Publishing Process

Note: if you are already familiar with the publishing process, please proceed to How to get something printed.

Planning your print publication

Consult early with the Marketing Communication staff to discuss the project. Even if your publication is in the idea stage or deemed to be a "reprint," we will have editorial and design suggestions that can be implemented if time permits. At this point, we will also decide if the information could be posted on the university website.

Before or after the consultation, fill out a Publication Request Form, which includes the project name, desired delivery date and location, budget, quantity, mailing information, and an outline of the project’s purpose and marketing goals.

Submit final copy on disk or via Microsoft Outlook email to LaCava 115A or at least six to eight weeks before your requested delivery date. The text you send should be as complete as possible, reviewed and approved by the appropriate individuals in your department or elsewhere on campus. We will work with you on a projected production schedule at this time.

Tap someone to be the liaison between your office and Marketing Communication for the duration of the project. If someone other than the liaison must provide approvals, involve that person at every critical step.

Complete proofreading and approvals within set deadlines to keep your project on schedule and avoid rush charges from printers and other outside vendors. If more than two rounds of edits are needed, the schedule will be adjusted accordingly.

Scheduling your publication

In general, you can expect 10 working days for editing, 15 working days for design and production, and 10 more for printing. These estimates vary based on the project’s length and complexity, amount of editorial and design work needed, and quantity of pieces required. Ambitious projects, such as catalogues, may take months. Our department’s workload at the time your job arrives will affect timing, too. Our mission requires that major externally directed projects, such as recruitment publications and catalogues for prospective students, be first in line. Brochures, posters, flyers and forms intended solely for on-campus use are undertaken on a time-available basis. Workload can limit our production of signs, charts, advertisements, illustrations, name tags and similar materials.

Preparing your copy

As a rule, each campus office or department drafts copy for its own publications. Verify all names, facts and figures before submitting your copy to us. In addition, if your copy needs to be OK’d by someone else in your department or division, be sure to obtain that approval before sending the copy to our office. Making changes becomes increasingly expensive and time-consuming as the publications process proceeds.

To ensure editorial strength and consistency, an editor on the Marketing Communication staff reviews all copy intended for publication. If our changes are substantial, we will discuss them with you.

Below, a few guidelines to help you prepare copy:

For new or substantially updated publications:

  • Verify all names, dates, statistics and other factual material in your text.

  • Have your draft approved by all individuals who need to do so before submitting the copy to us.

  • Submit copy via Microsoft Outlook e-mail or on disk, preferably using Microsoft Word software; indicate the file name.

  • Submit all material to be used in the publication: photos and captions, headlines, cover material, coupons or forms, mailing permits and return address.

  • Send us a copy of the previous printed version, if one exists.

For repeating publications with minor updates:

  • In red ink, mark changes directly on the original printed piece.

  • Type onto a disk any new material that is longer than three sentences, indicating on the original where these insertions are to go.

  • Give us a hard copy printout of the new material and, again, keep a copy for your records.

Questions? Call Executive Director Katherine Blake at ext. 2074.

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Design and production

Design involves decisions about concept, your publication’s size, number of pages, layout, illustrations and photography, typography, paper, folds, ink color and binding. Collaboration and input are welcome throughout the process, and incorporated into the final design decisions made by the Marketing Communication staff. We have a distinctive Bentley “style” that must be used on all publications, including standardized typefaces and colors, a uniform return address block, a publication reference code, and boilerplate description of Bentley.

Once your copy has been edited, our designers draw on their expertise and the ideas generated during client consultation to create a first layout of your publication. Keep in mind that our six- to eight-week time frame for publication production allows for two rounds of client input. Substantive additional changes may require flexibilty on the delivery of your project. 

Our office maintains files of photographs for use in Bentley publications. If your publication requires new photos, give us the list of subjects either during the planning meeting or when the final copy is ready. We will make arrangements for a freelance photographer to take the required shots.

Before a project goes to press, your department sign-off is needed on the Approval to Print form.

Although we try to catch mistakes, it is ultimately the client’s responsibility to make sure that all dates, name spellings, and other elements of a publication are correct. Fixing errors before the files are sent to the print vendor keeps costs and time delays to a minimum. You will be asked to sign off on a final laser output.


Fig. 1.  example of approval form

Bluelines or final proofs

Marketing, recruitment and development-oriented publications are all printed by external vendors. When the printer receives your publication, it will create a final proof(s) for approval before printing. The most common of these is a "blueline" proof, so called because it appears blue in color. It does not show the actual colors of the finished piece, nor is it printed on the actual paper. It is produced from the printing negative and is the last check before printing plates are made. For high-end jobs (typically four-color), color proofs may be included.

The blueline is used to check for correct positioning of all elements, for example, to verify that all photographs have been placed in the correct location and are facing in the proper direction. A mistake picked up at the blueline stage can be changed, but doing so will mean losing time and incurring extra charges, unless the print vendor is at fault. Once the blueline has been approved by the client and the Marketing Communication staff, the publication is printed.

