Checklist: Is your thesis ready for layout?
For most doctoral students it is the first time that they request a design and print of a thesis. Moreover, it is probably the first time that you are collaborating with a designer and a printing office. In this article, we discuss the most important things that you can do before you deliver your files to us. After all, good preparation is half the work.
1. Start in time with the design
Often it is assumed that Persoonlijk Proefschrift can only start designing the layout and cover of your thesis when your thesis is approved by the committee. However, this is not the case. Actually, the content of your thesis is the only thing that we do not need directly from the start. Designing a layout has to do with appearance of text and everything around it, but not necessarily with the actual content of the text.
Therefore, we advice to start as soon as possible with the layout of your thesis. Even before your final files are ready, we can design your cover and a complete layout proof. After the approval of the committee, the only thing left for us to do is applying the agreed layout design to your files. This roughly saves 2-3 weeks in your planning.
At our processpage you can see the first 4 steps which can be executed without final content. In most cases we will use your most recent files, since this will provide a clear idea of the design and it will make proof prints more realistic.
So, when to start with the design of your thesis? We advice to contact us as soon as you send your thesis to the committee. Through our request page, you can upload your temporary files and we can start the process of designing your thesis. Usually, a committee has at least 4 weeks to provide you with approval. During these weeks, we can discuss all design related topics and prepare a layout in order to start immediately after the approval of the committee.
2. Know what you want and what you like about other books
The first question a designer of your thesis will ask you is: What do you want the layout of your thesis to look like? Do you have any preferences or examples? What do you like? And so on.
A designer can approach the work in several ways, starting with varying instructions, such as: “Please make it smooth and clean”, or “I like this font specifically with this spacing etc.”. In both cases, it helps the designer if you can provide examples. These do not have to be examples of dissertations, but can also be books or magazines of which you like the layout of. Our designers can make a translation from these examples to your personal layout design. You could also take a look at our example page or take pictures of books that you like and send them along with your design request.
3. Check the quality of your text and images
The most common critique on the provided material has to do with quality of images. We always check the resolution of your images before printing and provide you feedback about the quality. In most cases there are some images that do not have a sufficient resolution. This does not lead directly to printing problems, but it will not look very nice.
First of all, it is wise to find the original files of all your images. When an image is placed in Word, it will be compressed, which lowers its quality. The original files can be provided in several formats (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .eps, .ai, .pdf, etc.). We can work with almost all formats. So, collect the original files of all your images and chances are high that the quality is good.