Graphics and Fine Printing
Quick reference notes:
- Standard turnaround time is 1 week for printing, and 2-3 weeks for design. Complex projects take longer.
- Please use the Request Form for Design and Fine Printing if you need a project.
- Keep in mind that you are responsible for quality control (typos, dates, correct and complete information) on all projects.
- We are not able to print department newsletters or other internally-created materials.
- Read below to learn about projects, priorities, and other info.
Graphics Center and Print Shop
The Graphics Center is part of the Marketing and Communications department. The Print Shop is in the basement of the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center (F). The Center is a lean operation with 1 print technician and 2 graphic designers who also manage projects.
Our services and priorities
The Graphics Center supports the College's strategic priorities for student recruitment and retention, teaching, and learning. At this time, most of our services are provided at no charge. Due to the small size of our staff, the cost of materials and equipment, and the need to focus primarily on student recruitment and retention, there are projects we are not able to design or print.
We accept project requests that:
- Directly and specifically align with our top priorities of supporting enrollment,
- We can produce at reasonable cost,
- We can accommodate within our workflow. Our workflow varies, and becomes very heavy at different times of the year (March-April, and August-November in particular).
The decision of whether or not we can produce any given project resides solely within our office. For projects we are able to accept, we will do our best to assist you within a reasonable timeline, as detailed below.
NOTE: All project requests require pre-approval by the VP for Marketing and Communications. Save time: Please do not send design or print requests to Graphics until you have contacted the VP Marcom to find out whether we are able to take on your project.
We are no longer able to print department and organization newsletters. We recommend that you distribute these newsletters through digital channels, including the HFC website (send requests to email@example.com) and social media channels. If you still want printed copies, you may use the walk-up copiers on campus, or contract with an external provider such as FedEx Kinko's.
If we are unable to help you, we will refer you to outside sources if you have funds in your budget for outside sourcing.
Also, though most of our services are provided without cost to departments, you will need to fund textbooks and similar course materials. These are produced to be sold in the bookstore. If you request specialized materials, or if our print shop cannot handle your printing request due to timing, size, format, or other specifications, you will need to fund any external services required from outside suppliers.
Some of our services include:
- High-speed copying (if you are unable to use the self-service copiers on campus)
- Program booklets
- Mail-merge fulfillment (you must supply a clean, properly formatted mailing list)
- Fast Facts book
- Display materials
- Textbooks (limited service)
- Web graphics (limited service)
- Illustration (limited service)
- HFC Big Desk Calendar (annual service)
- The Center also provides, in limited quantities, business cards, stationery, and creation of official HFC logos for HFC departments and units.
All final decisions on design will be made by our professional graphic designers, in consultation with the VP of Marketing and Communications as needed.
Requesting help and submitting projects
If you are seeking graphic design and fine printing services, begin by verifying the need to produce this material in reference to the College's strategic plan, and in consultation with your divisional vice president.
If your project is complex (e.g. more than a simple postcard or single-page flyer), please set up appointment with one of our graphic designers or the VP of marketing and communications prior to submitting a new project request. This will aid in setting expectations and establishing whether your job is one that can be handled by the Graphics Center.
You will need to provide all necessary source material for any projects you request. This includes all written content, and all photographic content except in cases where our designers agree to obtain or create appropriate photos/images for your project. Verbal content must be professionally written and appropriate to the material requested (for example, a tri-fold brochure can contain only a brief amount of verbiage, so your writing must be optimized for that delivery model). Send all copy with new projects by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your copy must be carefully proofread and free from punctuation inconsistencies, grammatical problems, spelling errors, and stylistic flaws. Please segment your copy with headings and subheadings, if applicable. You may also indicate requests to designers if you wish.
Please be thoughtful and efficient in your requests. Do not ask us to produce more copies of materials than you will actually use. If you do have extra copies or expired materials, please recycle!
PLEASE NOTE: You will be responsible for final content approval. You must submit accurate and complete content, free of grammatical errors and stylistic problems. Our designers do a basic proof of material sent out for review, but the responsibility to make sure content is accurate and correct remains yours. (We will not re-print materials that contain errors that were not caught during production. If you require a reprint, we will ask your department to fund the cost of our materials and labor, plus 10%.)
- Timelines are not guaranteed. Please plan ahead. Depending on our workload, we might need significant time to work on your project.
A) For complex projects requiring custom design work: If our workload is reasonable, we might be able to complete your project in up to three weeks. This may not include the time required to provide proofs and make any changes you might request. We advise you to plan up to two months for time-sensitive projects, though we can often get them done more quickly.
B) For simpler projects or print-only requests that we are able to accept: One week turnaround is standard, unless we tell you we need more time.
C) All requests for turnaround times that are faster than our normal turnaround must be pre-approved by the VP for marketing and communications. You will need to agree to reimburse our office for any and all overtime costs necessitated by your request for accelerated timelines. We will estimate the number of OT hours in advance, and will request your approval before exceeding our estimated OT hours for your project.
Note: if you need advertisements for magazines, programs, conference proceedings, etc., you will need to schedule a pre-production meeting no less than three weeks prior to the deadline for the advertisement. For paid advertising, you will need to provide the funds, and manage placement of the ad. We can provide design services, but we cannot manage projects that are produced or placed outside our office.
Working with freelancers / outside designers and suppliers
Because the Graphics Center has right of first refusal for all design and print jobs, you should always start new jobs by requesting help from our graphics team.
If we are unable to help you, or your project is not aligned with our strategic priorities, we will notify you in a timely way. We might suggest you work with a freelance designer if you still want to move forward with your project. We can make a recommendation, or you may choose your own freelancer who can work within HFC guidelines. It will be your responsibility to work with HFC Purchasing to establish any necessary contracts and payment structures, and you will be responsible for all costs associated with freelance services.
Important stipulations about working with freelancers
Any freelancers with whom you work must take full responsibility for appropriate uses of HFC logos and identity standards, official colors, and all other graphic design standards we specify.
All work completed by freelancers using the HFC name and brand must be approved by the Graphics Center prior to production or distribution of any kind (including digital files, websites, blogs, social media, etc).
In some limited circumstances, our print shop will be able to print projects that are designed by freelance designers. Such projects will need to be aligned with the College's strategic priorities and must be pre-approved for printing in our print shop.
If you want our print shop to print your freelance job, have your designer talk to us first! This will save you money and time. All files provided to us by your freelance designer must be produced according to our standard printing specifications, including such elements as standard page sizes and signatures, printer's spreads, bleeds, etc. Your designer must submit fully print-ready PDF files AND all editable source files required for your project, or we will not be able to print the job. Any and all time or costs required for your designer to bring files into compliance with our standards will be your responsibility.
If we are unable to print jobs designed by freelancers, you will need to work with an external printer and pay for any external printing you choose. You will need to work with Purchasing to obtain a P.O. and/or to bid your job.
All web projects are handled by the web team. Submit all web project requests to WebAdmin.
email@example.com or 313-317-6800.