REMEMBER: Design services have required lead times:
Time estimates shown below are
- Single-sheet flyers or handouts (2 weeks)
- Brochures (3-4 weeks)
- Direct mail and postcards (3 weeks)
- Posters, banners or large format signage (2 weeks)
- Print ads (2 weeks)
- Event programs or other event materials (3-4 weeks)
- Special projects (subject to production availability)
DDCE Communications Group: Project Blueprint
Use this questionnaire as a guide for making a project “blueprint”. Many of these questions will be addressed when meeting with members of the Communications Team prior to the beginning of your project.
Considered the amount of time it will take for the project to be developed, designed, routed for review and corrections, approved, and released to the printer. (This process can take 2 – 8 weeks) Once released, consider the time required by the printer to produce and deliver the finished work. (Usually 5-10 days) Don’t forget to schedule time for mailing or distribution. Deadlines should be clear and realistic. Any disruption to the schedule can delay your final delivery date.
- Has adequate time been scheduled to allow for copywriting, design development, production, routing and approval, proofreading, printing, delivery and distribution?
- When are the finished materials due? Where will they be delivered? Who will handle mailing or distribution?
Audience and Message:
- Who is the primary target audience for this communication (students, alumni, UT Austin, etc.) and what is the best method to reach them? (brochure, direct mail, email, social media, etc.)
- Is there a clear idea of ALL elements necessary to communicate the message? (save-the-date postcard, invite, poster, flyers, etc.) If your project involves an actual event have you considered promotional or commemorative items like tee shirts, cups, mugs, koozies, and other give-aways?
- Has the message and the concept been discussed and approved by all persons or committees associated with the project? Who will have final sign-off on content, design, and budget?
Content and Photography:
Content is all the approved copy and other information to be included on your completed product. It is not simply a list of things to be included.
- Is all editorial content final, approved, and ready for placement? Once the design process is underway major copyedits can disrupt the project. Verification of dates, room numbers, contact info, and similar information will save valuable time during the routing process. Proofreading, by more than one person, is highly recommended.
- If photography is required for the project, who will provide suitable, high-resolution imagery? Who will have final approval of photographic content and usage? Remember that in some cases permission is required for photographic usage.
Budget and Print Management:
A note about cost estimates and print bids: Generally, it is the responsibility of the office or division who will be purchasing the final product to request and obtain estimates from qualified printers and other vendors. The communications team will assist in creating print bids and recommend qualified printers and vendors, but it is the responsibility of the buyer to manage costs. The communications team will oversee the print management. (specifying inks, paper, routing final proofs, press checks, etc.)
- Has the budget been approved and will it cover all aspects of the project? Don’t forget postal costs for direct mail pieces.