Design FAQ

What program should I use?

Many design programs are expensive to purchase, but it’s not necessary for your department to take on that cost. First, Communication & Marketing is available to work with you to iterate on professional, branded designs. We use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of programs, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and can provide files to you in a variety of formats for distribution.

If you would like to start your designs yourself, use whatever tools are available to you in order to communicate most effectively. We understand that some departments may only have Microsoft Publisher, the Google suite, or Canva available to them; please know that it may be more difficult to create high-end documents in these programs, and Communication & Marketing may need to iterate with you in order to adequately brand your materials.

What size should I make a flier?

Many departments on campus look to promote events or groups in a short term, cost-effective way by printing fliers on campus. The Ricoh printers available to each department can print on standard letter- (8.5×11), and tabloid- (11×14) sized paper, and either of these should work for your needs. If you would like to print a larger poster, we can work with you to create a file and connect with a vendor.

What is resolution/dpi?

Resolution refers to the number of pixels (or dots) per inch in an image. Standard definition screens operate at 72 dpi. Retina displays have a higher pixel density of 144 dpi. All printed material must be 300 dpi. Printing at lower resolution results in poor quality images.

What are CMYK/RGB/HEX/Pantone Spot Colors?

CMYK and RGB are color profiles. CMYK refers to the commercial printing process and consists of values distributed among four ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. RGB refers to screen display colors with color depth values distributed among red, green, and blue. RGB colors may also be defined by a hexadecimal code, which is commonly used in web design.

When developing print materials, all images and colors should be in CMYK. When developing material for the web or other screen display, all images and colors should be converted to RGB. Colors may look very different when converted.

Can I use this image I found?

Be sure that you have permission to use any image that you want to include in your materials or site. If your needs aren’t covered by Communication & Marketing’s photography or your own supply of photos and illustration, make sure that whatever image you want to use is royalty free and if not free to use, then something you have paid for. Images found on Wikimedia Commons or services like Unsplash are helpful.

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How can I add a QR Code to my design?

We use and recommend QR Code Generator ( for generating QR codes. You can easily enter your website to have it converted to a scannable QR code png file for free. You can change the color to Bulldog Blue or add simple frame designs using this app as well.

If your event or program is established as a campus tradition, such as Homecoming, Give UNC Asheville, Greenfest, etc, or is a named series or annual event, such as Visiting Writers Series, Parsons Lecture, etc., we can generate a dynamic QR Code for you that allows us to track the scans throughout the campaign. We can also add branding details, such as changing the color to Bulldog Blue, adding a simple frame, or adding a logo to the QR code.

We recommend including a listed url whenever a QR code is used for best accessibility. QR codes are recommended for using on printed materials, but are not recommended for digital materials since mobile users cannot scan codes when they’re already viewing on their phones!

Why can’t I print designs that go to the edge of my paper?

That’s called bleed—as in designs that go to the edge of the paper bleed off the edge. Printing full-bleed is not possible on campus printers. If you’d like to print something the full size of your paper, the job will need to be done by a commercial print vendor. There are a number of vendors that UNC Asheville works with; please email for further guidance.