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Tips on Designing Publications & Advertisements

Graphic design is a major consideration. You may be designing your own publication or advertisement, or you may seek the creative input of a professional designer. As you plan your project, you will want to determine the most effective format for your piece, whether to supplement your written message with photos or illustrations, where to obtain the imagery, and, most important, how much can be accomplished within the limitations of your budget.

Rutgers Visual Identity System

Rutgers Logotype
The Rutgers Visual Identity System strengthens the Rutgers identity and unites the university community under a consistent coherent style. Refer to it when planning any communications, marketing, or promotional piece or product.

Communicator Certificate Program: "Design Basics"

If your position at Rutgers includes regular communications projects, you should strongly consider signing up for the university’s Communicator Certificate Program. The course “Design Basics” gives participants an overview of good graphic design. The focus is on creating paper and web communications such as newsletters, brochures, mailers, and webpages with great visual appeal through good layout and organization and the attractive use of space, fonts, and graphics. Learn more.

Print Requires Hi-Resolution Imagery

Low-resolution images do not reproduce well in printed publications and look quite grainy if enlarged. Creative Services can help you determine if a higher-quality version of the image is required and help you get it. Standard print resolution is 300dpi.

A collection of Rutgers digital images is available to review by category in the online Rutgers University Photo Gallery. High-resolution images suitable for print projects (brochures, posters, flyers, etc.) are available for $20 each. Learn more.

Create an Effective Publication or Advertisement

Follow Rutgers Visual Identity Standards

Preliminary Design: The “Comp”

The designer will develop preliminary designs, called "comps" that roughly approximate what the final piece will look like. Comps can be produced before the manuscript is finalized, but a well-developed draft given to the designer early will allow the designer to allot enough space for the copy, plan the pagination, determine imagery placement, and develop appropriate typography.

The Layout and Proofs

When the comp and the manuscript have been finalized, the designer will produce the layout with final elements in place. Layouts can go through several rounds of proofs to allow for revisions and corrections. Careful review and proofreading is critical in every phase of the layout. The person who will ultimately approve the project should sign off on every round of proofs.

Corrections made once a job goes to the printer are expensive, so have someone who has not seen the project—a final set of “fresh eyes”—review proofs before they go to print.

Photos and Other Imagery

To obtain imagery, Photo Services may have existing photography available, you may need to arrange for a photo shoot, or you may be able to use stock images or illustrations that can be purchased. For printed pieces, you will need to use hi-resolution images to ensure quality reproduction. Photo Services charges a fee for supplying hi-resolution images.

Follow University Purchasing Guidelines in Hiring Consultants/Freelancers

If you are working with a consulting or freelance designer, be sure to follow University Procurement Services guidelines before entering into an agreement with your professional services provider.

Special Information about Advertising

Our Advertising Review Tips and Tools provide in-depth information on creating effective ads.

Contact Us

For a consultation on design and layout, contact:

Joanne Dus-Zastrow, Senior Director, Creative Services
Phone: 848-445-1928
Fax: 732-445-1906
Email