectangle.
  5. Have you thought about making the American Legion logo a bit bigger and having it overlap the ‘Sentry box’ a bit? Just to make it more prominent and add a little bit of extra interest to the design. Might not work well but worth trying.
  6. I don’t understand why there is a white grid over the image. Not a problem having it there but if it’s there I would be tempted to use it for something. Maybe ‘remove’ some of the cells, or move some parts around a little, or something. Otherwise I would not bother with it unless it meant something.
  7. I would be tempted to change the “Jerry Wickham…” and “Leaf River…” text in some way but I don’t know what I would consider an improvement. It just doesn’t seem quite right to me for some reason. Don’t know if it’s the sizes or the alignments or what.
  8. I’m not entirely sure that the ‘painted line’ looks right for this use but I don’t know what would be better. Maybe I’m wrong.
  9. One last thing, is the design supposed to be off-centre? I don’t know if this was deliberate so I only ask in case it’s important.

Anyway, I hope I have been able to give you some constructive things to think about.
Please ignore any, or all, of my comments if you don’t agree with them.
After all, it’s your design and you can do what you like with it.

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3 hours ago, GarryP said:

You don’t say if you would like some constructive criticism or not so I’ll give some (with apologies in advance if it was not wanted).

  1. I like the clean look of the cover. You could have filled it with loads of unnecessary stuff, just because you could, but you didn’t.
  2. I don’t know if it’s just me but the whole thing seems to be on a slight slant over to the top-right. It’s probably just an optical illusion or similar but something to think about.
  3. The word “Sentry” doesn’t look like it’s fully centred in the grey box. Not a major problem but it might be better if tweaked slightly.
  4. I think the “Newsletter – September 2021” text could do with a bit more space at the top and bottom inside the white rectangle.
  5. Have you thought about making the American Legion logo a bit bigger and having it overlap the ‘Sentry box’ a bit? Just to make it more prominent and add a little bit of extra interest to the design. Might not work well but worth trying.
  6. I don’t understand why there is a white grid over the image. Not a problem having it there but if it’s there I would be tempted to use it for something. Maybe ‘remove’ some of the cells, or move some parts around a little, or something. Otherwise I would not bother with it unless it meant something.
  7. I would be tempted to change the “Jerry Wickham…” and “Leaf River…” text in some way but I don’t know what I would consider an improvement. It just doesn’t seem quite right to me for some reason. Don’t know if it’s the sizes or the alignments or what.
  8. I’m not entirely sure that the ‘painted line’ looks right for this use but I don’t know what would be better. Maybe I’m wrong.
  9. One last thing, is the design supposed to be off-centre? I don’t know if this was deliberate so I only ask in case it’s important.

Anyway, I hope I have been able to give you some constructive things to think about.
Please ignore any, or all, of my comments if you don’t agree with them.
After all, it’s your design and you can do what you like with it.

I agree with most of Garry's critique with a few tweaks:

1. Instead of removing random cells on the grid, maybe knock a few back to 30 or 40 percent (I think if there were blank cells it would clash with the definition of "sentry," - watchful lookout on only some bits).

2. I'd put the "Jerry Wickham" text below the grid image.

3. Extend the grey Sentry box, reduce the size of Sentry a bit, and try, as Garry suggested, enlarging the AL logo to overlap the grey box.

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2 hours ago, dannyg9 said:

I agree with most of Garry's critique with a few tweaks:

1. Instead of removing random cells on the grid, maybe knock a few back to 30 or 40 percent (I think if there were blank cells it would clash with the definition of "sentry," - watchful lookout on only some bits).

2. I'd put the "Jerry Wickham" text below the grid image.

3. Extend the grey Sentry box, reduce the size of Sentry a bit, and try, as Garry suggested, enlarging the AL logo to overlap the grey box.

Danny, thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

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6 hours ago, GarryP said:

You don’t say if you would like some constructive criticism or not so I’ll give some (with apologies in advance if it was not wanted).

