Publications Process


An initial consultation with the publications office is necessary to determine what type of publication will work best for you. You should have an idea of some of the factors involved such as purpose, intended audience, budget, etc. At this stage, the publications office can determine production time and plan where your publication can be most efficiently printed, either off-campus or in the Fast Copy Center.

Copy/Manuscript Preparation

Copy should be computer generated or typewritten (preferably double spaced). Preparing your copy on either a PC or a Mac can speed up the process as it eliminates the need to retype the material. Copy may be sent electronically as an e-mail attachment. Microsoft Word is recommended for universal exchange across platforms. For information on preparing your manuscript or for software compatibility information, contact the university communications office.

The university communications office follows the UW-River Falls Stylebook and the Associated Press Stylebook. This publication contains a list of commonly used style rules compiled from the above sources. The UWRF Stylebook, prepared by the university communications office, contains style elements specific to the university and should be considered as a first reference. A copy of the UWRF Stylebook is available online. The AP Stylebook can be purchased in the University Bookstore.

Writing and Editing

The publications office provides writing and editing services upon request. Contact the publications office for help in writing off-campus publications allowing additional time for this service.


For most publications, you may contact the art director to set up an appointment to discuss design and to determine a schedule. The art director will provide you with ideas to promote your program, service or event in the most appropriate manner within your budget. Photography, artwork and paper are discussed at this stage, and the publications staff can work with you and the university’s photographer to arrange special photography. (A fee may be charged through the photographer’s office.)

If requested, the art director will provide you with rough designs (pencil sketches or computer comps) of your publication to give you an idea of how the finished piece will look. Actual layout begins only after all elements of the publication are received and typesetting is completed.

Typesetting/Desktop Publishing

If your publication has extensive text, you will be asked to proof the copy after it has been typed and before it is sent to layout. It is more efficient to make corrections at this point.

The publications office has available books and manuals on basic design techniques for desktop publishing. Design consultation for desktop publishing is available to help you prepare an attractive publication. For those preparing off-campus publications using desktop publishing, check the university’s off-campus publications policy.

The publications office primarily uses Macintosh computers and current software packages designed for professional results. It is our goal that high-profile publications used for recruiting and/or for distribution off campus will be produced at the highest quality possible to maintain a professional printed image for the university. This quality will also be achieved through the use of the university’s contract printers, a service bureau, or the Fast Copy Center. Processing your computer file directly to a networked printer is also possible. Check with the university communications office for details and instructions in using this service.


After typesetting is complete, the job is sent to layout. The art director and design staff implement the design and assemble all elements including typesetting, photographs and art work. It is important to have the copy prepared as accurately as possible when it is initially delivered to avoid unnecessary design adjustments.

This stage allows the designers to complete the layout for proofing. This stage also includes indication of color, photo positioning, identifying complex printer instructions, etc.


Before your publication is sent to press, you will be asked to proof the text and other elements. The proofing process offers you another chance to look over your publication to ensure that all desired elements are in place before it is printed. At this point, any loose ends can be tied up (e.g., account to be charged, quantity, etc.).

The client is responsible for detecting errors on the proof. The publications office is not responsible for errors if the client has failed to return proofs with indication of changes, has instructed us to proceed without submission of proofs, or if changes are communicated verbally. If more than one proof is furnished, corrections must be marked on all proofs.


After the initial consultation, cost estimates for your publication can be made. Cost for printing can be most accurately determined after layout is complete. Elements needed for pricing include quantity, paper type and size, number of pages, number of ink colors, and folding or binding requirements.

Off-Campus Printing

If your publication requires very high print quality, special paper, if it is a large run, or if it is a large size or many-paged job, printing may be done under state contracts. For most jobs the publications office utilizes a local service contract printer and printing can be done within 8 to 10 working days. Other specialty publications or books are sent to various contractors in Wisconsin and require more printing time.

When a job cannot be done on campus and does not fall into the contract categories, it must be bid. Examples are those jobs which are very complicated, have several pieces which must be color-matched, process-color (four-color or full-color) books and labels or decals. Writing specifications for bid jobs and the bidding process will take additional time, anywhere from 5 to 15 additional days.

The printing order form used by the Fast Copy Center may be used for all printing requests, both those done in-house and those sent to off-campus print vendors. The publications office art director and the printing technician will review all requests to determine the optimal printing method.

After you have received the printed product, report any printer mistakes (e.g., wrong ink color) as soon as possible to the publications office. If the job is delivered late (more than one or two days late), contact the publications office immediately. If you receive the invoice, disk, or the artwork for the job, forward it to the publications office. Your jobs are stored there for future use. Auditing of invoices is done in the publications office and any problems with printing jobs are negotiated with the printer by the publications office. The publications office handles all contacts with the printer.

Fast Copy Center

Jobs to be printed in Fast Copy require a Fast Copy order form, signed by the person ordering. This form is available from the center or online at Publications or Fast Copy personnel will assist you in choosing paper (available in Fast Copy) and other appropriate instructions relative to the Fast Copy Center (e.g., bindery, cutting, folding, etc.). Fast Copy charges will be billed to your account.

As it is the goal of the Fast Copy Center to produce printing in a rapid fashion, your printing will be done in two to five days depending on prior workload and complexity of the printing and binding operations. Completed jobs can be delivered to the location indicated on the order form.

Contact Us

University Communications
and Marketing

M-F, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
120 North Hall