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Communications &

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Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/328-2855 (fax)
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Procedures for Using a Freelance Designer

  1. The department’s budget coordinator should complete a purchase requisition for the publication if the publication will be printed off campus.
  2. Copy for the publication should be written and submitted to University Communications and Marketing for review. Copy is edited in accordance with the Winthrop University Style Guide. In the case of minor copy updates, only updated copy needs to be submitted.
  3. The freelance designer should determine photography needs. Existing photographs taken by the university photographer are available digitally in the Office of University Communications and Marketing. The freelance designer can contact the Publications and Printing Director for more information.
  4. The freelance designer should layout the publication to determine specifics such as size, number of pages and folds.
  5. If the publication will be printed off campus, the freelance designer should complete a specs sheet and submit it to Purchasing electronically.  The specs sheet tells the printer all about the job: the type of paper and number of pages, the number and color of inks, the size of the finished job, the type of folds and bindery, and, most importantly, the copy ready date. An accurate copy-ready date helps the printer schedule your job for time on press. The specs sheet also provides important contact information in case the printer has any questions once they receive the job.  The printer will also use the contact information to send blueline printer proofs to the freelance designer.

    Many projects are updated from the previous year.  In this case, the specs sheet could be very similar to the previous year’s specs sheet, but the specs sheet should be reviewed and copy-ready date must be updated before sending the specs sheet to Purchasing.

    Typically, when a freelance designer is handling a job, he or she completes the specs sheet on his or her own.  University Communications and Marketing can review a specs sheet to check for completion.

    **The specs sheet needs to be submitted to Purchasing at least 2 weeks before the copy ready date.

  6. The freelance designer designs the publication.  The finished design must correspond with the specifications listed on the specs sheet.  University Communications and Marketing is available at any time during the design process for consultation or review of design. Especially with new publications, it is helpful to obtain early design approval instead of waiting until the end of the production process.

  7. The freelance designer submits the design and copy to University Communications and Marketing for review of visual identity and a final review of copy. Please allow time for the review of materials, as well as time for the freelance designer to make the suggested changes. 

  8. The freelance designer makes any necessary changes and sends the file to the printer.  The file can either be transferred electronically through an FTP site or burned to a CD and shipped overnight. If Printing Services will be printing the piece, a printing request form will need to be completed and submitted along with the file.

  9. The printer’s blueline proofs will come to the attention of the freelance designer.  The proofs should be reviewed immediately, and any necessary changes should be noted.  The blueline proof should be returned to the printer the same day, if possible.

When using a freelance designer, University Communications and Marketing's role is limited to the approval of properly completed specs sheets, design and copy as well as general consultation.

As good business practice dictates, freelance designers should sign and date a contract verifying their understanding that, upon completion, all work will become the intellectual property of the university and that no further royalties will ensue. In doing so, the university is protected from any misunderstandings, which could otherwise arise concerning royalties or accessibility to artwork the student or freelance designer has created. Ultimately this supports the university’s effort to maintain a certain caliber of work and empowers the designer to consider university requirements in establishing contract terms.

Equally as important is getting all freelance artwork on disk for future use or reference. Having a print-quality digital file of the project will enable the design to be amended by others (e.g. date changes, etc.) if the designer is no longer available and a revision/reprint is desired. Therefore, two digital copies of the final art should be provided upon completion of the project – one copy for departmental reference and one copy to be forwarded to the university’s art director in University Communications and Marketing. The latter should include compilation art, all fonts, and all high-resolution photos and graphics required for final printing.

 Learn how to prepare a Winthrop University publication.


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Last updated: Sept. 2011

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