Your first step is to determine whether a publication is, in fact, what you need to tell your message. Ask yourself:
- Is there a clear purpose for the piece?
- Can I identify the intended audience?
- Is my message not being carried in any current publication?
If you answer "yes" to all three, then make an appointment with Karen Smallets at 683-3101 for a planning session. In preparation for that meeting you should:
- Complete a publications request form and a "Knowing What You Want" form, both available in fillable PDF format
- If possible, bring sample publications that are similar to what you expect of your finished piece
- Provide a budget figure, including budget code, quantity, delivery location, and date needed
- Include the completed publications request form and the "Knowing What You Want" form with your material.
Telling us you need it "ASAP" does not hasten the project. Projects generally are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you are revising a project previously done through University Publications, simply drop the job by our office or send it to us via
Since not all publications are alike, the time needed to produce them also varies. A one-color flier may be completed in a few weeks; a full-color brochure may take several months from concept through delivery. Generally, you should allow at least eight weeks for the production of a new publication.
While publications can sometimes be produced more quickly, a "rush" schedule may compromise quality and increase production costs.
The text should be submitted on a 3.5-inch diskette, Zip disk or CD-ROM. In addition to the computer file, provide a hard copy of your document on standard white paper. Using Microsoft Word, WordPerfect or similar word-processing program, type your manuscript using an easy-to-read typeface. It is counterproductive to place your manuscript into PageMaker, Quark or another page-composition format.
In typing your manuscript:
- Use underlines only for material you want set in italic type
- Use tabs to form columns, not the space bar
- Indicate all-caps on hard copy, not on the computer file
- Do not add a carriage return (or "enter") at the end of each line
Your manuscript should be double-checked for accuracy before being submitted to us. Run it through a spell-check program on your computer. Make your corrections on the electronic version, not on the printout, which we use only as a back-up copy. Keep in mind that you are ultimately responsible for providing correct information: spelling of names, accuracy of dates and titles, etc.
You will receive a proof(s) to review. Please proofread carefully, checking against your original copy. Make all corrections and alterations clear and visible directly on the proof. Sign and date your proof, returning by the date indicated to stay on schedule.
Once the proofing process is complete and before your job can be printed, we will provide you with information to generate a typed purchase requisition. It requires the "Special Authorization" signature of the director of University Publications.
What Speeds Up a Job?
Good question! In our experience, the jobs that go through the fastest have a few details in common:
- Copy is complete when the job is opened, with no blank spaces to be filled in "at the proof stage." Designers cannot accurately arrange headlines, subheads and photographs/graphic elements when copy length is likely to change.
- All stakeholders and supervisors have already reviewed the copy and given their approval. Sometimes, last-minute surprises-and delays-result when program changes are being planned at the highest level but haven't been widely communicated. You don't want your printed piece to be caught in the middle.
- One or two proofs are sufficient to get the job ready for the printer. If a job requires four proofs (or more!), it generally shows that expectations weren't clear at the beginning or that the client's "homework" wasn't done before getting the Office of Publications involved.
- The blueline is appropriately used as a final checkoff by Publications staff. The cost to make changes rises significantly once a printing company is involved and plates are made of each page of the piece. Changes at this stage add costs to your job, slow down production (it may be taken off the press and another job put in its place) and cancel/ nullify any previous timeline you requested.