Guiding Principles

  • Deliver quality design, on time and within budget.

  • Uphold McGill’s existing visual identity while exploring its creativity potential.

  • Understand the evolving needs of our clients, design solutions that communicate their message.

  • Learn from industry, learn from each other, learn from our clients.

  • Provide clients with environmentally-friendly options where possible.


Concept to Realization

Graphic design goes beyond aesthetics: it is first and foremost about effectively communicating with a target audience. As a studio within McGill’s Communications and External Relations Unit, we operate as one part of an integrated communications hub. We contribute our talents to maintain a consistent and evocative brand for McGill.

Of course, we also pay attention to the aesthetic quality of our work. Judicious choice of typography, photography, illustrations, colours is paramount to our process. There are many tools at our disposal, and we use them carefully to lend credibility and flair to our clients' communication. Our clients trust us to bring our expertise, and we in turn like to keep them coming back.


Step 1: Initiation

  • Fill in a Creative Brief Form to inform us about your project's scope, timelines, and constraints. We plan the production of your project based on other projects we have on the go.

  • Send text, or copy, after submitting the brief. This allows us to estimate the work involved and understand if the constraints you’ve provided are realistic. The text can be sent by e-mail, as an attachment.

  • Meet the designer assigned to your project for a free 30-minute consultation. You can raise any concerns and specify the tone and voice of your project.

  • Estimates for design and printing can be provided in advance of starting the work. Once the estimate is approved, the design can begin. Please note that our estimates do not reflect printing charges. Please request printing estimates if needed.


Step 2: Creation

  • Provide the designer with updates to text and, if needed, high resolution images for the project.

  • The designer will present one or more initial concepts, depending on budget and time. The chosen design will be finalized.

  • Carefully proof and sign off on the final artwork. It will then be prepared for press or web.

  • As we bill by the hour, it is good to involve all decision makers in the review of drafts from the beginning. Starting over later in the design process due to an unsatisfied stakeholder can be expensive. Hence, we recommend having text, images, and drafts approved before initiating a project as much as possible.


Step 3: Delivery

  • Our designers work with both external and internal printers. Clients are advised to coordinate purchase orders for external suppliers themselves to keep costs down. If a client prefers to print using McGill Printing Services, a purchase order is not required.

  • For print jobs: The printer's proof is verified and approved by the designer and, if desired, by the client. Changes can still be made at this stage but could possibly involve extra charges from the printer.

  • Final product is delivered. For print jobs, the printer will deliver to the requested address. For web, the final artwork will be sent electronically.


Step 4: Billing

  • Our design rate is $50/hr. Once the project has been completed, it will be closed and the design (and, if applicable, printing) fees will be charged to your FOAPAL account.

  • We charge clients for actual hours spent working on a project. In cases where the original estimate is higher than the tracked hours, the bill will reflect the lower amount.

  • We include a survey with the e-mail confirming the close of a job. Please send us your feedback. Our designers enjoy hearing what they did well and where there is room for improvement.

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