Large Publications

This guide is meant to assist and support clients -- and anyone working under their direction and supervision -- throughout the publication process.

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Production Schedule
The Process
Editing & Proofreading
Style Guides

Our department works with a variety of graphic designers, including CCA faculty members and students enrolled in the Sputnik Design Studio. Projects are undertaken at the discretion of our team.

Direction and control of publication design are maintained by project managers throughout the entire production process.

To ensure a consistent image and accuracy of information, all printed material must be coordinated with our project managers, either directly or in collaboration with an academic program or administrative department.

Our staff provides editing and proofreading support, a requirement for all print materials that represent the college. All materials produced must adhere to established guidelines for CCA’s identity and design standards. Printing costs, design fees, mailing fees, and the like must be discussed and approved in advance of beginning the project.


As you conceptualize a project for publication, you should have a clear understanding of certain vital aspects that will affect key production decisions. Projects are best planned one semester prior to the release date. (For example, if your publication is intended to promote an event in April, start planning in October or November. Obviously more involved projects require earlier planning.)

At the initial planning meeting, please be prepared to discuss:

  • How many publication projects will your program propose this semester/year?
  • What type(s) of publication(s) do you require (e.g., exhibition catalogs, books, postcards)?
  • Will the publication(s) address student work, interviews, or sponsored studios?
  • What format is most fitting for your publication(s)? What type of binding?
  • Are there any design concerns or restrictions (i.e., should the colors or logos match prior pieces?)
  • Who is your audience and what is the mood or message you wish to convey?
  • Does the publication have a title?
  • Who is responsible for generating text, gathering images, and managing details and deadlines?
  • Are additional approvals required (aside from the client’s) for any materials used, or can you approve final content? (Examples of content that requires approval: credit lines, bios, interview content, as well as donor lists, department heads, or associated firms.)
  • What is the desired print run? If a larger publication, do you seek distribution? Will any copies be reserved for donors or affiliates? (We typically seek bids that cover a range of print runs to ensure the most product for the cost.)
  • What is your budget? Remember to also factor taxes, postage, and mail house processing fees.

Production Schedule

After your initial meeting, the Marketing and Creative Services team will estimate a budget and assign a production schedule for the publication. A sample schedule appears below (actual deadlines will be customized, and possibly expanded, for your particular project).

The deadline for clients to deliver all copy (final, approved text and images along with copyright permissions) is mutually agreed upon by the client and our team.

Weeks 1–2
Set a date for an initial meeting with the designers.

Week 3
Designer or design team presents idea in class to classmates only.

Week 4
The design team presents to you, preferably in person, a preliminary mockup.

Weeks 5–6
Design revisions, usually communicated via PDF.

Week 7
Final design direction is approved and implemented.

Week 8
Proofing process begins:

  • Round 1: Client reviews and makes final corrections.
  • Round 2: Editor reviews and makes corrections.
  • Round 3: Project manager reviews, and design team makes changes. The client does not contact the designers directly. All communication must go through the project manager.

Weeks 9–10
Corrections are made in layout, and the editor does a final proofing.

Week 11
Files are prepared by designers and checked by the project manager.

Weeks 12–14
Final proofing and printing.

Weeks 15–16
Project sent to the printer. Delivery date is given (if the project is printed abroad, delivery time is longer).

Weeks 17–18
Client distributes the piece either directly or through a mail house. The mail house generally takes about a week to process the publication for mailing, and then mail delivery usually takes one to two additional weeks.

The Process

The client should supply the project manager with the information and materials listed below for all project proposals. If the client fails to meet deadlines or if does not provide text or images as agreed, possible consequences are delays, increased costs, or even cancellation of the publication.

Basic project summary and budget: In order to monitor and control production quality and efficiency, project managers will determine how best to use money provided for publications. Project managers do not, however, monitor where the money for publication projects comes from.

Complete and final text, ready for proofreading: This should be delivered as Microsoft Word documents using a common and consistent font throughout. Do not embed images in Word files. Do not use Word's auto-footnote feature. Once the manuscript has been turned in for editing, we cannot accept revised chapters, sections of chapters, or any other substantial modifications.

All text transcribed from live conversation (interviews, for instance), text written about particular people (bios), artist project descriptions, and the like, must already have been approved by the interviewee, the subject of the bio or description, and/or other responsible person with sign-off authority.

Images of sufficient resolution, with captions: Scanned book images or low-res images copied directly from the Internet will not be accepted because of their poor reproduction quality. If you have any questions about file formats or what "high-resolution" means, please contact us for guidance or consult our digital image guidelines.

Generally, images must be high-quality JPG or TIF, 300 or more dpi at the size they will be shown in the book. Architectural renderings and the like should be vector files, saved in layers so that the type can be reset/resized as needed.

Images must be provided before design begins, along with appropriate approval for use from all holders of copyrights. It is the responsibility of the client to determine the necessity for, and obtain any and all permissions required for, copyrighted art (or text) to be included in the publication. The client assumes all responsibility for ensuring that the publication does not infringe on any copyrights.

Editing & Proofreading

The managing editor provides editorial support for all print projects the Communications Office manages. All text must be edited and proofread before it is sent to a designer for layout.

Copy editing ranges from light to heavy, depending on the manuscript.

  • Light editing involves correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, number treatment, word usage, and other such concerns.

  • Moderate editing entails revising text to avoid repetition, improve transitions, and enhance overall readability, tone, and logic.

  • Heavy editing involves all of the above plus more substantive changes, such as reshaping the manuscript through judicious cuts and reorganization for readability. The editor may request additional information and/or rewriting by the author.

The editor will make every effort to assure that each final text is entirely accurate, but it is the responsibility of the submitting party to thoroughly fact check the document, including all dates, name spellings, titles of exhibitions, books, films, performances, etc.

The editor will contact the author directly with editorial queries or if the text requires substantial editing. Text often goes back and forth several times between the editor and the author before it is sent to the designer. The editor must sign off on the final version of every text before it is submitted for design.

Style Guides

In addition to the CCA style guide, editorial decisions are based on the latest editions of the Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.


Sample art log
Sample colophon
Sample permission request