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Publication process

Allocate the appropriate editorial, design, production, and administrative expertise necessary to make each publication effective. Contact the Office of the University Printer or the Yale Publishing Services Center for strategic guidance.

Determining publication objectives
Key operations of the publication process
Publication resource allocation—examples
Publications support at Yale

Determining publication objectives

When determining the level of financial and administrative resources to allocate to your publication, consider the following questions:

  • Exposure
    Who is your audience? Crucial audiences include students, prospective students, and their families; faculty and staff; alumni, including potential and current donors; scholars.
  • Complexity
    How complex is the content of the publication? For example, does it contain data that might better be communicated through graphs, charts, or diagrams? Is it potentially the paradigm of a group of publications for which an expertly designed template would facilitate the design and production of future materials?
  • Longevity
    What is the projected useful life span of the publication? The longer its life, the more clearly it should represent Yale’s best publication efforts.

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Key operations of the publication process

The typical publication process involves many steps or “operations,” each of which may be carried out by different people, or by individuals taking on multiple roles. Regardless of who is involved, each operation must be directly addressed.

  • Project definition
    Establish objectives, audiences, administrative support, budget, and schedule prior to project launch.
  • Project management
    Coordinate all aspects of project including oversight of the operations listed below. Obtain approval from key stakeholders at critical checkpoints.
  • Content generation and management
    Gather all text, illustrations, and data. Edit, proofread, factcheck, and secure permissions for use of copyrighted material.
  • Graphic design
    Give effective, appealing form to project content.
  • Production
    Render the approved publication design in print and/or screen-based form in accord with Yale’s expectations of quality.
  • Distribution
    Deliver finished publication to its intended audiences. Perform fulfillment and inventory functions.
  • Maintenance
    Update Web resources according to schedule. Maintain content and design quality of original release. Maintain standards of each periodical print publication over the life of the publication.
  • Assessment
    Evaluate publication and process. Maintain an archive of projects so that experience gained can inform future publications.

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Publication resource allocation—examples
(in increasing order of potential institutional significance)

  1. Departmental notice (print or e-mail)
    exposure: low (in-house audience only); complexity: low; longevity: ephemeral
    Should involve minimal design or printing expense. May benefit from being produced from designed standard template. For assistance, contact YPPS.
  2. Departmental newsletter (print or Web)
    exposure: moderate (limited external audience); complexity: moderate; longevity: ephemeral
    Would benefit from thoughtfully designed standard template. For design and production assistance, contact YPPS or a PSC-recommended vendor.
  3. Symposium announcement and collateral materials (print and Web)
    exposure: moderate to high; complexity: moderate to high; longevity: some components ephemeral, others archival
    Requires high level of editorial, design, and production attention, as publication must both attract the attention of a specific audience and provide program and practical content. For design and production assistance, contact YPPS or a PSC-recommended vendor.
  4. Admissions viewbook (print and Web)
    exposure: high (crucial audience); complexity: moderate to high (requires expert creation or selection of images and information graphics); longevity: moderate
    Requires high level of editorial, design, production, and marketing attention in the first year. Subsequent editions may reuse the original format, but skilled editorial and design resources should be applied to all revisions. For design and production assistance, contact YPPS or a PSC-recommended vendor.

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Publications support at Yale

For free consultation on graphic design services and application of the Yale visual identity, contact the Office of the University Printer. For free consultation on practical publishing solutions, including a directory of approved publications vendors, contact the Yale Publishing Services Center (PSC). For fee-for-service graphic design, printing, and copy services, contact Yale Printing & Publishing Services (YPPS).

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Carl Rollins
Graphic communication continues to evolve, spurred by technological innovation and changing audience expectations. The revolutionary shift in the last century from the age-old technology of letterpress printing (suggested in this photograph of Carl Rollins, University Printer, 1920–48) to the universally accessible technologies of desktop print or Web publishing may suggest a complete break with the past, but the fundamentals of planning and managing publications—both in print and on the Web—still address the same essential challenges.
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