First page of the Quadrant Newsletter publication design.
Everything in a Publisher publication, including a block of text, is an independent element. You can place each element exactly where you want it, and you can control its size, shape, and appearance.
It's not so unusual, even in word-processing programs, for pictures to act as independent elements. What makes Publisher particularly flexible is that you have the same control over text as you do over pictures.
The first page of the newsletter at left, for example, contains 23 independent elements: 16 text elements and 7 graphical elements, including the boxes that make up the masthead, the lines that define the column on the left, and the picture.
Because each of these elements is independent, you can treat each one individually. If you resize and re-color the line that defines the column, for example, you don't affect the masthead. Or, if you change the font size and color for the newsletter title, the other headings and body text remain unchanged.