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Prospectus Printing & Design Services

Prospectus design and printing services for schools, colleges and universities.

The role of any school, college or university prospectus is to provide that vital first impression. A prospectus is an opportunity to give both parents and students an introduction to your vision and ethos.

Creating the perfect prospectus design

First impressions count, so your prospectus needs to look stunning and provide a compelling insight into what makes you unique. Once complete, your prospectus will be an important tool in your armoury and form a key part of your promotional mix.

What goes into the creation, design and printing of the perfect prospectus?

Your prospectus is a very efficient sales tool. It will often be the first time potential students and their parents read of the benefits you offer.

Your prospectus is the perfect opportunity to promote your vision, your people and your key messages. Make sure your prospectus communicates this throughout and reinforces your values regularly.

To be most effective it should complement your other marketing activities, such as your website and open days. Its timing and distribution should work in conjunction with other initiatives to ensure the content is current and maximises your exposure.

Consider your target audience

lt’s vital that your prospectus is designed around how both parents and students and possible other stakeholders will perceive your offering. A young audience will be attracted to different messages and presentation than adults, a perfect middle ground must be found in order for your prospectus to be most effective.

Advertising exciting projects that current students have been part of, ideally showing the fantastic opportunities they have enjoyed, must be accompanied by messages around how they’re education has benefitted.

The Design

You only get one chance to make the first impression.

The initial thing to consider in your prospectus design is to make it enticing enough to be picked up in the first place. Next you need to encourage people to read it, find what they’re looking for easily and then, ultimately, choose your establishment over others.

Attention spans are getting shorter, so it’s important you work with an experienced prospectus designer who can think creatively. A professional designer will know how to differentiate your prospectus from your competition, creating unique ideas that will draw attention to it,

The Format

Once you’ve settled on the overall design, there are several format considerations to consider, each of which will have a bearing on the final product. The type of images and content you will have will determine whether you opt for A4, AS or a more custom size. Then there is the choice of paper and finish. Part of the appeal of prospectuses is that they are tactile — gloss, matt and silk stock are all possibilities and all have a role to play, along with lamination techniques.

Another thing to consider is the use of tabs and colour coded sections. Ease of navigation around the prospectus is vital if you want your audience to find what they’re looking for.

The Binding

This is important too, and easily overlooked. How many pages are in your prospectus? How durable do you want it to be? How will it be displayed? Are all important questions to ask before selecting your binding option.

Some binding options include saddle stitching, PUR binding or thread sewn. Also, think about what you want displayed on the spine, this may be the first thing someone sees so make it attention grabbing!

The Copy

The photographs and images in your prospectus will play a crucial role in encouraging people not only to read but to be inspired by what’s in it. But the accompanying words are important too. The content should be interesting, stimulating, perhaps even thought provoking and guide the reader to make the right decision.

In many cases less is actually more. Your readers want your main messages to be obvious, so why disappoint them with irrelevant content? Make your prospectus informative but also interesting, don’t rush the content, take your time. And above all else make sure you proof read it before going to print, the last thing you want are typos in your final prospectus! If possible, why not share the content with current students before finalising the design? Not only will this give you a good indication of whether your content and layout is on the right track, but they may come up with some excellent ideas and suggestions.

The use of photographs and images

When using photographs in your prospectus it pays to ensure they are the highest quality. They will show off your facilities and your happy students,

In many cases you may also want to include diagrams, or illustrations. Make sure they look professional, this will add enormously to the impact. Attractive infographics can really help in simplifying the understanding of a process or procedure.

The call to actions

Think about what calls to action will bring the end result you desire —- what do you want your readers to do? All your calls to action should be bold, unmissable, straightforward and clear. Your phone number, website address, email and social media channels should be obvious.

The Printing

You’ve completed the planning, thoroughly checked your content, and finalised the design ~ you of course now need to get it printed. What printing technique to use — digital, litho, or web offset? How do you know which one is best for your prospectus? What are the pros and cons of each?

They all have their advantages and which one you choose will depend on many factors — the size of the print run, your actual design, the paper you’ve chosen, and perhaps even your brand colours. This an area where specialist advice is so important.

The Distribution For maximum effectiveness, you need a well thought out distribution strategy.

Are you going to mail printed copies to an existing database? Have you thought about the postage costs? Are you wanting to send out batches to local events and / or organisations? Are you having open days and want strategies to ensure as many attendees as possible pick up a copy?

Personalised/Customised Prospectuses

From data supplied by you, we are able to distribute completely personalised, unique prospectuses to potential students containing only the courses they are interested in. Each prospectus still shows core information such as your heritage, values and contact details. Personalised prospectuses have a ‘green’ value in that only relevant information is printed and postage/distribution costs are lower. In addition, you create much more of a “one-on-one” dialogue your prospective student.

How do you know what’s the best approach?

The key thing to think about here is how to maximise the impact, and that’s where our prospectus printing and design experts can help!

There’s a lot to think about, and plenty of ways to make your school prospectus truly outstanding. What you need is the right supplier — an experienced organisation that can bring all these components together to create the perfect solution for you. That’s where Calderstone comes in. To learn more of how this may work for you please contact Martin Bender on 020 8391 3001 or get a quote or have your questions answered here