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Print Communications

We’re here to help you with your print communications projects. Whether it’s on campus or off, in print or on screen, we can plan and execute a complete publications strategy to help you meet your goals. We provide text and graphics solutions, assist you in scheduling the job to meet your deadline, and help obtain a printing price that fits your budget. Our services are free to University units and departments; however, you should expect to pay any printing and associated distribution costs, plus incidental costs if applicable.

If you anticipate a need for print communications or design and would like to work it into the long-range plans or budget of your office, please contact us. We’ll schedule a time for you to meet with our staff to discuss your print needs, including the importance of a marketing strategy. This meeting is an opportunity to establish a dialogue for discussing basic issues about your project, such as audience, budget, and timeline. Feel free to bring along any samples that appeal to you.

We have a collaborative approach to producing print communications, and your input and insight are integral parts of the design process.

Finding the Right Words

Writing

After the initial meeting, it will be your job to prepare the text. We can accommodate text created in most word processing formats, although Microsoft Word files are preferred. If there is any doubt about the type of electronic file you will provide, please contact our office. Please note that we are not able to access Microsoft Publisher files.

When preparing your files, please keep in mind:

  • Do not format your text other than to break it into paragraphs. There is no need to boldface, italicize, or underline text.
  • Do not place your text into columns or to use symbols and characters unique to your word processing software.
  • If your text consists of more than one article, save each article as a separate file. To facilitate production of your project, please submit a hard copy of your text along with your file. Any special formatting needs may be indicated on the printout.

Editing

A member of our editorial staff will edit your text for consistency, accuracy, and completeness, and will check for verb agreement, punctuation, and spelling. Note: All publications for use in the recruitment of students must contain an affirmative action statement.

Framing Your Design

After your text is reviewed, the editor will turn it over to the designer assigned to your project. The design of your publication is perhaps the most important part of the process, as it can affect whether the material reaches and is read by your target audience. The designer will work with the text and graphics to create a design concept, choose or create images to be used in the publication, and will place all of these components into a layout for your review.

Photographs

A large archive of file photographs is available from Photo Services. However, if photos of specific people or scenes are needed for your publication, a list of subjects should be submitted to our office following the preliminary meeting. Your help may be needed in obtaining models or props for use in the photos or in setting up the shots. Please note that scheduling photo shoots will add time to the production schedule.

Getting Your Job to Press

When you review your layout, you will be asked to read the text carefully and to approve the design and any text changes. Remember, modifications to your publication at later stages of production are expensive and can delay completion of your job. Please review all materials promptly and carefully at each step of the production process before giving the final approval to print. You are responsible for the accuracy of your material.

Working Within Your Budget

When your layout is approved, we selectively solicit competitive print bids to keep your costs as low as possible.

Doing Your Part for the Environment

Our office is committed to raising awareness and modeling best practices of sustainability to help our clients select environmentally friendly options for the products we produce. We will recommend papers and materials that are FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) when available and encourage their use. We will be your active partner in implementing strategies to minimize waste and play a leadership role in furthering sustainability goals at the University.

Printing Your Job

After the bid process is completed and we have your approval, your job will be sent to the printer. When the printer has made final preparations for printing, the printer will send us a digital proof of the publication for review. This is your last opportunity to make changes to the publication. Be aware, however, that changes requested at this stage can be costly and can delay delivery of your job and should be avoided. Once a digital proof has been approved, your publication will be printed.

Reaching Your Audience

We can assist you in navigating the various resources on campus for distributing your printed materials, including producing mailing labels and understanding your postage options.

Keeping Your Project on Track

Schedules for different types of jobs vary based upon the complexity of your project. Additional factors including the urgency of your need and our current workload can affect production times.

For reprints of publications produced through our office, be sure to contact us rather than the printer. We archive all of our jobs and can easily update your information and obtain a printing estimate for you.

Please keep in mind that our peak production time is during the late spring and the summer months when the University is preparing for the new academic year. We also realize that rush jobs are sometimes unavoidable, and we will do what we can to accommodate your schedule. But please be aware that rush jobs are vulnerable to errors that would have been caught during a normal production cycle. Please consider allowing a minimum of 2-4 weeks lead time for most jobs with a maximum of two changes.

Project Sequence

  1. Schedule a time to meet with our staff to discuss your publication needs. At that time we will discuss the following:
    • Purpose of piece
    • Audience for piece
    • Delivery date
    • Budget
    • Quantity
    • Distribution
    • Text preparation
    • Photographs/artwork
    • Collateral pieces (envelopes, reply cards, etc.)
    • University Printing Work Order with Purpose Code and authorizing signature
  2. Prepare text using an appropriate word processing program, preferably Microsoft Word. Bring a hard copy of the text to our office when you meet with our staff, and e-mail your file to us as an attachment.
  3. Assist in organizing a photo shoot, if necessary.
  4. Approve hard-copy layout mockup.
  5. Approve final layout proof.
  6. Approve digital proof from printer.
  7. Check quantity and quality of delivered product and inform us immediately of any problems.