Our ability to bulk ship Lutheran Digest copies free of charge to participating Lutheran churches depends completely on the generosity of businesses, local to those churches, that take spaces in our center advertising inserts. If you have signed up your company for a space with one of our sales agents (thank you!) but you did not provide our agent with text and imaging for that space, this page provides you with guidelines on how to structure the ad copy and instructions on where and how to send it.

Lutheran Digest ad spaces are either single column (1/2 page width) or two column (full page width) and are available in 1/10th page increments up to a full page. Live dimensions (the actual printed area) for each style are:

One Column Two Column
1/10th page           1.25” (h) x 2.31” (w)        .63” (h) x 4.63” (w)
2/10th page           2.50”      “                       1.25”      “
3/10th page           3.75”      “                       1.88”      “
4/10th page           5.00”      “                       2.50”      “
5/10th page           6.25”      “                       3.13”      “
:                                                                     :
:                                                                     :
Full page                                                       6.25”      “

For ad rate information, please contact us. Ad spaces appear for one (1) year and are distributed in three (3) issues: Winter, Spring/Summer, and Fall.

Spaces are black and white only. Reverse print (black background with white lettering) is available on request at no additional charge. There’s an old saying that goes…” You can’t make silk purses out of  sow’s ears.” The same is true for ads. Attention-grabbing ad copy requires “good ingredients” and planning if it’s going to draw and keep reader interest. Just filling white space with black ink will, by itself, usually not get the job done.

Entire courses are devoted to the science and psychology of effective advertising. Fortunately, you do not have to study these courses in order to understand the precepts of good advertising. It really boils down to two simple rules.

Ad Copy Rule #1: Hold down the amount of text and graphics!

The more cluttered an ad is…particularly with a bunch of fine print or cumbersome graphics…the less likely it is to be read. Readers scan  ads. Their eyes instinctively are drawn to contrasts. A little bit of text and graphics surrounded by lots of white space provides that contrast and draws reader attention. Isn’t that, after all, what you are trying to get reader attention? So why blow getting their attention with a bunch of superfluous ink? Scrutinize the text for pertinence. Keep the copy short and simple.

As a rule of thumb, for our 1/10th half page width ad, we suggest no more than six lines of regular size text. For the 1/10th full page width ad, we suggest three lines of text maximum.

Ad Copy Rule #2: Provide the best copy available!

Photocopies and other reproductions should be provided only as a last resort and only if no other alternative is available.

In a black and white printing environment, black and white original copy is always the best. If only color copy is available, either dark red & white or dark (navy) blue & white is best. Pastel backgrounds and metallic foil lettering do not reproduce well and should be avoided if at all possible. Typed or type-set text is best, but if text must be hand-written, it should be printed clearly and plainly so the typesetter can read it.

Likewise, black and white glossy photographs are best…though  current technology allows reasonably good reproduction from original color glossy photographs as well. The key words here are “glossy” and “original”. The “photographic” image commonly seen on business cards and in advertisements is not a photograph at all but, rather, a  “screen”…a grid of microdots that reproduces a facsimile image. Original photographs can be scanned and screened into ad copy…screens cannot. When a “screen” is scanned a second time, the image becomes dark and smudgy. This is because it is impossible to line up the microdots of the scanning device with the microdots of the screened image. As a result, what was once white becomes gray; what was gray becomes charcoal; and what was charcoal becomes black.

As a rule of thumb, photographs should only be considered in our  2/10th page ads or larger. There just isn’t enough room in 1/10th page ads for a company name, address and contact information and a picture large enough to be recognizable.

While on the topic of photography, photographs should require no more than a 50% reduction to fit the purchased space. In other words, do not provide an 8×10, 5×7 or even 3×5 photo for a space intended for smaller than wallet size. Instead provide a wallet size photo. Legibility suffers significantly when reductions of greater than 50% are required. The same is true for regular ad copy text, by the way.

It is important to note as well that photographic enlargement and reduction (and scanning to a lesser degree) is a proportional, two-dimensional process. Increase or decrease height by 25% and width will increase or decrease the same percentage and vice-versa. Instructions to take ad copy of a particular height-to-width ratio and “make it fit” a significantly different height-to-width ratio space cannot be accomplished by photographic or scanning means. The ad copy must be completely reworked to fit the purchased space.

A particularly troublesome form of ad copy is one that has background artwork overlaid with text. Typically these are business logos featuring “ghosted” or “phantom” images in the background with the company name printed over it. For a printer, shooting these ads is a two-step (“double-pass”) process: first the background, then the text.

Sponsors wanting this type of ad copy, in order for it to appear as crisp as it was in its first production, must provide both the original background artwork and foreground text. Without these two separate items, all a printer can do is shoot the aggregate ad in a single pass. The usual result, particularly if the background and foreground are both dark, is a black smudge where the background and foreground overlay one another. The resulting image is usually not readable.

There you have it. Be discerning in the amount and type of text/ graphics supplied and supply only original text, photos and graphics whenever possible. If that is not possible…“We’ll do the best we can with what we get.”

Text, photographs and graphics should be mailed to:

The Lutheran Digest
PO Box 100
Princeton, MN 55371

It is helpful if “Ad Copy” is written in the lower left-hand corner of the envelope. As desktop publishing has become more commonplace, many companies are electing to produce their own ad copy in house. If your company is one of them, or if your company is using an outside advertising agency, the following information will define for you the media, software and file formats The Lutheran Digest is prepared to handle.

Acceptable electronic media:           Floppy disk
Zip disk
CD-ROM disk
Email attachment

Acceptable native application files:   Photoshop
(both Mac and PC platform)            Illustrator
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Publisher

Acceptable file formats:                   filename.eps (encapsulated postscript)
(both Mac and PC platform)           filename.tif (tagged image format)
filename.pdf (portable document format) NOTE: All files must have a minimum of 200 dpi (dots per inch) and be no
larger than 2 megabytes.

NOT ACCEPTABLE file formats:

filename: .html (hypertext markup language)
filename.jpg:  (joint photographic experts grp)
filename.gif:  (graphics interchange format)
filename.png:  (portable network graphics)
filename.swf: (super web format)

While most advertising agencies today transfer ad data electronically, some still prefer to send paper (“camera ready”) copy. That’s okay, too. Our preference in this circumstance is to receive the copy on “RC paper” (a white Mylar-type paper with semi-gloss finish). We will do our best with copy on stark white paper from a laser (not inkjet) printer as well, but we cannot guarantee the results. Ad copy should be output to the size ordered without need for reduction or enlargement. Resolution for any camera ready copy is minimum 120 lines per inch …133 lines per inch preferred.

Floppy disks, Zip disks, CD-ROM disks and paper (“camera ready”) copy should be mailed to:
The Lutheran Digest
PO Box 100
Princeton, MN 55371

It is helpful if “Ad Copy” is written in the lower left-hand corner of the envelope.

Email attachments should be directed to: