Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use the Office of Communications for projects?
The Office of Communications is a full-service creative office staffed with expert designers, photographers, writers, and Web developers. Conveniently located in the basement of the Medical School, the office can make your next project shine. This is a cost-recovery office that serves both Medical School and Health Science Center customers, as well as external clients.
How do I start a job with the Office of Communications?
Work is started by the submission of a job request form. Requests may be submitted via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and poster jobs to (email@example.com), FAX, 713-500-5533, or in person. We are located in the basement of the Medical School Building, 6431 Fannin, B.340, across from the green elevator. Your project will be assigned to one of our staff, and you will be invited to a planning meeting to discuss the details and timeline.
What payment forms do you accept, and when must they be provided?
Payment information must be provided to start a job. We accept credit cards, cash, and checks (not permitted from students). For internal billing (from Medical School customers), we prefer that you provide an account/chartfield number to be charged for the final amount at the end of the job. This expedites payment and alleviates the problem of residual funds in case the estimate does not match the final bill. Estimates of course are still available as are the invoices for reconciliation purposes. Personal jobs must be paid for in advance.
What is Priority Service?
Priority Service is necessary to offset the cost of overtime or special handling a job creates.
Clients requesting poster printing with less than a 48-hour turnaround will be charged the cost of the poster plus 50 percent. Posters normally take 2–3 days, depending on the workload and other factors.
When will my job be finished?
Customers are notified when their orders are ready for pickup and an invoice is sent to the customer and accounting person. All jobs are signed out when they are picked up. The turnaround of the job depends on its complexity and approval processes.
What can I do to make sure my project is completed as soon as possible?
- Have a budget in mind and billing information available at the start of the project.
- Completely fill out a job request form.
- Know your audience and purpose for your project. Bring your concepts to the table.
- Provide content that has been previously vetted.
- Help facilitate the approval process – has everyone reviewed the project in advance? Reviewing when the project is ready to go live will cost more time and money.
Does your office do personal jobs – for instance a portrait of my family, or a logo for my church?
Yes, we are happy to do personal jobs as long as you fill out our job request form in advance, and we have your tax ID form on file if the work is for a tax-exempt organization.
What type of files to you accept for printing?
PowerPoint files are preferred for poster printing. However, we do accept Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, and Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files.
Can I e-mail my file in?
How long does a poster take to print?
We ask for 48 working hours for a poster. Posters may be done sooner, and day of, but they will incur a Priority Service charge of 50 percent of the printing price.
Where can I find more info about how to design my poster?
We provide recommendations on how to set up your file in PowerPoint to produce the right output size. Templates for posters are located here.
Can you design the poster for me?
Yes. In addition to the fee for printing, there is an hourly design rate of $75.
Why do I need a proof and need to sign off on a proof receipt?
Proofs are required for all posters – this is to ensure what you have created on your computer is what was outputted on our poster printers. This also affords you another opportunity for proofing context. All poster customers must sign off on a proof receipt, detailing changes and finalizing the output size – this give us the OK to print the final product.
How do we start a Web job?
The first step is to fill out a job request form, including billing information. After that, you will be invited for a meeting to discuss your project in detail and be assigned a Web developer.
What if I only need updates to my website?
The Office of Communications can provide routine updates and maintenance for websites. The hourly rate is $75 and clients are billed monthly.
What about training so that my department can maintain the website itself?
Training is provided for those clients who want to update the website themselves.
What do I need to have to start a graphic job, like a brochure?
First, fill out the job request form. In the form, specify exactly what you are looking for and include billing information. Have a budget, audience, deadline, and quantity in mind. Allowing sufficient time will ensure the project is completed to your specifications. A meeting with a designer on your project will commence the job, and you will be responsible for approving the design and content throughout the project.
What if we need something printed?
Brochures, invitations, and other printed collateral in mass quantities designed by our office are sent to the Print Shop for printing. The Print Shop requests 2 weeks for most normal print jobs, so keep this in mind as you are planning your timeline.
Do you design logos?
Yes, our designers have a large portfolio of logos they have designed.
Do you do medical illustrations?
Yes. We can help you with your medical illustrations.
What kind of files do you accept?
For printed pieces, high resolution JPEG (.jpg) and TIFF (.tif) formats are acceptable for images. Word and PowerPoint can be sent for text.
Do you have photos already taken that I can use?
The Office of Communications has a comprehensive photo archive, which spans the history of the Medical School, the Texas Medical Center, and other stock photography. Because the archive is so large, please provide specific details on the type of photo you need and allow ample time for its retrieval.
How do I schedule a photographer for my event?
Fill out a job request form first, and please include location details, billing information, date and time, as well as specific photos you want taken. To ensure one of our two photographers can fill your request, please submit the job request form at least two weeks in advance – it is best to contact us as soon as you know your event’s date.
What if it’s an after-hours or weekend assignment?
Yes, our photographers cover after-hour and weekend assignments at the rate of time and a half ($113/hour).
Is there a minimum for photography jobs?
On site locations will be charged a minimum of one hour - $75. Other charges include photo editing, printing, archiving to disk, and e-mailing. Download the photo price list here.