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Publications Guidelines - University Branding

What are university publications?

University publications are electronic and printed brochures, newsletters, leaflets, fliers, display advertisements, journals, magazines, books and booklets, information sheets, programs, official university Web pages (all pages located on the domain) and other similar materials.

The guidelines apply to university publications directed to all types of audiences.

The guidelines exclude faculty works, textbooks and classroom material such as handouts and notes.

Publications help from Marketing & Communications

The Department of Marketing & Communications can:

Build professional quality electronic publication files from your edited electronic text and suitable image files. (We do not key in or edit copy.)

  • Coordinate print production as dictated by the university Purchasing Department’s Request to Purchase process.
  • Review digital electronic publication component files (graphics, photos), design concepts and copy for print publication suitability and suggest solutions to potential problems. We do not repair problems in desktop publishing files.
  • Arrange for photographic support. Photographs can come from a number of on-campus sources, and there may be images currently available that are suitable for a project. In some cases, it may be necessary for you to pay for a photographer’s services.
  • Provide university identity graphics and images. Because we market the university as a whole, we do not design logos or identity for departments or programs.

Requirements for all publications:

  1. The university’s complete name, Tarleton State University, should appear on the front cover of all university publications.
  2. The university’s official logo should appear on either the front or back cover of all external publications.
  3. The university’s “boiler plate” copy must appear on all publications. An additional description of a specific unit may follow. This also applies to position advertising in The Chronicle of Higher Education or other national media.

The university name

The university’s proper name is Tarleton State University. The proper name should be used in any written or printed first reference to the university. Subsequent references should be Tarleton. Due to the potential for confusion with other universities, the abbreviation TSU should never be used when referring to Tarleton in publications.

When referring to Tarleton locations, do not use the term "campus" for Fort Worth, Midlothian, or Waco. The only physical campus that Tarleton has is the Stephenville campus.

Tarleton State University Official Logo

The Tarleton State University logo consists of two components: the logomark (Beveled T on Beveled Texas) and the logotype (Tarleton State University). These two components are always placed in a fixed relationship and should never be altered, modified or recreated in any way. The statement “Member of The Texas A&M University System” is also an official part of the logo. All print publications require the use of this statement below the logo.

Boiler plate

The following statement about Tarleton State University should be included in all publications, advertisements or other university materials.

About Tarleton State University:

Tarleton State University, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to engage societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.

University stationery and business cards

A cohesive stationery system includes letterhead, envelopes and business cards. In many cases, these materials are the first impression of Tarleton and constitute a key component to the University’s marketing efforts. Please keep in mind that only university-approved stationery with the official university logo may be used to represent Tarleton employees.

The Department of Marketing & Communications provides official university stationery templates to an approved contracted printer. Commercially-printed stationery items and business cards must be purchased online. You may also choose to print your own letterhead and envelopes by downloading our digital stationery templates. You must use your University credentials, including your username and password, to log in and retrieve the templates. Links to order stationery and downloadable templates can be found at:

Publication production and design services

Effective steps to produce attractive publications

The Department of Marketing & Communications can build professional quality electronic publication files from your edited electronic text and suitable image files and coordinate the process of getting your publication printed.

Tarleton’s Marketing & Communications staff prepares publications following generally accepted electronic publication production practices. Text, also referred to as “copy,” follows The Associated Press Stylebook ( and additional guidelines from The Texas A&M University System (

Tarleton’s publications are intended for an audience that expects professionally written and designed print pieces of the highest quality. Publications that are derived or created from commonly available clip art and pre-fabricated templates in business utility software will not meet that expectation.
The Department of Marketing & Communications can assist in designing publications that build positive images and perceptions. The department does not charge for its design services, but you will incur charges for printing and other outside services that may be involved in completing your project. The Department of Marketing & Communications staff cannot undertake the production of all printed materials on campus, but we will work with you to determine priorities and advise you in finding other resources when necessary.

Help us help you!

Planning and scheduling

Printing is a complex process and requires allowing adequate time for best results. The print production process involves obtaining competitive bids from vendors, the actual print press scheduling and production time. Publication design also is a creative and developmental process that requires time, often including the acquisition of adequate graphics and photography. Publications projects also require the approval of the initiating office which may mean the development of multiple iterations, corrections and changes, all of which take time. Therefore, all design and print projects require substantial lead time.

The initial writing for a publication is the responsibility of the initiating office. Marketing & Communications will provide general editing and proofing services.

