University Creative Services provides design services for McCombs School marketing and communications projects. Donna Coffelt, in University Marketing and Creative Services, is the creative manager for all McCombs design projects. Our mission is to provide an easy and efficient process for you to create communications that are compelling, engaging and consistent with The University of Texas at Austin and McCombs School brand standards. Our new model brings extensive expertise, hands-on oversight and an unwavering commitment to quality and efficiency. We offer the following services without charge.
Our award-winning design team provides creative direction for print design, web design and photography for advancement materials, branding, identity and logo development, viewbooks and brochures, direct mail, invitations, magazines, newsletters, media campaigns and more. Working in close coordination with the McCombs director of communications, our office ensures compliance with McCombs brand guidelines.
Our project management process includes planning, scheduling and purchasing to meet your project objectives. We work collaboratively with you to define project plans and estimate project cost, coordinate project meetings, track review phases and monitor the project budget.
We track the status of your project through our online project management system to keep you informed of deliverables and milestones. We also handle all project documentation and billing and make purchasing outside design services as easy as an IDT (for projects overseen by our department). You are involved in all key decisions on your projects - our job is to make your life easier and take care of the production details so you don't have to.
To Initiate New Projects
For new projects, please complete a discovery/creative brief which gives us essential information about your project. Please use this online form. You will receive a response from us in one business day. The brief provides us with your project goals and objectives, so we can provide the best team to meet your schedule and budget requirements.
Once we receive your brief, you will receive
- An email to confirm receipt of the brief, the next steps and and a job number.
- A phone call from the creative manager to discuss your project and schedule meetings as appropriate.
- An estimate for your review and approval.
- A schedule for your review and approval.
Designer selection happens in the initial discussion of the project with you. Clients can also request a specific designer in the discovery brief. A designer is selected early in the process so that we can provide an estimate of their costs for approval. Each school has an assigned creative manager or art director. Donna Coffelt is the assigned creative manager and art director for McCombs, providing both art direction and project management. This provides consistency in direction and a consistent process for you.
After the scope/estimate is approved, work commences and the creative manager will work with the designer to ensure your project meets your goals and objectives. You will review work at different stages outlined during our initial meeting. The creative manager acts as the liaison between you and the designer, providing design direction and/or oversight to the selected designer, ensuring e-brand guidelines are followed for both the university and McCombs and making sure your goals are met. The designer's role is to provide creative design ideas and execute the work based on the goals and requirements of the project.
The creative manager reviews all work before the first comp goes to the client. If there are conflicts with the UT or McCombs brand standards, they are addressed with the designer and revised as needed. The creative manager approves the work at this stage - and then the work is provided to you for review. This important step saves time and helps keep the project on schedule.
Why do we have the internal review first? Because often times the designer is not familiar with UT or McCombs visual standards and guidelines. Also, sometimes designers are not aware of what is allowed or not allowed by the Office of Trademarks and Licensing (such as using the Longhorn silhouette in a logo, or integrating the Tower into a logo, both of which are not allowed).
Following this process
- We assess the project need and determine which designer is best suited for the project based on skills, prior work with McCombs or UT, budget and availability.
- We choose designers that are already under a "blanket PO" making the process faster and less expensive.
- We insure that accounting procedures are being handled properly.
University Creative Services handles all accounting and invoicing, and payment of vendors, when we are providing complete creative management services (including art direction, project management and graphic design). If a client works with a designer directly, without contacting our office to provide creative management of the project prior to completion of designs, it is best that those invoices be handled internally within McCombs. All billing questions should be directed to Donna Coffelt 512-475-6078 or Jill Aronson 512-475-6724.