The design process

We work in collaboration with Print Services and the Web and Marketing Communication teams to help to coordinate the communication channels available to you so that your messages are delivered as effectively as possible.

For all jobs, big and small, you must fill out the External Relations Project Request Form. Upon receipt of your form we will normally get back to you within five working days to either arrange a meeting with you if necessary, or to give further instructions and a schedule.

What you can expect

Upon receipt of your form we will assess your needs.

When we have done that, referring to other Marketing Communications colleagues if necessary, we will get back to you to arrange an initial meeting as soon as possible. (Straightforward communications won’t necessarily require a meeting and will be moved through to the next stage more quickly.)

Please see our Design Process guide (PDF) for a summary of the process.

First discussion

We’ll talk through your requirements in order to clarify your objectives and to consider options for the design. We will let you know which member of the design team will be allocated your work.

Developing the brief

Following our first discussion, the next task is for you to assemble the written text (copy) and to identify any images you want in your publication. It's normal to go through several drafts of the copy, working with colleagues, before it's finalised. We will be available to discuss ideas with you during this stage of the process and we can help you to commission new photographs if you need them. We would not normally do any design work until you have developed your final brief.

Final brief

At this stage, all the copy has been signed off and you have identified any images you want to use. When we have your final brief, we will formalise everything that was agreed, supplying you with quotes, if required, and a schedule for delivery.

Design and printing

The timescale for your work will vary according to its complexity. However, as a guide you should allow four weeks' design time for a newsletter or brochure and a week for an event poster. On top of this Print Services require five working days to print and deliver to you.

Once we start, you will receive up to three proofs – usually as PDF files – although you can request a hard copy. If you require more than three proofs you will be charged for author’s corrections so it is up to you to ensure that your copy is accurate before you bring it to us. Unless we have agreed otherwise, you can sign off your work via email. Some Departments prefer to sign off a hard copy with one or more signatories.

Following sign-off your designer will carry out further processing of your work, arranging delivery if required, and will ensure that it is archived for future use.

Our charges

Work carried out by our in-house design team is free of charge. There are charges for printing and we can provide you with a quotation before starting your job.

What we expect from you

If deadlines have been agreed we trust that you will have everything ready for us, such as imagery and copy, so that we can start on time. Whilst we appreciate that copy may change during the design process, it’s best if your text is as close to final copy as possible and free of typos and spelling mistakes. To meet your deadline and any quotation we’ve given you we allow for a maximum of three proofs. If you have more than this number we reserve the right to charge for author’s corrections and you could also delay your schedule. In order to avoid this, please try and ensure that your copy is finalised before you give it to us at the start of the job.

When you receive a proof we expect you to turn it around by the agreed date in order that we can keep on track. If you delay, there is a good chance that we may miss your deadline. Be aware that some of the manufacturing processes your work requires are fixed, such as the length of time that printer’s ink takes to dry or the time it takes to make a banner.

Please also allow enough time to thoroughly check your final proof. Alterations at this stage, though occasionally unavoidable, can create extra processing time for us and could delay delivery of your work. Once you have accepted and signed off the final proof your work will be reproduced. We are not responsible for any errors and omissions noticed after this stage.

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Large format posters

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Contact us

For project requests, please complete the form on SharePoint.

For all other enquiries, please contact the External Relations Division by email: or call 0116 223 1756

All staff in the External Relations Division are based in Enkalon House on Regent Road.