Design and print

The University has approved suppliers for design and creative work, to supplement in-house design teams, who work mainly on corporate or specific services’ publications and materials.

Working with a supplier

If you’re buying in design or creative services, you must use one of our approved companies (from the creative, design and video supplier framework).

View all creative, design and video framework suppliers.

Make sure you keep all the quotes and emails for audit purposes. For repeat work you will need to contact your local purchasing team.

Not sure if the service you want is covered? Contact Comms Production to discuss.

Finding a supplier

Contact Comms Production and tell us about your job. We’ll then advise you on the best suppliers for your project and next steps. Read advice about briefing suppliers further down this page .

Coming soon! A supplier briefing tool which will capture the requirements of your project, produce a brief and send it to the relevant approved suppliers.

The cost of your job determines our approach:

  • Up to £2,000 (excluding VAT) – you can choose which approved supplier to approach.
  • £2,001–£25,000 (excluding VAT) – all relevant approved suppliers must have the chance to pitch for your job. Contact Comms Production to discuss your requirements. We’ll advise on the appropriate supplier(s) and agree whether you or we will approach them.
  • More than £25,001 (excluding VAT) – your job must legally go through a different tendering process. Contact Ben Waters in Purchasing.

What happens next?

For jobs up to £25,000 (excluding VAT), as above – suppliers will respond to you directly. If any suppliers do not respond by your deadline, assume they do not want to pitch.

Queries or advice?

Contact Comms Production – we’re happy to help.

To make sure they’re the best possible quality, all digital assets, videos, leaflets, flyers and other printed materials should be professionally designed by one of our in-house team or one of our external agreed suppliers and meet the University’s  Identity Management Guidelines

All printed materials must also contain the University legal disclaimer.

Read our guide to working with print designers.

Before commissioning work

Colleagues in communications and marketing can help you think through the following:
• what you are trying to achieve
• if you are using the right media eg web, print or video
• the likely cost of the work and whether you have set a realistic budget
• if it could be linked to something that already exists.
• obtaining permissions for photography –

You don’t need a consent form for events, just make people aware that you are taking photographs. If you are featuring people in shot for marketing purposes, contact the Marketing teams who have access to an image release form on SharePoint. These should be scanned to a password protected folder and the originals shredded. If you have old versions, shred those over five years old and file the rest in a locked cabinet. For more information contact Secretariat.

The market insight team may be able to help you with market research or testing an existing piece of communication.

Writing a brief

  • Include as much detail as possible – when suppliers are working with unknowns or having to make assumptions, the costs to you are likely to increase.
  • Clearly state your expectations in terms of their response eg a basic quote or outline approach (for smaller, lower budget work), or a more detailed proposal (for larger, higher budget work).
  • You may, if you wish, ask for two pricing options as follows:
    1. An option that meets the requirements of the brief but is under budget
    2. The extras that could be offered if the full budget was spent and ask them to state the added benefits this would bring.
  • It is always helpful to include at least an indicative budget, so suppliers can assess their suitability for the work.

Think about any other related work that you may need in the near future – such as any digital versions – this can be included in the brief to help the suppliers understand the full scope of the work.

Evaluating responses

You should be able to choose a supplier based on their initial response, and by seeing relevant examples of work from their portfolio. A second stage can help for larger, more complex or higher budget work, where you might prefer to shortlist up to three suppliers and invite them in for a face to face meeting to discuss their approach and experience in more detail.

Our chosen framework suppliers have a proven track record of effective design and reliable service delivery, so please do not request speculative work before the contract is awarded. We would strongly recommend that you meet with the suppliers, develop a rapport and choose who you feel best understands what you want to achieve, and then work together to develop and agree the designs. If you ask for creative work as part of the pitch process, you will need to allocate some of your budget for this.

We are here to help – we want everyone to achieve successful and effective design solutions and have a positive experience with the supplier framework. If you are struggling to choose a supplier or need any further advice, please contact the Communications Production team.

Feedback to all suppliers

Please remember to inform unsuccessful suppliers of the outcome.
Suppliers welcome feedback as it helps them to continually improve their service and the quality of their responses, which helps the University. You can either provide feedback to all suppliers via a single email eg stating the strengths of the winning quote, or a tailored email to individual suppliers if time allows and you are happy to do so. Otherwise, you must complete a very short online quotation review form which will be used to provide feedback to the suppliers during the contract review meetings.

Quality assuring work

All suppliers have attended an induction event and have been briefed on the Identity Management guidelines. We are here to help you achieve the best results, so to ensure your work complies with these guidelines, the initial and final designs should be approved by your faculty marketing team or communications.

We request that you don’t allow framework designers to credit themselves for any work produced and do not request ‘free’ creatives in exchange for a credit.

Finished artwork

If you are proving finished artwork to PCB yourself, please request a “Print ready PDF” from your supplier. Please do not send your last proof version to print as this is not suitable. All Framework suppliers are required to store your completed artwork securely and make it available for retrieval free of charge as per their contract. If you require the finished artwork it should be provided to you as a Packaged InDesign file.

Evaluating completed work

Once your work is complete, it would be helpful if you could fill in a evaluation form – this will help us manage the framework more effectively and provide feedback to the suppliers on their services.

Please note there is a separate framework for suppliers of print – for further information contact the University’s Print and Mail Service (formerly Print and Copy Bureau) or call 32467.