Project Checklist

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. Even the least complex projects can take up to four weeks to complete when design, proofs, printing and delivery are factored into the process.

Step Two: Submit a Request

Any department interested in having a piece designed can complete the online Project Request Form.

After submitting a request, the project manager will contact you within 48 hours to discuss the details and to schedule a consultation meeting if one is necessary.

You will also be provided with a rough deadline for final, approved text to be submitted to College Communications. Following the initial meeting, the art director 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 text editing, design, proofing and printing.

Your project begins when final, approved text is received by College Communications, not when the request is submitted.

Step Three: Send Your Files

Submitting Text

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 a single Word file with little or no formatting.

  • Submit only approved and finalized text for design.
  • Text should be single-spaced and formatting other than paragraph and/or section breaks is unnecessary.
  • Use one space after a period.
  • Use upper and lower case, not all caps.
  • Include text for all materials needed (headers, captions, sponsors, Web and social media addresses, contact information, return addresses, reply card text, etc.).
  • If you are revising or making only minor edits to an existing publication, please mark the edits on a hard copy and forward to College Communications via campus mail or a scanned version via email. If major edits are required, submit a Word document with the new text.

Any photos, illustrations or charts should be submitted as separate high-resolution files, typically 300 DPI.

Step Four: Production

Our production follows the following schedule once we have received your files and your text has been approved.


Design Time

Printing Time

Postcard 1-2 weeks 1 week
Program (text flowed into existing template) 1-2 weeks 1-2 weeks
Program (new design) 1-3 weeks 1-2 weeks
Existing Project Revision (small changes to text or photos) 1-3 weeks 1-3 weeks
Poster design 1-2 weeks 2-3 days
Newsletter 2-4 weeks 1-2 weeks
Brochure 3-4 weeks 1-3 weeks
View books, annual reports

6-8 weeks 

(some may

2-3 weeks
Invitation Package 2-3 weeks 1-2 weeks
Banners 1-2 weeks 1-2 weeks
on vendor)

These production timelines assume final, approved text is submitted to College Communications on the requested due date, prompt review and proofreading by the client when notified, as well as final approval in one or two days. A longer approval time will add to the production timeline. That time cannot be made up by the designer or printer.

During peak months (June-September), additional time may be needed to complete projects. Conversely, College Communications may be able to accommodate requests with shorter production times during slower periods.

Step Five: Proofing

The proofing process is meant to illustrate what your project will look like when it’s printed. During this process, you will check for factual, typographical or visual errors, rather than making major text revisions or requesting new design concepts. In order to eliminate substantial rewrites, please finalize copy and have all necessary approvals before submitting files to College Communications.

The production schedule allows for three proofs or fewer, please check each version carefully and entirely, making only the necessary corrections. Proofing can be done via PDF file and/or hard copy. 

Please make every effort to return the proofs to College Communications as indicated in your production schedule.

Step Six: 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 Seven: Delivery

Delivery will be made per your instructions, typically either to campus or a mail house of your choosing. When indicating a delivery date for your project, please keep in mind the time required for addressing and mailing.

Make a Project Request

If you have reviewed our Project Checklist, and are ready to place a request, complete our form.