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Tips for Working With Us

 

Production Process

All projects, no matter how small, need to be placed in our production schedule well in advance. Contact the manager to discuss your publication needs at the beginning of each fiscal year. Please follow these steps to ensure a smooth production process:

1. When you are ready to begin a large project or a new publication (one we haven’t done for you in the past), fill out our Visual Communications request form and our Creative Brief form. These forms can be found on the intranet and our web pages or requested from us via email visualcommunications@tcc.edu

The Visual Communications request form asks for general information about your project. This form must include your Provost’s or VP’s approval. Once we receive the request form, we will place you on our production schedule and send you a confirming email.

Be prepared to provide:
Format of your printed publication
Number of copies needed
Special instructions
Time constraints
Budget expectations
Copy or outline for copy
Photographs or design elements you would like in the publication

The Creative Brief is more of a questionnaire than a form. Any graphic design project needs a detailed design brief. The brief serves as the project preserver. It ensures the client knows exactly what s/he wants to achieve from the project. It acts as a point of reference for designers, forming the focus of their work. This means less time (and money) is spent on the result. It comes down to this: The more information a client provides from the outset, the more value they will receive from the graphic design team.

If you would like us to update and reprint a publication we’ve done in the past, simply submit the a copy of the project with your Visual Communications request form. We will contact you with any questions or to set up a meeting if necessary.

At the beginning of each fiscal year, we create a schedule of publication projects for all of TCC for the year. We expect that you will plan your projects ahead so that they can be included on our annual calendar. Any projects added late or outside of the time constraints listed are disruptive to our other clients who have scheduled their work in advance.

2. We will design your publication, and you will approve the design once it is complete. We realize that good design is a blend between graphics and words. We will work with you to assure that there is a good relationship between both. You will be able to review the design and text and make any necessary alterations. Such alterations include correcting any typographical errors and identifying minor design changes.

3. If any changes need to be made, you will see the piece again to approve the final product before we send it to the printer. Visual Communications cannot be held responsible for errors or inaccurate information that appear in the publication once it has been approved by the authorized party.

 

Tips

Understand that designers are not mind readers; communicate clearly what you want from us. Set expectations up-front: Both the client and designer need to let the other know what they expect as far as materials, deadlines and communication.

Before bringing your project to Visual Communications, have your plan ready. No design or print material can save a project that is not well thought out or managed properly.

Understand your product or service and be able to explain it clearly. It definitely helps the designer if you clarify exactly what (a flyer, poster, brochure, etc.) the design will be developed for. Knowing this ahead of time can prevent any future misunderstandings, ineffective design or production problems.

Communicate with the designer, don’t dictate. If you have questions or concerns, voice them, and return the favor of listening.

Don’t try to design for the designer; you came to us for our knowledge and talent. Let us utilize that to design the best product possible. Of course the designer should also take your opinions into consideration, but remember, we are the experts. Our design team has, collectively, over 100 years of experience in the business—trust us, we know what we’re doing.