There are several stages of the approval and proofing process, as follows
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- Sometimes several drafts of a flyer or brochure are needed before the copy is finalized and submitted for layout. College Communications and the authorized client must sign off on each draft of the copy. Often, copy must be approved by other departments and official sources. For example, the Office of Research Analysis and Planning is the official source for information related to enrollment, academic calendars and degree programs. The Financial Aid Official is the official source for any material relating to financial aid. College Communications keeps a copy of each annotated revised draft in the job jacket.
- Once College Communications incorporates any changes and additions to create a final draft, the client approves the draft as final by signing his/her initials and the date on the final draft and the job jacket. Approval may also be made via email.
Responsibility for Accuracy of Information
College Communications and the client share the responsibility for accuracy of a printed piece. The client is responsible for accuracy of content (e.g., event dates and location, phone numbers, spelling of names, statistical data, program information); College Communications is responsible for accuracy of syntax (e.g., grammar, spelling, consistency of usage, and incorporating image language).
Design & Production Steps After Copy is Approved
Once copy is signed off as final, it will go into production for design/layout and printing. At that point, no further stylistic or content changes should be made. Should you decide to make stylistic or content changes, the job will have to be put back in line behind others already in production. Before you decide to make author’s alterations to copy that has already been finalized, please recognize that there are several possible consequences of doing so:
- You will delay your original delivery date.
- If the delivery date cannot possibly be delayed, the job may have to be bid to an off-campus vendor for production. The bidding process itself can be time consuming, and the cost of using an off-campus vendor could be considerably higher than if the job remained on campus. Rush charges may also be applied to the cost of the project.
- Once copy is in layout, College Communications proofreads the laser proofs for accuracy. Again, no stylistic or “author’s alterations” should be made at this time. Changes will be made for accuracy only (e.g., spelling, grammar). Ideally, only one set of proofs should be routed so that all changes are made on the same proof. If this is not possible due to time constraints, the marketing representative is responsible for collating the proofed laser-proof sets and consolidating them into one. A copy of each annotated laser proof remains in the job jacket. Each individual who proofreads the laser proof initials and dates it.
- Laser proofs are corrected in Design & Production and sent to the appropriate output device prior to printing. College Communications and the client proofread final proofs, which should include any captions not previously written. Again, each individual initials and dates the laser proof. The client and College Communications also sign off on the job jacket (or via email). If there are any minor corrections, they will be made by the designer, and the writer will have an opportunity to check them for accuracy.
With very few exceptions (letterhead, envelopes, business cards, unedited reprints, etc.) clients may not submit copy directly to Design & Production. When each job is opened, College Communications will review copy prior to its moving into design.