New vs. Old Wecann

Our WeCann has a long tradition, but as we change ourselves, it's time to update the design of our newsletter a bit. We decided to listen to all your advice and with the McCann Helsinki agency we are creating a slightly different look that you will surely like. We also plan to add a section with interesting facts from the world of advertising and we would like to hear your opinion. Read the interview with McCann Helsinki designer Sara Nevalainen and find out how important the newsletter is nowadays.  

1. Is this the first newsletter you’ve designed?

Hello, and thank you for asking! I’ve previously designed newsletters for one of McCann Helsinki’s clients, so designing newsletters was already familiar to me. The opportunity to re-design the WeCANN Newsletter was a really interesting project to me!

2. Tell us a little bit about the concept, the creative idea you based your work on the WeCann redesign?

I’m happy to share a bit of the concept behind the new look. Our McCann Helsinki’s Creative Team first met and discussed the main direction we wanted to go in. I then designed a few options based on those first guidelines. We chose the best options and sent them to our colleagues in Beograd, where one final version was chosen.

The content and visuals vary in each WeCANN issue, so a clean and airy layout was paramount to us. The design changed from a 2-column layout into a single column layout. In the single column design, the visuals can have a larger role. The fonts were also refreshed a little: the new fonts are Helvetica and Cambria, for those interested. A larger CTA button was introduced, to help the recognition of links, and for the mobile friendliness aspect: clicking a CTA button will be easier on mobile.

In the new concept, we wanted to visually make a difference between the different news categories that are featured on WeCANN. These categories are: the Lead News, Campaigns, News, Interviews and I&F Grupa open positions. Different background colors were used to color code each section. The color palette was based on McCann Worldgroup’s visual identity’s color palette.

Lastly, I wanted to bring the names of the different McCann agencies into the header section, to highlight our togetherness. It goes nicely with the newsletter’s name and purpose, “WeCANN!”

3. Is there a difference in designing for internal and external needs? How challenging is the task? Do you think about the people who will see the final product?

Design-wise, I don’t feel there are major differences when designing for internal or external needs. The hierarchy of the content might differentiate between the two, so the design should be able to suit different needs and the rearranging of the content.

The end user is always in my mind whenever designing, absolutely. How to make their experience better? For newsletters, I think some of the “best practices” are already well established, so it makes sense to utilize them. Most people (consciously or unconsciously) already know what functions and logic they expect to get when opening a newsletter. That said, our world and the industry keeps changing at a fast pace, so it’s good to stay on top of trends.

4. What do you think, how important is a company newsletter? Is it equally important to the internal (all I&F Grupa employees on 12 markets) and external audiences (subcontractors, partners, clients, media, and potential clients)?

I think an internal company newsletter is a great way to receive communication. And I have to say it’s also easy – as a subscriber the information pops into your inbox. Handy! We all get busy in our day-to-day lives, so I appreciate that the information is already thought-out and summarized for me. Company newsletters are also a great way to hear about the achievements, and bring out that sense of togetherness I mentioned earlier. I would enjoy reading more interviews of my colleagues in other markets!

For external audiences, I think the same framework applies: the newsletters needs to go out consistently, with interesting content.

5. What is especially important to you when it comes to newsletters? What is the first thing you  notice/expect? Which newsletters are you subscribed to?

As a visual person, I think the first visual grabs my attention first. In a newsletter, I expect everything to work and for the e-mail to be mobile friendly. I expect to find specific things, such as an unsubscribing link in the footer section. I look for the content to be interesting or useful, with a friendly tone of voice. The images should be of a good quality and the newsletter should not be too long. I would also be interested in seeing personalized (tailored to me) content more.

Currently I’ve subscribed to the “Kauppalehti Markkinointi” newsletter that shares Finnish Marketing industry news. I’m also interested in interior design, so I subscribe to IKEA’s newsletter from time to time. If you have some interesting newsletter suggestions (perhaps to do with creativity and industry news), please feel free to send suggestions my way!