Depending on the job's complexity, someone from the Marketing Communication Department may be present when your piece is on press, to ensure quality.


Once your printed publication has rolled off the presses and been folded, trimmed, perforated, stapled, glued or otherwise packaged into final form, it will be delivered. The Publication Request Form includes space for your delivery instructions; please fill in this information. Indicate on the form if you want portions of the order shipped to different locations (e.g., 100 shipped to you, 5,000 shipped to a mailing house). It's wise to order a quantity slightly higher than you expect to use, since the cost of adding extras to the original order is generally low. A reprint, on the other hand, can cost as much as 100-percent more than the original printing.

Costs and Budget

Submit the online Publication Request Form to the Marketing Communication Department, including information on budget, cost-center number to be charged, and contact information. We can determine how much your publication is likely to cost in one of two ways: 1) develop printing specifications to meet your budget, or 2) work out a publication concept and give you an estimate of its cost. In either case, we must do a preliminary design of the publication. This gives us the specifics we need — size, format, binding, number of pages, number of photographs, quantity to be printed — to get a realistic estimate of production and printing costs. 

For most jobs, we solicit bids from a pool of printing vendors in the area, matching their capabilities with the job's requirements. If your project will cost more than $5,000, Bentley's purchasing policy requires us to seek competitive bids from three comparable vendors. They supply bids, or "quotes," based on the publication’s size, format and other specifications outlined above; quotes can vary substantially among vendors. In general, we select the lowest estimate as long as the vendor can meet the delivery deadline and other requirements of the publication. Quotes are not carved in stone, however: Last-minute copy changes or "rush job" charges can up your final cost by as much as 20 to 30 percent.

Once the estimate comes in and you approve it, production will proceed. If the price is over budget — but within reach — the designer will try to modify the design specifications without undermining the original design objectives. We will then get a new price, repeating these steps as necessary until the publication can be produced within budget.

Your department should send the signed requisition and all documentation (bids, special instructions, etc.) to the Purchasing Department. Purchasing staff will generate a purchase order and supply the Marketing Communication Department with the purchase order number.

Bills with purchase order numbers go to the Marketing Communication Department, which verifies that the billed amount meets the agreed upon price. Once we have signed off on the bill, we will forward it to your department for signed approval. You should send it directly to Accounts Payable. You will receive bills for all services your publication receives — pre-press materials, printing and, occasionally, for photography and related services.

Postage Costs and Indicias

(from Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Definition of "indicia"
Main Entry: in·di·cia
Pronunciation: in-'di-sh(E-)&
Etymology: Latin, plural of indicium sign, from indicare
Date: circa 1626
1: distinctive marks
2: postal markings often imprinted on mail or on labels to be affixed to mail

Postage fees come out of each individual cost center. A department liaison is responsible for working with his or her mail house and the Bentley Mail Room on the proper wording for postal indicias that are printed on their publications. The "approval to print" form that needs to be signed before a project goes to the printer confirms that the postal indicia is correct.

For example, the mail house, Fulfillment Express, currently requires the following for permit imprints:

For First Class
First Class Mail
U.S. Postage
Waltham, MA
Permit No. 59889
For Third Class
Nonprofit Org
U.S. Postage
Waltham, MA
Permit No. 59889

Note: The words Bentley University do not appear on the postal indicias.

How to get something printed

There are three tracks for getting a Bentley publication printed:

1. Marketing, recruitment, alumni and development publications
All marketing publications that are printed with college funds and that communicate with prospective or currently enrolled students, alumni or other outside audiences are written or edited, designed and printed by the Marketing Communication Department. If you have a brand-new piece that needs editorial and design work, please complete a creative brief with all the particulars: Order Forms.

Please submit a publication request form with the applicable details if you are requesting an update to a previously produced publication: Order Forms.

2. Former Print Shop Jobs 
If you have a project (NCR forms, letters, mailers, invitations, postcards and newsletters for an on-campus audience) that would have gone to the now defunct Print Shop — and that you feel warrants the expense of printing — please fill out and submit the former print shop request form. Then e-mail your project to or mail your disk to: Internal Printing Jobs, LaCava 115A. The job will be printed exactly as received; we are unable to accept paper versions of your project; the files must be electronic. Please allow one week to 10 days for delivery.

3. Copy Center
Most campus-focused fliers, booklets up to 16 pages, information sheets and posters can be produced by the college's Copy Center, which provides Bentley faculty and staff with high-quality, high- volume, cost-effective photocopies, using new digital technology and black ink. Color copies are also available at $1 per piece. To order 8½" x 11" or 8½" x 14" copies, go to:Copy Center.

Questions? Call Executive Director of Marketing Communication Katherine Blake at 781.891.2074 or email