Design process

Although each project is unique and some can require custom steps or timelines, our office strives to maintain a consistent and high-quality approach to every project we produce. Read more about our design process to understand each stage in the life cycle of your production as it travels from conception to completion. If your project requires additional steps, our office will work with you directly to accommodate them within the design process.

1. Production and setup

This first stage of the project serves as a foundation for the remainder of the creative process. During this stage, the Marketing Services staff will field your initial project request and work with you to develop the overall approach, goals, content and cost for your final product. This step may include collaboration with our creative team when needed.

2. Content and editing

After your project has been developed and submitted, our writing and editing team will work to develop content based on your project outline and goals. This stage may include a combination of custom content developed by our office and content provided by you and your campus unit. Text will be edited for grammar, accuracy and university style. The client is responsible for the accuracy of the content — event dates and locations, phone numbers, the spelling of names, statistical data, program information — and DCM is responsible for the accuracy of syntax, including grammar, spelling and consistency.

3. Design and development

This stage encompasses the creation of the first draft, utilizing the content that has been developed and the notes/guidance provided during the production and setup stage. We will also review your project and ensure it aligns with university brand standards. In addition to design, this step may include activities such as more extensive concept development, creative research, photo shoots, asset gathering and other activities based on the specific needs of the project.

4. Proofing and revisions

Once the initial draft of your project has been developed and approved by our office, we will present the first proof for your review. Our design process timeline allow for two proofs for client review/changes and one final proof for ultimate approval. The final proof will be your sign-off for the project. Any proofs requested beyond this standard are subject to a potential $250 charge per proof and may require an adjustment to the project timeline.

At each proofing stage, you should gather feedback from all project stakeholders and submit any feedback or changes to your client manager, who will then organize and submit them to the design team. All significant changes or alterations to the project should occur during the first two rounds of review. Once the final proof has been provided to you for ultimate approval, the only changes should be for accuracy, such as spelling and grammar. Significant stylistic or content changes at this stage may result in a delayed delivery date.

5. Printing and delivery

Once you have fully approved your final project, our office will prepare the final files and work with University Printing or the specified external vendor to create your final product. Timelines for printing can vary based on quantity and project complexity. Our office will work with you to review these factors and provide you with a delivery estimate as early as possible.

At the end of this stage, you will receive printed materials and/or final designs suitable for digital use. DCM maintains an archive of native design files for all projects on our servers for future use. We do not provide native design files or other licensed items as deliverables.