  1. I like the clean look of the cover. You could have filled it with loads of unnecessary stuff, just because you could, but you didn’t.
  2. I don’t know if it’s just me but the whole thing seems to be on a slight slant over to the top-right. It’s probably just an optical illusion or similar but something to think about.
  3. The word “Sentry” doesn’t look like it’s fully centred in the grey box. Not a major problem but it might be better if tweaked slightly.
  4. I think the “Newsletter – September 2021” text could do with a bit more space at the top and bottom inside the white rectangle.
  5. Have you thought about making the American Legion logo a bit bigger and having it overlap the ‘Sentry box’ a bit? Just to make it more prominent and add a little bit of extra interest to the design. Might not work well but worth trying.
  6. I don’t understand why there is a white grid over the image. Not a problem having it there but if it’s there I would be tempted to use it for something. Maybe ‘remove’ some of the cells, or move some parts around a little, or something. Otherwise I would not bother with it unless it meant something.
  7. I would be tempted to change the “Jerry Wickham…” and “Leaf River…” text in some way but I don’t know what I would consider an improvement. It just doesn’t seem quite right to me for some reason. Don’t know if it’s the sizes or the alignments or what.
  8. I’m not entirely sure that the ‘painted line’ looks right for this use but I don’t know what would be better. Maybe I’m wrong.
  9. One last thing, is the design supposed to be off-centre? I don’t know if this was deliberate so I only ask in case it’s important.

Anyway, I hope I have been able to give you some constructive things to think about.
Please ignore any, or all, of my comments if you don’t agree with them.
After all, it’s your design and you can do what you like with it.

Gary, constructive criticism is always welcome & is very helpful, if we want to improve our work. I will make some changes & get back to you. Point 5: The American Legion has strict guidelines on the usage of their logo - it can not overlap.

Legion-Publication-Style-Guide.pdf

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8 hours ago, GarryP said:

You don’t say if you would like some constructive criticism or not so I’ll give some (with apologies in advance if it was not wanted).

  1. I like the clean look of the cover. You could have filled it with loads of unnecessary stuff, just because you could, but you didn’t.
  2. I don’t know if it’s just me but the whole thing seems to be on a slight slant over to the top-right. It’s probably just an optical illusion or similar but something to think about.
  3. The word “Sentry” doesn’t look like it’s fully centred in the grey box. Not a major problem but it might be better if tweaked slightly.
  4. I think the “Newsletter – September 2021” text could do with a bit more space at the top and bottom inside the white rectangle.
  5. Have you thought about making the American Legion logo a bit bigger and having it overlap the ‘Sentry box’ a bit? Just to make it more prominent and add a little bit of extra interest to the design. Might not work well but worth trying.
  6. I don’t understand why there is a white grid over the image. Not a problem having it there but if it’s there I would be tempted to use it for something. Maybe ‘remove’ some of the cells, or move some parts around a little, or something. Otherwise I would not bother with it unless it meant something.
  7. I would be tempted to change the “Jerry Wickham…” and “Leaf River…” text in some way but I don’t know what I would consider an improvement. It just doesn’t seem quite right to me for some reason. Don’t know if it’s the sizes or the alignments or what.
  8. I’m not entirely sure that the ‘painted line’ looks right for this use but I don’t know what would be better. Maybe I’m wrong.
  9. One last thing, is the design supposed to be off-centre? I don’t know if this was deliberate so I only ask in case it’s important.

Anyway, I hope I have been able to give you some constructive things to think about.
Please ignore any, or all, of my comments if you don’t agree with them.
After all, it’s your design and you can do what you like with it.

The white grid is deliberate to add a little spice to the photo. The page design is off-center to allow for booklet binding or 3-hole paper.

Cover_page_modified.pdf

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I hope you don't mind me adding my 2 cents here as well, trying to be constructive.

12 hours ago, pcdlibrary said:

he white grid is deliberate to add a little spice to the photo.

I don't know if it's intentional. But—to me—the grid adds some "behind bars"/"in jail" feeling, strengthened by the big black border surrounding it, which causes some sadness to the looks of it. This feeling is getting even stronger with the latest version as the title "Sentry" is also "behind bars" now.

Also, I wouldn't use two different font styles above and below the image. I can't think of a good reason why the text above the image is condensed whereas the text below the image is not. The current choice causes too much "noise", choosing the same font style would add some more balance to the layout.

Speaking of balance, the "Veterans Flags Memorial" to the right of the image is either too big/bold or not big enough. As currently it's just distracting, because it's not really clear if it's just a hint (just an explanation of the image to those who don't recognise it—then it needs to be a bit lighter and smaller) or if it's important information in which case it needs more "weight".

Lastly, I couldn't find any hint about the logo might not overlap other objects in the guidelines you've provided? In fact, I find countless examples in the web where it was put on top of a flag or maps or even images of all sorts.

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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7 hours ago, Andy05 said:

I hope you don't mind me adding my 2 cents here as well, trying to be constructive.

I don't know if it's intentional. But—to me—the grid adds some "behind bars"/"in jail" feeling, strengthened by the big black border surrounding it, which causes some sadness to the looks of it. This feeling is getting even stronger with the latest version as the title "Sentry" is also "behind bars" now.

