Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Three-column layouts

One of the most common questions that our bulletin trainers receive revolves around easy ways to redo the bulletin layout. A favorite suggestion of ours is changing to a 3-column layout. 

To change your page grid to 3-columns in Microsoft Publisher, click on the Page Design tab and click on margins, then click custom margins. The window below will display your column guides. Change to 3-columns to get started on your new layout. In the examples below, you will see how we use this 3-column format to create a foundation for building a new design. 

The first example shows a two-page spread with simple frames aligned to complement the layout of the opposing page. Color blocks and simple borders break the information for easy reading while creating an appealing design. 

The thinner column on the right page is used for repetitive information such as staff names, Sacraments and phone numbers. An added benefit of placing this information on an inside page is that it frees up space on the cover that could be used for timely information like Scripture readings, special observances, or a beautiful image from the Subscriber Resource Center at 


Our next sample, seen below, is an example of overlapping frames. The page is visually interesting and considered a more modern look with the gradient screen and sans-serif headings.

The Fall Festival Raffle frame has a different color green than the rest of the page and it overlaps into the Deacon letter. Both of these elements, along with the over-sized graphic, help make it attention-grabbing to the reader.

The use of white space on this page is also a key design element. It allows for the frames to overlap but doesn’t make the page look “crowded.”


There are many simple elements that you can pull into your layout to freshen up your design. Will a three-column layout work for your bulletin? 

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