How to prep content for design & layout

Many clients ask how they can best prepare the content for their website or printed piece before providing it to us for design. If you are writing your own text, please e-mail us one text file with all of your text in final form. Ideally, sections of text should be in the order in which they will appear in the final piece. Most people create their text files in Word. Please leave the text as unformatted as possible (i.e., don’t use tabs, columns, etc.).

Of course you can still make changes to the text after we lay it out, but production is most efficient when your copy is finalized before the design and layout process begins. Therefore, it’s preferable to take the time you need and get approval from all interested parties before sending your text to us, even if we have less time for design and layout.

You can give us any special instructions about layout by typing a note right into your text file. You might want to let us know where sections go on a page, indicate how your site should navigate, or let us know if we should give special treatment to an item by putting it in a box, for example. If you want us to make these decisions, that’s fine also.

The approximate maximum word count for an 8.5” x 11” printed page is 500 words to allow room for white space and photos/artwork. Please note that mail plates and covers of brochures and reports typically accommodate far fewer words. Contact us if you need assistance determining appropriate word counts for websites, social media, and other digital marketing tools. We can also help you determine word counts for documents with a page size other than 8.5″ x 11.” Creating content of the correct length for the marketing vehicle you have chosen is one of the primary ways to control costs and keep a project on schedule.

You can e-mail us digital files of photos and artwork for use in your publication. Whenever possible, indicate within the text file (or in the name of the photo) where specific photos should be placed. We can supplement the photos you provide with free or inexpensive stock art. If your photos are numerous or very high resolution, we recommend using a free file sharing service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Hightail to grant us access to them.