Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a new project?

That’s easy. Just fill out the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) online intake form.

The form will guide you through some basic questions about your project such as goals, target audience, and deadlines. Or, you can contact your client manager [please link to marketing client manager/marketing staff list that are in the Marketing FAQs], who can help you start the intake process.

What type of publication is best?

Your client manager will work with you to determine your message, target audience, and goals. The answer to those questions will largely determine whether a poster, brochure, postcard, or other publication or approach best meets your needs.

How long does it take to design and print a piece?

We typically ask clients to allow us four to six weeks to complete a project through the printing phase, beginning from the time we receive the final, approved text. It certainly doesn’t take that long to design and print a postcard, but keep in mind that OCM can have as many as 70 projects in various stages of production during peak periods. Similarly, annual reports, viewbooks, and more complex pieces will take longer than six weeks to produce. Consider, too, that you will typically want to send out invitations four to six weeks before your event.

For certain projects, OCM may coordinate with one of our freelance designers and/or creative agencies to complete your project — overseeing the project at every step.

Can I hire a freelance designer for my project?

Yes; you are free to use a freelance designer for your project. All USF publications (print and electronic) must adhere to the university’s graphic standards regardless of who created the design, however. OCM is required to review all publications in advance of printing to assure graphic standards compliance and overall quality.

If you’re interested in hiring a freelance designer or creative agency, we can connect you with one of many that we maintain working relationships with from around the Bay Area. Contact Eugene Vinluan-Pagal, publications production manager, at (415) 422-5539 or vinluanpagal@usfca.edu, to get started. 

Will OCM write the text for my publication?

In most cases, the answer is “No.” Clients submit their own copy. We will copy edit most text for grammar, syntax, usage, sense, length, and USF style. We may also perform some rewriting as necessary to align the text with USF’s mission, branding elements, and editorial quality standards.

How long does it take to design an ad?

Advertisements can often be done quickly, in as little as two weeks. OCM has developed advertising standards that bring consistency to the USF family of ads while allowing flexibility for different schools, colleges, and programs.

How do I receive a copy of the USF logo?

Contact Dale Johnston, creative director/director of university identity, at (415) 422-2691 or johnstond@usfca.edu.

OCM is able to provide a variety of USF logo options, depending on your specific needs. Among the logo options available are color, black and white, negative-read, and various vertical and horizontal applications. We can also create a custom logo for your particular college, school, unit, or branch campus.

How do I receive a copy of the USF seal?

The USF seal is retired from general-purpose use.

What are USF’s graphic standards?

Graphic standards ensure that the university uses consistent messaging and graphics when announcing itself. Just as you can tell at a glance if a friend is carrying a Starbucks coffee cup, our friends and colleagues should be able to tell at a glance that a document, T-shirt, or poster is from the University of

San Francisco. The Graphic Standards Manual is an essential tool to help make that happen. Using the manual will provide a consistent impression while enabling all of us to tailor our communications to the specific audiences we need to reach.

Review USF’s Graphic Standards Manual.

If you have questions about graphic standards, contact Dale Johnston, creative director/director of university identity, at (415) 422-2691 or johnstond@usfca.edu.

I need photos or images for my publication. Can you help?

Yes; OCM maintains a collection of campus, student, and other shots. This collection is available for your communications needs at no charge. In addition, we maintain working relationships with several Bay Area and national freelance photographers. Good photography is not cheap. But image quality in publications is so critical that it is well worth the price. Photographers typically offer full-day rates or half-day rates.

Additionally, OCM offers royalty-free stock art image services. If existing imagery is not available for your project, we can search for appropriate stock art to incorporate into your layout.

Does OCM charge for services?

Yes and no. We charge $45 an hour for print design services, the same rate we have charged since 1993.

The $45 an hour rate is at the low end of the design spectrum to encourage our campus clients to use OCM rather than freelancers — most of whom charge more and are unfamiliar with USF’s graphic standards.

Our email outreach, marketing, media relations, social media, copy editing, and web services are offered free of charge.

Can you help me with my website?

Web Communications and Services is USF’s source for web design assistance.

Who prints my project?

OCM has working relationships with many Bay Area and regional printers. We’re experienced at managing print projects from simple postcards and invitations to catalogs, booklets, magazines, banners, and everything in between. We can also secure competitive bids for your printing projects.

Who mails my printed piece?

OCM has working relationships with mailhouses that can handle the distribution of your pieces both domestically and internationally. There are countless U.S. Postal Service (USPS) regulations regarding mailed pieces. In concert with our mailhouses, we stay abreast of the latest USPS regulatory changes to ensure that your piece will reach its intended destination in a timely and cost-effective manner.

What if I have other questions?

Contact Eugene Vinluan-Pagal, publications production manager, at (415) 422-5539 or vinluanpagal@usfca.edu.