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University Graphics

Publications FAQ

What are Lots?

Lots are the individual pieces that go into a project. For example, a project that requires a letter, an envelope and a reply card has a total of 3 lots. (Please note that to help resolve confusion on this subject, in the Form for Multiple Lots, lots are described as parts.)

What is the difference between a copy and a print job?

When making a publication, the first think to ask yourself is whether your project is a print job or a copy job. Copies are simply defined as reproducing documents by either taking a picture of it optically or receiving the file digitally to print. This technology is great for quick and short run projects. Print jobs are more time consuming for set-up, but are much more affordable for larger projects.

What are the publication tiers and where does my publication fit in?

Institutional Marketing has developed a breakdown of publication tiers that can be used to effectively design your publication to reach a particular audience. There are three tiers that publications can fall into. The first tier, Tier 1, encompasses publications that are focused on recruiting students, staff, faculty and donors as well as publications that focus on legislature or promotions and fundraising. Tier 2 publications are those that provide and share information, fundraising and important documents for Departments and Units within Institutes and Schools, as well as Alumni oriented publications. The last tier, Tier 3, is primarily used to promote campus groups, activities and events such as posters from UW clubs, or documents from the Faculty and Staff Senates and ASUW. A complete breakdown of the tiers and the rules for designing publication in each tier can be found in the Brand Standards Manual.

What is the difference between Self Cover and Plus Cover?

Covers are naturally the pages that are on the outside of the publication. That being said, publications can choose between two cover types:  Self Cover and Plus Cover. Self covers use the same paper type and weight as the rest of the publication, and are typically used for newsletter and brochures. Plus covers use a different paper weight, and often use a different paper type as well.  Plus covers are typically used for magazines.

How do I determine my page count?

When determining the page count on your project there are several important criteria to take into consideration. First, all projects--except for brochures, envelopes and letters--should have a page count that is divisible by four. This is because in a publication every sheet of paper is counted as two pages in the publication--one page for the front and one page for the back side--and in many forms of binding one leaf of paper will be used to display four different pages. For example, in a magazine the center pages might be 44 and 45, but on the same leaf of paper you will also find pages 43 and 46. This format of printing ensures that the maximum amount of paper is used with minimal waste and cost.  Second, when counting pages, it is important to include the cover in your count. The cover of your publication should take up four pages: two for the front and front inside covers and two for the back and back inside covers. Please note that there are exceptions to this, but they will be discussed on a case by case basis.

What is paper weight?

Paper weight refers to the thickness of a sheet of paper. The lighter the paper weight, the thinner the paper. Most publications use between 70 and 80lb paper for the text pages and between 80 and 100lb paper for the covers. Also worth noting is that different publications will often call for heavier or specific types of papers. For example, postcards and posters often have entirely different types and weights of paper.

What are paper finishes?

Paper finishes are special coatings added to papers to make them more resistant to wear. There are typically two types of finishes: Gloss and Matte. Gloss coatings are more shiny and are typically used in magazines. Matte coatings are duller and are typically used in newsletters.  Please note:  If you have a certain finish you would like to use, you may fill out the other section under paper finishes.

What are the Special Processes?

Special process are additional coatings or processes that you can add to your publication. There are two types of processes listed on the bid sheets: Additional Coatings and Additional Processes. For additional coatings there are UV Coatings, this coating is similar to a gloss, but offers more protection from rubbing; Lamination; Aqueous Coatings, offer moderate protection from wear on publications;and Varnish Coatings, this coating is added on like an ink and provides a measure of protection for the publication. All coatings are added on after the ink to offer maximum protection.  For processes we have Perforation; Die Cuts, this process cuts out a section of the covering of the publication, usually in the form of a logo; Folding; Embossing; and Foil Stamps, this process adds a foil design onto the publication. Please note:  If you have a special process that you would like to add to your project that is not included on the bid form, you can request it by filling out the other sections under Special Processes.

What is Bleed?

On publications with full color photos or colors that run to the edge of the page a bleed is recommended. Bleeds are typically 1/8 of an inch and allow for some leeway when the final document is printed and cut.

How do I fill out the job summary section of the bid?

The purpose of the job summary section is to sum up all of the information in the specification sheet.  In order to give the vendors a clear picture of the project, please detail all of the information for the project in sentence form. University Graphics can provide examples of job summaries if requested. Keep in mind that the more detail you can provide in this section, the more accurate your bid will be, and the fewer questions you will receive from vendors.

How long will it take for my publication to be made?

From initial planning to final printing, producing a publication is much longer than sending a print job to the Copy Center. The fist step in this process is submitting your spec form and publication files to University Graphics via the online form. Once the files have been received, we will begin the review process. After the review period, the specifications are sent out to bid where we give vendors an average of a week to submit a bid on the project. Once that date is reached, the lowest bid vendor is selected and a PO can be issued.  Until the PO is issued the vendor cannot begin work on printing the publication. Once the PO is received by the vendor, the design files can be sent and work begins on producing the first proof of the publication. The making of the proof takes typically between one and two days. After proofs have been sent and then marked for editing or marked as ready for printing, the actual printing begins. The entire process: sending the specifications out to bid to final printing can take roughly 24 to 27 days.

Can I get special paper or ink for my project?

If you would like a certain type of paper or specialty ink for you project—for example; recycled paper, or eco-friendly ink—you can fill in the special requests section of the bid form. Please name the exact ink or paper type that you would like if able.

Do I have to rebid every year on the same project?

With the policies we have in place at UW, it is not necessary to rebid your projects every year. With our vendors we have an Extension clause that allows you to stick with the same vendor for 3 years on one project. Therefore, when it comes time to reprint your project, you may submit a revised pricing request by filling out the Revised Pricing Request form. With this form you can submit any changes that have occurred between issues: such as different page count or quantity being produced. If there are no changes, you just need to enter the PMP number of the project and the request will be submitted. Please note that production files are still required before the request is sent to your vendor.

What are PMP numbers and why are they important?

When a publication is first submitted to University Graphics it is assigned a ten digit code known as a PMP number. For example, the Foresight magazine from Engineering might have a code of 1122jsENFM. This code is used to keep track of a project in our system and is the main way to request revised pricing for a project. When your project is sent out to bid, you will receive an email that contains your PMP number. It is strongly suggested you keep this number for your personal records.

Why should I send my files to University Graphics?

By providing artwork files at the time of your print bid request you help ensure two things: first, it ensures UW’s brand standard is being maintained; second, by including publication files vendors can get a clearer picture of what they need to include in their bid pricing. While this does make the bidding process more complex, it will also make sure that bids are more accurate and should increase the speed that publications are produced.

Have more questions? Contact us!

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