When I created my first syllabus as a college professor, I had many syllabi from my past to give me guidance. I found that it was easy to put some ideas down about what I thought the students should get out of the class and then add all of the mandatory information about who, what, when, where, and the obligatory disability statements and other information the university wanted to be passed on to every student (ad nauseum). I remember liking the syllabi that had every lecture spelled out so that I could cross them off in a countdown to the end of the semester. For my first syllabus, that felt like too much work.
After that first syllabus, I began to realize that there was more to putting together a syllabus than following the guidelines of the university (or college). I needed to put something of me into this document. I wanted the students to understand that I thought about the course from beginning to end before I even started the first lecture. I wanted them to think I was fun and original. I wanted to make the other faculty jealous.
If I had kept the syllabi from when I was in school, they would have been rather similar. Almost always on white paper. Almost always simple and too the point. Almost never giving any hint that the professor enjoyed the creation of the syllabus. Almost always dull but practical. I decided that I wanted to be the opposite of those syllabi in almost every way and I found a format that helped me do that and I ran with it.
The internet is a wonderful thing sometimes as it allows you to expand your mind and investigate other ideas, especially those outside your particular frame of reference. My frame of reference was science, specifically animal science. Never had any of my professors branched out to see what a syllabus could be. I found my format when I saw a syllabus that used a newsletter format. It was in color and it used pictures and quotes and it spelled out all of the information in a fancier way than anything I had ever seen before.
I went to Microsoft Publisher and found a newsletter format. I was able to add sections that were relevant to me, with the help of the example I found on the internet, and then change his/her examples into what I thought represented me. As a result, I impressed the faculty in my interview with a bi-fold, color syllabus that had more than just the basic information.
There is a bold heading, pictures, easy-to-find office information, important quotations, a lecture schedule, and a calendar of deadlines. Although I do not make color copies for the students, I find that many of them download the original and make color copies on their own. Everything about my syllabi spells my name and the students seem to be pleased to have something different than the average. They will remember my syllabi long after they forget the information they learned in the course.