Working with the PC

VU 411 | Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Q. How do I request publicity? In-person? Online?

Publicity requests are made online by clicking on the ‘Request Publicity’ tab above. You’ll be brought to an Western Information Network (WIN) form, which you fill out with all of the following information:

  • Primary and secondary contact name, email and phone number

  • Sponsors for the event

  • Budget Code and ER/WR number*

  • Requested project completion date

  • Event date(s), time(s), location(s), activities

  • Goal of the event (i.e. if it's a panel discussion or a film viewing or just cool people getting together to chill)

  • Selecting the products you want (i.e. posters, banners, handbills) and quantities

  • Design ideas (we'll get more into this further along)

Once you press ‘Submit’, our Project Managers get an email request to review. All requests should be made four to six weeks before the requested due date (in most cases, this will be your event date). If a request does not give us those four to six weeks, we reserve the right to deny the project. If the timeline is far enough out, we create a project on Basecamp, assign a Designer to it, and send you an email to let you know that the project has been started.

*Please note that an Expenditure Request is required for us to process AS office projects, and a Withdrawal Request is required for AS Clubs

Q. Why do we need to submit our requests so far in advance?

Timeline of the PC process:

Weeks 1-2:    Project Manager processes the request and Designer does all of the design work.
Week 3-4:        Products are sent to print, proofed, finalized, and printed.
Weeks 5-6:      All of the publicity materials are distributed and your event is publicized.

We ask for four to six weeks because coming up with a design that meets the client’s vision is a process. Designers need time to come up with and create a design, post a draft and make any requested changes.

Please note: you can expedite the process by vetting/editing the copywriting ahead of time and submitting all details you want included in the Publicity Center Request.

Once the design is finalized, the Designer will format it for each piece of publicity requested. When all material is approved, they are posted online and/or sent to print.

Once the PC receives posters for distribution, the distribution crew has to post them around campus. This all takes time.

Q. What is Basecamp? How do I use it? Do I always have to use it? Can I come in to the office to talk about my design?

Basecamp is our project management program, and it facilitates communication for everyone on a project; the goal of using Basecamp is to keep everyone on the same page. This is where Designers will post design drafts, where Project Managers will keep the calendar, and where we keep track of all project updates.

Of course, you are welcome to meet with your Designer or your Project Manager in person. We know it’s sometimes easier to discuss some details so feel free to set up a meeting or come in and talk to us.

Q. What do posters cost? What about banners? Design time?

We are only able to give exact costs of the materials we print in house, which are most things bigger than 11x17. Most often, this means the 8-ft banners* you see up on the sides of the buildings around campus. We are capable of providing the exact prices for anything we print in house; however, this is not true for anything we send to Copy Services because there are lots of small elements that can affect the cost. With that in mind, here are some estimates of the typical items, quantities, and costs:

We are only able to give exact costs of the materials we print in house, which are most things bigger than 11x17.

With that in mind, here are some estimates of the typical items, quantities, and costs:

30x Posters – $16 approximately

400x Handbills – $45 approximately

300x Table tents* – $90 approximately

8-ft Banner* - $48

AS Clubs pay for design time, unless your club receives a Club Package. Design time is charged at $16 per hour.

AS programs and offices are not charged for design time

*require reservations

Q. How does reserving table tents or banners work? You do that for us, right?  

No, we don’t.

To reserve table tents, you’ll want to call (preferred), 360-650-2970, or visit Dining/Food Services, Edens Hall 109.

For banner reservations, visit the WWU Reservations site (Mazevo). Contact the Viking Union Reservations Office with any banner questions at 360-650-6131 or vu.reservations@wwu.edu.

Q. Do I always have to go through the PC for design work?

AS offices: yes, you need to go through the PC for your publicity to ensure brand and accessibility compliance.

If you have a volunteer or a staff member who wants to design for you, or you have pre-made materials from a performer you prefer to use, talk to us first! We can work that out and make sure any design work meets University and AS requirements.

AS Clubs: not necessarily.

If you have someone in your club who wants to do the design work, that’s perfectly fine. Though, we do recommend that you come talk to us during the design process so we can offer guidance and ensure your design meets University and AS requirements .

Q. So what needs to go on the poster? 

There are five elements that need to go on each poster:

  • AS logo

  • Any sponsor logo(s)

  • "For disability accommodations please contact (event coordinator email and phone)."

Please note: the disability accommodations statement is for events only.

  • "Western is an equal opportunity institution" or "AA/EO"

Otherwise, we recommend that you include any relevant details:

  • Time

  • Date (include day of the week)

  • Cost (if any)

  • Location

  • Event description (if applicable)

Q. I want to work with one of the PC designers for my design but I don’t know what I want on my promotional materials. Something awesome, obviously…but I’m a little lost besides that. What should I do?

Two of the best resources for gaining inspiration are the PC itself and the internet. The PC has previous years’ posters covering the walls, and there is no shortage of places to look for ideas on the web. Our whole design crew is amazingly talented and capable of working from a reference image if you find a style that you like.

Other questions to think about are:

  • Is there a certain mood you're trying to evoke with your promotional materials?

  • Are there certain colors or images you want to include?

  • Is there anything you absolutely do not want anywhere near your project?

  • What is happening at your event?

If you have specific text that you want to be on your promotional materials, you will need to provide that information to us.

Finally, trust the designers and be flexible.

Q: Can the designer send me editable files?

No. This is a safeguard the PC has set in place to protect the work of each designer.

Q. How does distribution work? Can I put up my own posters? Where? How many posters do you distribute? When will my posters go? Does distribution cost anything?

The AS Publicity Center will post in Enclosed Posting Areas across campus at no cost as long as it meets University poster requirements.

For poster distribution, drop off at VU535 or send postings to the Publicity Center in VU 411 MS-9106 the appropriate number of postings:

a) Associated Students and WWU Posters: Maximum quantity 42*

  • 21 posters go to Residence Life

  • 5 posters go to glass cases in the VU

  • 15 posters go to glass cases around campus

  • 1 poster goes to PC archives

*By request of AS groups, 10 can go out into the community, total of 52 posters

b) Non-University Related/Non-profit posters: Maximum quantity 4

  • 4 posters will go to glass cases in the VU and around campus

c) The AS cannot provide any posting services to for-profit organizations.

Q. What is digital signage?

TV screens around campus provide an excellent way to get your message out to campus. Designs may be submitted to vu.digital.signage@wwu.edu for display. Any official Western office or club may submit a still image or an animation to run on the screens. See our guidelines document for more info.

Q. Who works in the Publicity Center? 

The Publicity Center is run by students and advised by Liam Cary-Eaves, the only full-time employee on the staff.

Project Managers, graphic designers, a graphic production specialist and distributors make the program run from the moment someone makes a PC Request to the distribution of deliverables.

Suggestions from the PC:

  • Do some searching around online for images of color schemes, visual styles, and content you think might work well for your design before you submit your request. This will provide your designer a good starting point to get going.

  • If there are multiple sponsors/people coordinating an event together, choose one or two people to be in charge of the publicity materials and trust them to make the relevant decisions

  • Come talk to us!