Dena Matthews, publication production manager in the Office of University Communications, works with designers, editors, photographers, department contacts and outdoor vendors to create booklets, posters, direct mail pieces, banners, postcards and other material for Wesleyan.
Q: Dena, you recently celebrated your first-year anniversary working as a publication production manager in the Office of University Communications. Do you oversee all publications produced for campus-use?
A: Not all, but I manage hundreds of projects- booklets, posters, direct mail pieces, banners, postcards and more- that are intended for Wesleyan communities on-campus and off.
Q: Please cite a few examples of publications that you have helped manage recently.
Dena Matthews helped create the Homecoming/Family Weekend program.
A: The Wesleyan Annual Fund’s compelling direct mailer, the freshly redesigned packet mailed to newly admitted students, and the simply elegant Homecoming and Family Weekend booklet are terrific examples. Each uniquely exhibits beautiful and cost-effective solutions the Office of Communications staff can accomplish on schedule when collaborating with our campus constituents.
Q: Are most publications printed at Wesleyan’s print shop, Cardinal Print and Copy, or by outside businesses?
A: Cardinal Print and Copy handles our routine digital printing, like posters you see on-campus. I call on outside vendors operating offset printing presses, bindery and mailing services for complicated projects and/or those with quantities over one thousand.
Q: What is your role working with vendors?
A: I look for the best fit for each project matching it to a vendor by evaluating their location, environmental initiatives, services, capabilities and price. I work closely with the selected vendor and with Steven Jacaruso, art director, or Anne Marcotty, senior designer, to ensure the project specifications- like paper stock, dimensions, quantities or special instructions like folding, inserting and binding- are clear. Generally, I obtain three competitive bids.
Dena Matthews managed the Office of Admission's packet that is mailed to newly-admitted students.
Q: How would you help, say, the Office of Admission create the Admissions Packet? What are the steps from start to finish, and what is an average turn-around time?
A: Since the project was a redesign initiated by Jillian Baird-Burnett, associate dean of admission, I arranged a meeting with our staff, her and others from the offices of Admission and Financial Aid to discuss their goals. It was a complex project, so I’ll outline our process.
We start by developing concepts. After a one is selected, I request a vendor deliver paper dummies using the proposed paper stock. This is evaluated for compliance with Wesleyan Station’s metering equipment, U.S. postal regulations, and postage cost. Once I have a consensus on the physical construction of the piece, I focus on facilitating the content development.
The designers search our archives of images to suggest in the layout. Bill Burkhart, university photographer, is called upon if a project requires updated campus images. This particular photo was taken by Olivia Bartlett Drake in our office.
The packet contains literature
Read more →