Design and print

The University uses a mandatory framework of external suppliers to supplement a core in-house design teams which focuses on corporate publications.

To make sure they’re the best possible quality, all 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

Before you start, talk through your requirements with communications and your faculty marketing contacts and contact Print and Copy Bureau to book in your print requirements.

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.

Getting quotes

  • If the value of the work is likely to be less than £1,000 (excluding VAT) you may directly contact your preferred supplier on this framework. To help you decide, a short fact-file about each supplier, with links to their website, can be found in our agreed suppliers section.
  • In order that we comply with a European Union Directive, if the value of the work is likely to be more than £1,000 (excluding VAT), you will need to obtain a quotes from the design for print suppliers on this framework, this can be done by filling out the graphic design brief form.

Please email the brief to: (this will automatically send it to all the suppliers on the framework). The size limit for emails is 1000KB so please do not attach large PDFs, link to any reference material where possible.

Please make sure you keep all the quotes and emails for audit purposes.

For repeat work you will need to contact your local purchasing team.

Work that is likely to exceed £25,000 (excluding VAT) will need to be managed through Delta, an e-tendering system. For further information email  Richard Clarke (Central Purchasing) or call 32994.

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 design 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 Print and Copy Bureau or call 32467.