The Publication Process

Before your project is designed, determine the quantity and quality of the project you wish to have.
  • One color is the least expensive
  • The larger the quantity, the lower the unit cost. Roughly 75 percent of the cost is for press set-up.
  • Be aware of mailing regulations—odd sized pieces will cost more to mail. Check with Dan Quirion or Louis Huard (ext. 4050) in the mailroom to be sure.
  • The industry standard for printing colors is the Pantone™ (PMS) system. Each color you choose will add to the cost of the job. If your job contains photos that you would like in full color, that is considered 4-color process and can be costly. In general, the more colors you have, the more expensive your unit cost will be—especially in lower quantities.
  • Paper choices vary in texture, color, and price and can run up the cost quickly. Vendors can work with you to find a paper that is right for your job and budget.
  • If you use scanned images for a print job, they need to be at least 300 dpi TIFF images at the size they are to be reproduced. They may require enhancement (contrast adjustment, removal of scratches, etc.) before printing, which will add to the cost. It is best to not resize images after scanning.
  • Do not take images from the Web for use in printed publications. In addition to copyright issues, it is highly likely that these images are only 72 dpi, which will result in a pixelated photo when printed. 
  • Photocopying is substantially less expensive than traditional offset printing. See the list of printers and copy centers for more information.
As an aid in planning your publication, we can provide a general list of costs versus quantities for certain projects. If you need help selecting colors and/or paper, please contact Communications at ext. 4355 to set up an appointment.
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Design Terms
Here are some design terms that may be helpful as you plan your printing job:

Production
In addition to design, production is the work necessary (e.g. scanning, page transposition, etc.) to get your job from the designer to the printer for delivery of a finished product. The more production your job needs, the more time your job will take. 

Offset Printing
Traditional printing. Involves presses, plates, and mixing of inks to print on paper.

Digital Printing
Printing from disk directly to paper. Can be Docutech (duplication from disk to paper), Fiery (full-color copies or disk to full-color computer printing), Digital Press (computer printing), or direct to press (printing from disk to offset press).

Photocopying
Unlike offset printing and digital printing, photocopying involves the use of an original paper document that is simply copied. Detail is lost in each generation of the copy from the original. If you have an electronic file with scanned photos or shaded areas in your document you will want to use a service like SBS/Carbon Copy to go from disk to finished product.