As a general guide, allow six to eight weeks for a complex document. Documents that are merely being updated for reprinting may require only four weeks. Simple brochures and advertisements also generally will take three to four weeks. Since numerous projects may be in the publications production schedule at any given time, assure yourself that you will meet your deadline by planning in advance and contacting Marketing & Communications well before your intended date for having a publication in hand. Best practice is to complete the online Publications Request form as soon as you are aware of the need for a publication. Marketing & Communications then will contact you to discuss the project, set a timeline and make budget estimates.

As you prepare the Publications Request,

  • Consider the production timeline and the date you need a project in hand.
  • Identify the audience to determine the print quantity and means of distribution.
  • Identify who will manage the content and review of the publication.

Text preparation

Working together to produce attractive and effective publications, we offer these suggestions and tips for preparing written content:

  • Enter text in conventional upper and lower case with only basic formatting as stylistically necessary. We do not key in copy.
  • Provide graphics, artwork and photo images as separate files and only provide references to their file names in the word processing document.
  • Please do not submit Microsoft Publisher or PowerPoint files. The Department of Marketing & Communications uses Adobe Creative Suite (CS) applications (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop) for preparing print publications.

Publication photo and graphic quality

Photographs may come from film or digital cameras. Film photography will be digitized through scanning. Film photography includes negatives, positives (slides) and continuous tone prints (not prints made by inkjet printers, laser printers or other digital sources or printing presses).

Digital images for Web pages need only 72-96 pixels per inch (ppi). Newspaper photos may be about 150 ppi. The medium quality settings of most consumer digital cameras are sufficient for Web pages and newspapers. For printed brochures, magazines and posters, images need at least 300 pixels per inch (ppi) at the final cropped print size. When possible, non-photographic images should be vector-based and use outline-based digital fonts.

Photography of Tarleton students on campus is permitted unless otherwise indicated by the student. For off-campus photography, it is your responsibility to verify that photography is permissible. The Department of Marketing & Communications has photo release forms available for your use in these situations.

Copyrighted material

Textual and visual material that is copyrighted (this includes most Web page content) cannot be used without written permission of the copyright holder.

Content review

Here are content review suggestions for refining your publication content before you submit it for publication design and production:

  • Assume the role of your intended audience and review your content from that point of view. Does the intended audience have enough information and education to understand and follow the material that you are presenting?
  • Use active voice when writing. The grammar checking capabilities of word processing software can assist in this process. Active voice example: Joe helped the client. Passive voice example: The client was helped by Joe. Passive voice uses variations of “to be” – avoid passive constructions.
  • Even after you proofread for spelling and grammar errors (software will not catch misused words) and informational accuracy, it is helpful and a good practice to have someone who has not seen the material read through it before you submit it for preparation for publication. (The person or persons who are the most familiar with the material are also the most likely to miss errors.)
  • Verify that your copy is complete and approved before you submit it for layout and design. Making substantive changes after the document is prepared for printing will most likely lead to schedule delays.

The print purchasing process

In order to provide print production specifications to vendors, in addition to the physical parameters of the final printed piece that will be determined during the design phase, we will need to know or have:

  • the print quantity
  • the mailing list (when applicable to successful vendor)

Marketing & Communications is the only department on campus authorized to acquire print quotes for commercial printing under $25,000. Please contact our department at least four weeks prior to needing the publication in-hand so the correct purchasing procedures can be followed.

We will provide the specifications and obtain the print vendor price quotes and provide you with a Marketing & Communications signature-approved Request to Purchase PDF to satisfy Purchasing requirements. You will need to enter the name of the contact person, the university account number and delivery information on the Request to Purchase form (RTP) and submit it directly to the Business Services office (Box T-0120 or Administration Building Room 122).

After Business Services has verified adequate funding, Business Services will forward the RTP to the Purchasing Department. Projects that include mailing and postage, or that exceed a specified dollar amount, will be bid out by the Purchasing Department using the budgetary quote obtained by Creative Services and included on the RTP.

The Purchasing Department will issue a Purchase Order (P.O.) to the lowest bidder who meets the specifications of the project. For jobs of lesser dollar amounts and that do not include mailing and postage, the winning bidder can be determined from the quote(s) obtained by Creative Services and included with the RTP. Because the project cannot proceed to the print production stage without a Purchase Order, it is important to define the project and begin the RTP process as early as possible in the design process.

Web design services

Web content and design are administered by Tarleton’s Web Strategy department. Please view the web guidelines and style guide for information regarding Web content and publishing on official Tarleton Web pages.

Questions? Ready to start a project? Contact us!

Alyson Chapman
Creative Services Manager
(254) 968-9404

Jessee Horwedel
Creative Services Specialist
(254) 968-9553