Publications Guidelines

Guidelines for Submitting Publications and Design Projects

The Creative Services team handles a high volume of work. As such, certain criteria need to be met before any job is undertaken.


Creative Services Work Request

This request form is the gateway to beginning any project with the UMW team of editors and designers. Whether you are looking to start from scratch, edit a previously designed project, or reprint a document without any changes, submitting a Creative Services Work Request is the place to start!


A UMW contact person must be listed for each project. The Creative Services Office will not accept requests from individuals who have no official University affiliation. Student requests for services must include a faculty or staff contact, and may or may not be accepted.


Edited Copy

The design process cannot begin until all text has been finalized. Making substantial editorial changes during page production can cause extreme delays in the completion of the project. Finalized text should conform to University style guidelines. That can be accomplished by sending text, in a Microsoft Word document, to the University’s Director of Publications, Neva Trenis ( If copy is primarily for internal audiences, it should not be sent to Editorial Services, but should be circulated within the client’s office so that several sets of eyes review it for accuracy.

All Images, Logos, etc.

Submit hard copy of photos or digital images in tif, eps, or jpg file format. We require digital photo files to be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). If your images are at 72dpi or lower, we cannot use them as they will print poorly and produce a substandard publication. Images taken from the web generally do not reproduce well and cannot be used. Also, we cannot extract images from Word files. Neither can we use copyrighted images without express written permission. All permissions to use images must be secured by the client before they are submitted to the designers. NOTE: Please ask Design Services in advance about how to determine which images will print well. Questions and concerns about images are encouraged.

A Consultation

For new projects, a consultation is usually necessary. This can be arranged by contacting Kathy Johnson, Design Services Office and Production Manager at x1932 or

At that initial meeting, clients should be able to provide information about the following:

  • size and nature of target audience
  • need for and goal of the publication
  • intended distribution method
  • desired delivery date
  • budget and funding source
  • samples of previous publications
  • preliminary text in a Microsoft Word document
  • images or sketches to be used in publication


A production timeline will be developed listing dates for the following:

  • initial design proof to client (In some cases, to avoid misplaced investment of time and resources, a preliminary draft will be submitted to clients prior to delivery of Proof #1.)
  • specifications to printer or purchasing for price quotes
  • final proof to editor/client
  • bid awarded
  • final art to printer
  • printer’s proofs approved by client
  • delivery

Any questions or concerns about the timeline should be addressed at the outset of the project. Also, the client who will actually sign off on the project MUST be involved in the initial planning and conceptualizing stages.


Creative Services makes every effort to work with clients in meeting deadlines. However, advance planning and ample lead time are vital to the successful completion of a project.

Design Services will provide as many as three proofs at no charge to the client. Beyond that, print deadlines will be affected, and additional charges may accrue. For this reason, it is ESSENTIAL that all parties involved in production of a piece have an opportunity to weigh in on the initial proof.
Here is our expectation of the proofing process:

Proof #1

Should be close to what the client visualized. Review of this proof should focus on how the text and graphics meld and on any issues related to font and type size. All grammatical, stylistic, and design concerns should be addressed on this proof.

Proof #2

Should be 99 percent complete. Review of this proof should amount to minor adjustments.

Proof #3

Should be print ready.

This proofing schedule is necessary for the Office of Creative Services to keep pace with the large demand for its services. The most common reason for violation of this schedule is improper advance planning. Adherence to the above guidelines will prevent nearly all needs for additional proofing beyond the standard three-proof process. Finally, requiring additional proofs for your project will automatically create a backup in the carefully scheduled Creative Services Office workflow, forcing the staff to delay other vital projects.

Clients are required to approve all projects handled by the Creative Services Office by signing the final proof. The Creative Services Office is not responsible for errors on an approved proof.

Because branding is critically important to the University, any publication disseminated off campus must bear the official University of Mary Washington logo. Guidelines for correct usage can be found online by accessing the University Identity Standards manual. The publication-ready logo can be obtained only through the Office of Design Services. The request form can be found here on our site. The official University logo may not be modified or distorted in any way.

Any questions about publications should be directed to Neva Trenis, Director of Publications, at x1686, or