Print & Design
The design and creative services team in College Communications is your partner in the creative process.
Our design and marketing professionals collaborate with campus clients to design and purchase print for:
- Digital Graphics
- Premium items (T-shirts, stickers, pens, etc.)
Typical Steps to a Print or Creative Project
The following steps detail what you can expect throughout the life cycle of your project.
Step One: PLAN!
To assure that your project is completed in a timely manner you must plan ahead. Projects are deadline driven and we manage a large volume of work. The sooner you get the job to us the more time we’ll have to develop your project and deliver the finished product on deadline.
Even the least complex projects can take up to four weeks to complete when design, proofs, printing and delivery are factored into the process, so please plan accordingly.
Step Two: SUBMIT A REQUEST
Any department interested in having a piece designed can complete the online Project Request Form.
After submitting the request, a project manager will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the details and to schedule a consultation meeting if necessary. During the meeting, the Design and Creative team will ask several questions—Who is the audience? What is the message? What is the desired outcome? Etc.
You will also be provided with a rough deadline for final, approved text to be submitted to College Communications. Following the initial meeting, the Design and Creative team will develop and propose an approach to your project. The project manager will also follow up with a detailed production schedule that includes time for editing, design, proofing and printing.
Step Three: SEND YOUR FILES
If you are writing new text, please follow the Davidson College Style Guide. For questions that aren’t addressed in the Davidson-specific guide, refer to the Associated Press Stylebook and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. The text should be submitted as one Word file with little or no formatting. Any photos, illustrations or charts should be submitted in a resolution format separate from the Word file. If you require assistance in developing the text for your project, please notify the project manager assigned to your request.
If you’d like your text to be proofed by the editorial team, please let us know during the initial meeting so that step can be built into the production schedule.
When updating an existing publication, please mark the edits on a hard copy and forward to College Communications.
Your project does not begin when the request is submitted, but when final, approved text is received by College Communications.
Step Four: PROOFING IS ESSENTIAL
The proofing process is meant to show the client what their project will look like when it’s printed. At this stage, clients should be checking for factual or typographical errors. The proofing stage is not for rewriting text or suggesting a complete redesign.
The production schedule allows for three proofs or fewer, so check them carefully and make necessary corrections. Proofing can be done via PRF file and/or hard copy. In order to eliminate substantial rewrites, please finalize copy and get all necessary approvals before submitting files to College Communications.
Please make every effort to return the proofs to College Communications as indicated in your production schedule and/or marked on the proof slip.
Step Five: PRINTING
When College Communications has received your sign-off/final approval on a proof, the designer will prepare the design files and send them to print. Changes at this stage are costly to both budget and schedule.
Step Six: DELIVERY
Delivery will be made per your instructions, typically either to campus or a mail house of your choosing. Please keep in mind the time for addressing and mailing when indicating a delivery date on the request.
Project Request Form
Every project starts with the completion of a project request form. The information you provide will help us better serve your current and future publication needs.
When Should I Begin My Project?
Your project timeline depends upon the type of marketing and the size of the audience. As a rule of thumb, you should begin the planning and design process 8-10 weeks prior to the date of your event, and begin promotion 4-6 weeks in advance with increased frequency as the date nears.
Planning plenty of time at the beginning of the job allows for proper preparation, concept development, necessary printing and message distribution across different outlets.