Frequently asked questions | University of Oxford
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Design Studio work examples

Frequently asked questions

What type of design work do you undertake?

We undertake a range of design work, including leaflets, brochures, newsletters, posters and flyers.

How do I decide what format is best suited to my needs?

Please refer to the Public Affairs website which will assist you in deciding the best medium for your communication. You can also see examples of different types of publications as well as outline costs at Examples of our Work. If you are still unsure please indicate this on the New Job Enquiry Form and a member of the design team will discuss the options available to you.

Do I need to write a brief in advance of contacting the Design Studio?

As part of your initial online submission (New Job Enquiry Form), we ask you to write a short design brief. It is advisable to have a written brief, no matter how simple it might be. This helps you to focus on what, why, how and to whom you wish to convey your information. Without a brief it is difficult for the designer to understand your needs and therefore meet your requirements. Your initial brief need not address technical issues such as the size, type of paper etc. However, it is useful to have an idea of an overall budget figure and also the numbers you wish to print.

What are the different processes involved in working with you?

Please see the Design and print process or refer to this workflow PDF.

How quickly can the Design Studio complete my job?

That depends on the size and complexity of the job. Please contact us using the New Job Enquiry Form to discuss your specific requirements and we will supply you with a detailed schedule. Once the schedule and brief have been agreed, you will need to meet the agreed deadlines to ensure the job is delivered to schedule. We will do all we can to help, but reserve the right to advise you of impossible deadlines and to amend the schedule if you do not meet agreed timescales.

How much will my publication cost?

Once you have submitted the New Job Enquiry Form, we will discuss your individual requirements and supply you with a quotation for the work. The cost of jobs does vary according to the length of publication, quantities required etc. However, you can find an indication of costs for design and print for different types of publication in Examples of our Work.

What is included in the quote?

The quote will represent the total cost of the agreed job, including design, project management, additional services if requested (such as print), and VAT if applicable. Additional design work that is not part of the agreed brief will be charged at a rate of £48 per hour.

Please note that proof-reading is not part of the design service unless specifically requested (for which an additional charge will be made). You will be responsible for checking and approving the final proofs.

How will I be charged?

A quote for the total cost of the work will be provided to you as part of the design brief. You will be asked to approve the brief before work begins. At this stage, departments and colleges who use Oracle Financials will be asked to provide a purchase order number. If any additional costs are incurred during the work that were not part of the original brief, these will be communicated to you by the studio manager. Once the job has been completed, an invoice for the full amount will be sent to you by the Public Affairs Directorate.

Please be aware that colleges will be charged VAT on all services, including design, picture-research and print-buying.

How do I source images?

Oxford University Images is an online picture library containing images from across the University and is a useful resource for those producing communications materials. Members of the collegiate University can purchase a licence to use photographs from the image library at reduced rates.

For information on what kind of images to use, briefing photographers, quality and size of images as well as photographic consent, visit How to get the most out of your images.

If you supply your own images, please note that you are responsible for ensuring that you have the appropriate model consent and photographer’s licence agreements. Also, please ensure that they are of high enough resolution. Contact the Studio Manager if you would like us to check the size.

Do I need consent to use photographs?

All images are subject to copyright and it is important to determine who has ownership. In addition, you need to ensure that you have the appropriate consent from anyone who appears in the pictures.

Do you offer a picture research service?

We can offer a picture research service. Please remember that this service needs to be requested and will incur an additional charge including reproduction fees as appropriate. If you would like to source images yourself, University of Oxford Images is a useful resource to use.

When do you need the copy?

You need to provide finished, approved copy before we commence the design process. This will be part of the agreed schedule.

Do you offer a copy-writing service?

We do not offer a writing service, but we can supply a list of freelance writers whom you could approach to undertake the work.

Do you offer a copy-editing and proof-reading service?

We can offer a professional copy-editing and proof-reading service. Please remember that this service needs to be requested and will incur an additional charge. 

What does your print-buying service consist of?

A member of the design studio will liaise with a number of printers on your behalf to obtain the best possible price and quality.  Before this can be done we will need to agree with you on size, pagination, use of colour, proofing, paper stock, finishing (trimming and binding), packing and delivery. We work closely with the printer on all aspects of the job from sending to press, print proofs, final printing through to delivery. To cover our costs, we charge a print management fee of 10% of the print cost, up to a ceiling of £500. There is a minimum print management fee of £50.