DeSales University has many voices and messages, and there is a need to communicate them clearly, concisely, and persuasively. One method of communication is through publications. The success of any publication depends on one thing-communication of the message.This is accomplished through engaging text, as well as good design. Design is not merely an appendage to the words but a fundamental part of the communications process. Just as in speech, the use of intonation, stress and volume can give different meanings to different words, effective design can have a similar effect.
DeSales University has made a commitment to produce publications that are effective and truly represent the caliber of a university. This guide will present the role of the publications office, which is part of the University's Office of Institutional Advancement, detail the help available to members of the campus community who are producing publications, and review the protocol for the development of all campus publications.
For the purposes of DeSales University, a publication is any hard copy document that is produced for an external audience that contains the identity of DeSales University. Examples include, but are not limited to: brochures, newsletters, fliers, postcards, posters, invitations, and catalogs. Also, any item that contains the DeSales University logo-all stationery items, parking stickers, signage, carpets, giveaways, retail items, etc.-falls under the purview of the publications office.
The publications office is here to help. In planning your publications, we can:
- Help you define your audience and suggest ideas to most effectively communicate with that audience
- Help you determine if your publication can be assigned to an outside freelance designer or if it can be designed in house
- Help you choose an outside vendor
- Help you choose paper stock, paper colors, ink colors, type faces and styles, and art based on the requirements of your particular project, campus graphic standards, price, and availability
- Determine specifications to stay within your budget provide photo advice, choose a photographer, and provide some general campus photos
- Design your publication conforming to the graphic standards of DeSales University;
- Obtain an estimate of the cost from a printer
- edit your copy to ensure readability and conformity with University style;
- Develop a schedule
- oversee the production of your publication, acting as a liaison between you and a printer;
- Check proofs
- Review the finished product to ensure that the requirements have been accomplished
If you decide to produce a publication yourself, it is still in your best interest to consult with the Publications Office in the planning stages of the publication. In discussing your project, you may learn some tips that will save you frustration and money. Working with the publications office early can also save time. If a publication does not meet the University standards, changes will be made regardless of the stage of the project.Talking with the publications office will eliminate the waste of time recreating publications, and eliminate the cost of reprinting a publication if it does not meet University guidelines.
- Keep it simple. A well-designed publication communicates quickly and clearly
- Limit the number of fonts in one publication-generally two. For emphasis, use bold or italic or a larger size-not an additional font.
- Start with a grid. Divide your page into columns of equal width and make sure that your rows of text and photos fall within that grid.
- Help the reader know what is most important-what should be read first-by making it bigger, bolder, more prominent than the other elements on the page. Not all stories, not all photos, should be the same size.
- Don't be afraid of white space-use it as you would any other visual element. Don't feel that you have to fill every bit of space on the page. Make sure white space falls on the outside edges of the page and isn't trapped in the middle by text or photos. Used effectively, white space can help the reader and draw attention to important elements.
- Make sure that the type of publication you choose matches the amount of content you have to communicate. For example, instead of trying to fit a large amount of copy into a three-panel brochure, a four-panel brochure would accommodate the copy and give you more white space. Talk with the publications office to learn what your options are.
- Make sure the type of publication you are producing matches your audience. For example, a publication aimed toward local business people would be ill served by garish colors and cutesy clip art.
- Use standard brochure sizes and folds and standard envelope sizes to keep costs down. Consult with the publications office for options.
- Do not replace the typeface in the DeSales University logo. It is original art and cannot be matched.
- The Post Office is a valuable resource. If you are producing publications that require mailing or return mail, learn the proper way to design the mailing portion--barcode placement, "Address Service Requested," and the correct permits. Consult the Publications Office or visit the Post Office's website at www.usps.gov.
Regardless of the manner in which your publications are produced, all materials must be approved by the publications office prior to printing. Publications that require approval include materials prepared for external distribution as well as any item with the DeSales University logo.
Printed items, brochures and other publications that do not meet DeSales University standards will be redone at the expense of the department that created them. Avoid this by working with the Publications Office from the beginning-at the moment you've decided that your message needs a medium.