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By bringing your project to UMC, you're gaining a variety of professional services. This begins with project management, which includes production schedules, cost estimates, and coordination with vendors for all of your projects. UMC designers will then help shepherd your project from start to finish with different levels of services based on your specific project needs. Your initial project meeting will help us understand these needs. Our award-winning designers help coordinate all the variables, and essentially help turn ideas into reality with design solutions to engage your target audience. Designers will become your contact for providing a layout, working with you on any adjustments, and providing final files optimized for their delivery source(s). Whether your job needs all-new custom photography, or just text updates to an existing piece, UMC designers will help develop a successful project with high impact.

Getting Started

To get started, contact our project management team at (309) 438-8404 or

Tips for Successful Projects

Following are some of our recommended best practices when opening a new design project with our team.

  • Establish one main point of contact per department. Others may be considered subject matter experts within the department, but the point of contact should serve as the liaison between the department and University Marketing and Communications.
  • Allow a minimum of 6 weeks from project initiation to delivery. For larger projects (i.e., booklets, large-scale campaigns, new branding initiatives), the more time allotted for, the better.
  • Deliver all text (copy) and/or changes at one time.
    • New copy should be provided electronically.
    • Updates to an existing piece should be marked on the piece. In the event that large sections of copy are edited to an existing piece, submit this copy electronically.
  • If you have any preconceived ideas on the appearance of the project, provide them when the project is initiated. This could include ideas for layout, "feel", imagery, etc.
  • Assemble all feedback/changes on the proof and provide in one email/document or mark-up.
  • All production schedules are developed to include two layout proofs; carefully review the first proof to ensure all major changes to copy or design are requested in response to the first proof. This will prevent the need for more than two proofs and keep the project on schedule.
  • Please confirm quantity, account number, delivery date, and delivery location as early in the process as possible.
Sample Production Schedule, 6-week timeline

Text/copy provided to UMC

Jan. 6

First proof provided to client*

Jan. 27

Changes/feedback received by UMC

Jan. 29

Second proof provided to client**

Feb. 3

Final approval given by client

Feb. 6

UMC makes final preps to files and sends to printer

Feb. 10

Delivery/Mail Date***

Feb. 17

*On average, a first proof is sent to the client 3-4 weeks after copy is received.

**Turn-around may be longer if significant changes are requested.

***For larger quantities or mailings that require variable data, an additional 3 days may be needed from the time the files are sent to print to the time they are mailed/delivered.