Getting Started

This is a universitywide contract created with input from senior-level unit communicators, an outcome of the operational excellence project sponsored by the vice president for communications.

Access to these contracts provides your unit with:

  • Brand integration and consistency
  • Substantial time savings in the form of operational and administrative efficiencies
  • Near-zero contractual risk
  • Experienced service providers who are trained in the UB brand

The following is a step-by-step process for engaging with one of the contracted vendors for your creative service needs.

Step 1: Outreach

There are two options for engaging with a selected vendor:

  1. The senior communicator is the main point of contact for the project and the point person for all correspondence.
  2. Someone other than the senior communicator (unit communicator, marketer, etc.) is the main point of contact for the project and the point person for all correspondence. In this case, the senior communicator must be made aware of the request, must agree to not being the main point of contact, and must be included in all correspondence with the agency.

Step 2: Creative Brief

To make contact with one of the creative service vendors, complete as best you can a very short creative brief. This is merely a guide for the vendor in developing the creative materials. The completed brief should be sent to the vendor, and, if you are not the senior communicator, to your unit’s senior communicator.

Step 3: Initial Meeting

For each project, the selected vendor will participate in an initial meeting with your unit to discuss scope of job, specifications, budget and timeline. These meetings may be held in person or virtually, at the discretion of your unit. After the meeting the vendor will summarize project details in writing and return a written summary to you for review and approval. Each project summary will include:

  • An estimate of project cost based on the preapproved contractual hourly rate and the anticipated number of hours for project completion.
    • Notes:
      • All project estimates will be inclusive of all costs including account management expenses (phone and email communications, meeting time, normal travel, administration of projects, etc.) and other costs including but not limited to photography, illustrations and animations.
      • You should attach the final estimate to an e-Req (state funds) or ShopBlue order (RF or UBF funds) made out to the vendor. The commodity is “Printing: Design Services.” You will also need to reference the appropriate contract number, which can be found on the vendor information page. For any questions regarding procurement or e-Reqs/ShopBlue/POs, please contact Bethany Scibetta.
      • If, after a purchase order (PO) has been generated based on the final estimate, there is a cost increase due to a change in the project, the vendor must convey this cost increase to you, and you, in turn, must provide approval in writing to the vendor prior to any continuation of work. This cost increase should then be submitted to Procurement Services as a change order on the original PO.
  • A plan for contracting new photography (if needed) or the use of existing/stock photography (if applicable).
  • An agreed-upon number of initial concepts and subsequent layout proofs to be provided once a concept is chosen.

Step 4: Concept to Production

  • Subsequent on-campus or virtual meetings may be held as appropriate throughout the production process. The vendor will provide initial design concepts and subsequent layout proofs in hard copy (i.e., high-resolution output, laser or inkjet). Note: An electronic format such as a PDF may be acceptable if agreed upon by your unit during the initial project meeting.   
  • The vendor will work with your unit to determine graphic design project printing specifications as required and to select paper, ink and any special production treatment(s) as needed, working within budgetary constraints. The vendor will provide written print specs to your unit.
  • Your unit will be responsible for selecting the printer and for print purchasing. Whenever possible, University Print Services should be utilized for printing. Print Services has many capabilities that are not listed on their website; please contact them to discuss. Also, please note that when using Print Services, you are not required to get competitive pricing and do not need to work through Procurement Services. You will work directly with Print Services. Send them your project specs when available, and they will let you know whether they are able to complete the job. Only after you have received written confirmation that they cannot complete a job may you pursue an external print vendor. When bidding for an external print vendor your unit must comply with all procurement guidelines, including competitive pricing. [Note: The contact in procurement for print buying is Bethany Scibetta (]
  • The vendor will ensure that prepress requirements are completed for all electronic files prepared for printing.
  • For print projects, the vendor will supply printer-ready files and upload directly to Print Services or the contracted printer where applicable, and act as the main liaison with the chosen print vendor or fabricator.
  • The vendor will also provide a physical mock-up of the project (if applicable) to the selected printer or fabricator.
  • Files for print will be editable InDesign, Illustrator or Acrobat files. Files will include bleed (if applicable) and crop marks.
  • For digital-only projects, web art will be provided in the appropriate predetermined file format for the project, as specified by your unit.

Step 5: Final Files

  • Upon completion of the project, the vendor will forward all production files to your unit, including a final layout file with all linked fonts, photos and graphics in place; and a detailed description of the printing specifications. The vendor will share files electronically via an online tool such as UB Box.
  • All project materials will become the property of the university.
  • The university does not grant any license to the vendor to use university material in any other project except as provided for in the scope of the project assigned through this contract.