Design Choice Communications


Copyediting and Page Layout

Design Choice Communications Portfolio: Ministry Booklet

Cypress Church Ministries

Information and Outreach Booklet


In 2003 I was called upon to typeset and design the cover of this 18-page booklet for use as an outreach to vacation Bible school students, their families and visitors of Cypress Church.

The left side of the image, above, depicts the back cover of the booklet, which presents the church’s purpose and mission statements. The lower half of the back cover provides a map to the church followed by church contact information, including address, phone number and Website URL. The front cover, pictured on the right, appeared on glossy white paper. The cover concept incorporates the existing church color scheme, typeface and logo — a Cypress tree — into an alternating checkerboard layout. The accompanying images — one per square — are symbolic of the protestant church.


The booklet was assembled in QuarkXPress on tight deadline — roughly 10 days from start to finish. It involved collaboration with two people: a pastor at the church and a longstanding volunteer for the church’s information center.

Cover Design Influences

The cross represents the work of Christ. The praying hands represent a relationship with God. The Cypress tree sprouting from the lower left corner represents the church’s preexisting identity design, which is suggestive of spiritual growth. The dove in flight on the lower right represents the Holy Spirit. In one form or another, these familiar faith-inspired images capture the aims adhered to by each ministry outlined in the booklet.


This project started out as a page layout and typesetting project, but grew to incorporate my writing and copyediting skills in order to successfully convey all the information that was provided without running over budget and/or shortchanging the desired print run of 300 booklets. To this end, the project was ultimately successful as an outreach to the community.

Design Choice Communications Portfolio: Church Newsletter

Cypress Church Connections

Monthly Newsletter


Cypress Church, of Cypress, California, is roughly 700 strong in weekly participants of all ages and life stages. But when the church found itself without a senior pastor, church leadership needed a way to eliminate potential speculation on the part of churchgoers and replace it with meaningful communication. That need led to the debut of "Cypress Connections," a two-page print and email newsletter, produced in QuarkXPress and HTML, which I was recruited to design and edit under the guidance of an associate pastor and a church elder.

The Process

This project, ongoing for a year, provided a dual opportunity to exercise my skills in writing and design. From a copyediting perspective, I relied most heavily on the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual; however, I also referenced The Chicago Manual of Style and A Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. Focus-wise, stories that pertained to the pastoral search always took the lead (top position), with the remainder of the front-page content consisting of a brief calendar on the right and individual accounts of the various church ministries and goings-on, which were designed to familiarize the congregation with the various activities, opportunities and church needs.By definition, churches are nonprofit organizations. As such, this project necessitated an inexpensive grayscale format that could be printed inexpensively in the church office.

Design Influences

Efficient and effective communication is the ultimate goal of a newsletter. Consequently, it was decided at the outset that the page layout, typeface, and point sizes must remain consistent over time in order to reinforce recognition and format familiarity. To retain a clean, uncluttered appearance, the newsletter was limited to two stories, which began with headlines on the front. The backside was reserved for the conclusion of each article. This enabled relevant headlines and calendar information to face-up at all times at the information center in the church lobby. The newsletter’s masthead, or header, prominently displayed the church logo, newsletter title and month of publication, whereas the footer contained church contact information. For the HTML version of the newsletter, however, a top priority was cross-platform compatibility. The header was similar to its print counterpart insofar as it portrayed the Cypress tree logo and the date of publication. As an HTML document, however, I took the liberty to tie in the newsletter with the existing church color scheme.


Cypress Connections was a success in its primary goal of establishing transparency on the part of the pastoral search committee throughout the yearlong pastoral search. It also kept churchgoers apprised of activities, and in so doing served as a re-enforcement for church bulletin and PowerPoint slide content provided during weekly services. More so than the bulletin or the slide announcements, this newsletter enabled members of the congregation to get to know the diverse groups and ministries meeting under the church umbrella on Sundays and throughout the week. It hooked up would-be volunteers with relevant needs, and provided small groups with a means of “introducing” themselves to the congregation at large.

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