A request can take anywhere from three days to three weeks to complete a design project with graphic designers on the Creative Services team. Variables that sway the timeline depend on the information you give to the designers. 


Complete copy, organized images and a clear idea of what you want in a design at the beginning of the project will always make production go smoothly.


Each new project goes through the following steps: 

  1. Meet with the Creative Services team-- You will meet with a graphic designer to discuss the scope of the project and determine a general sense of what you're looking for in a design.
  2. Design a first draft -- The graphic designer will create a design based on their notes from the meeting.
  3. Proof the design -- You will have the opportunity to review or "proof" the design and give feedback.
  4. Revise the design -- The graphic designer will make changes you requested during the proofing stage. 
  5. Give final approval --Once you are satisfied with the design, you must give final approval. The designer will not make any more changes at this point. 
  6. Design is sent to be printed-- If it is a printed piece, the designer will hand the project off to the Print Shop or third-party vendor. Changes at this point are highly discouraged. If it is an absolute must, changes can be made at additional cost and likely a delay to the production timeline. 
  7. Cost Center is billed -- You can expect an invoice for the cost of labor and any print materials in approximately two weeks. 


In general, it takes about 5-10 business days to develop a project from an idea to the final, approved design. After your approval of the design and all proofing is complete, print production may last an additional 5-10 business days.


Please plan ahead so that you will have your design project ready in plenty of time for when you need it. 


If you are on a tight deadline, call 507.457.5025 and ask to speak to Pat or Kristi about your options.  



Ways You Can Help Make the Design Process Faster


1. Provide content in it's final form.


Plan out exactly what message you want to convey in your design project ahead of time. The graphic designers rely on you to be the expert on your content. While they can make small adjustments to the copy to fit the design constraints, they cannot do extensive copywriting for you. 


If you don't provide any content at the start of the project, the design process will be stalled. On the other hand, providing more content than can reasonably fit in within the design constraints can cause problems too. For instance, if you want a brochure, you likely won't be able to fit even 500 words because a brochure has a very simple design and tight space constraints. Narrow your message down to the main points and give the "short version" to the designer. 


2. Reply quickly to proof requests.


This is a stage that can significantly delay a design project. The Creative Services team will not provide the finished files or send your design to be printed until you give final approval. To make sure that your project stays on track, review the design proof and reply with changes or approval as soon as you can. 


3. Make updates to a previous design. 


If you've worked with Creative Services before on a similar project, consider re-using that previous design as a template. It will take a designer less time to update the text and swap a photo or two than it will to create a new design from scratch. 


This approach works well for event posters and digital signs because these design projects are fairly simple but don't stay up around campus for a long time. Plus, it helps keep a consistent visual identity for your department that students will recognize over time.