Also, I wouldn't use two different font styles above and below the image. I can't think of a good reason why the text above the image is condensed whereas the text below the image is not. The current choice causes too much "noise", choosing the same font style would add some more balance to the layout.

Speaking of balance, the "Veterans Flags Memorial" to the right of the image is either too big/bold or not big enough. As currently it's just distracting, because it's not really clear if it's just a hint (just an explanation of the image to those who don't recognise it—then it needs to be a bit lighter and smaller) or if it's important information in which case it needs more "weight".

Lastly, I couldn't find any hint about the logo might not overlap other objects in the guidelines you've provided? In fact, I find countless examples in the web where it was put on top of a flag or maps or even images of all sorts.

Great ideas, thanks. File attached, for experimenting. "9. That display of the emblem shall be in a dignified manner and each display shall be the entire emblem standing by itself without any attachment or inclusion of or into any other symbol, with the exception of jewelry where room is not available for such independent display. The emblem represents The American Legion, and accordingly, is entitled to all appropriate respect. Session, Chapter No. 426."

Current_Newsletter_2021.afpub Legion Name & Emblem Guide.pdf

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19 hours ago, Andy05 said:

I hope you don't mind me adding my 2 cents here as well, trying to be constructive.

I don't know if it's intentional. But—to me—the grid adds some "behind bars"/"in jail" feeling, strengthened by the big black border surrounding it, which causes some sadness to the looks of it. This feeling is getting even stronger with the latest version as the title "Sentry" is also "behind bars" now.

Also, I wouldn't use two different font styles above and below the image. I can't think of a good reason why the text above the image is condensed whereas the text below the image is not. The current choice causes too much "noise", choosing the same font style would add some more balance to the layout.

Speaking of balance, the "Veterans Flags Memorial" to the right of the image is either too big/bold or not big enough. As currently it's just distracting, because it's not really clear if it's just a hint (just an explanation of the image to those who don't recognise it—then it needs to be a bit lighter and smaller) or if it's important information in which case it needs more "weight".

Lastly, I couldn't find any hint about the logo might not overlap other objects in the guidelines you've provided? In fact, I find countless examples in the web where it was put on top of a flag or maps or even images of all sorts.

Here is what I made, based on your design.

test Newsletter Cover.pdf

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Hi,

I really like the last version, where you overcome the object in an object in an object of the previous ones, and take the decision to  choose which parts are important and should be put in the front.

This means putting the image full width on the page, creating a real and strong banner with the title and logo.

I'm not sure about the black line on the left, since it doesn't add anything (and the flags give already strong lines), and could be a problem when you'll use picture with group of people on the cover. The different fonts and their contrast is nice too (strong title, more organic font for the name, etc.).

Great!

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24 minutes ago, Wosven said:

Hi,

I really like the last version, where you overcome the object in an object in an object of the previous ones, and take the decision to  choose which parts are important and should be put in the front.

This means putting the image full width on the page, creating a real and strong banner with the title and logo.

I'm not sure about the black line on the left, since it doesn't add anything (and the flags give already strong lines), and could be a problem when you'll use picture with group of people on the cover. The different fonts and their contrast is nice too (strong title, more organic font for the name, etc.).

Great!

That's actually my quick'n'dirty design suggestion/mockup I've sent to him. ;-) I've noticed the black line too late, it's probably an issue with the conversion of the mockup file (PSD-file). But that black line is not on the original design at all. The OP got the designer file by now to work with.

itnpKqt.jpg

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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14 minutes ago, Andy05 said:

That's actually my quick'n'dirty design suggestion/mockup I've sent to him.

Oups! That's what happens when you read posts in the evening and reply in the morning before the coffee take effect!

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1 minute ago, Wosven said:

Oups! That's what happens when you read posts in the evening and reply in the morning before the coffee take effect!

I don't think it's a matter of coffee, you couldn't see that it was my draft actually. Reading pcdlib's post, it seems like he initially wanted to upload a different file—his own design based on my suggestion. 

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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On 4/7/2021 at 8:35 PM, pcdlibrary said:

Here is another revision of my newsletter cover. Suggestions welcome.

Cover_page_current_Newsletter_2021.pdf 2.3 MB · 6 downloads

Much better.

I'd still like to see the grey box around "Sentry" larger (or reduce the size of "Sentry" within the box).

I'd put the "Veteran's Flag. . . " and "Leaf River. . ." all on one line under the photo in the bold text you have for Leaf River but small enough for it all to fit on one line.

I like that you punched up the AL logo. No only more of a design element, but legible now.

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