online web2print for Queen's University Belfast

CDS' Template Central enables repeat publications to become 'self-service' branded products using web2print. This allows people with no design skills to create their own publications conforming to the university brand.

The Lanyon Building at Queen’s University Belfast. Photograph by Jennifer Boyer (Creative Commons Licence)

CDS self-service web2print solution

Queen’s University Belfast, uses Template Central, CDS ‘self-service’ online web2print solution to improve the efficiency of communications work and control costs.

Their Marketing and Creative Services team designers were getting increasingly involved in repetitive work instead of concentrating on new communications. This led to more and more work being placed with external agencies – incurring unwanted additional expenditure.

CDS recommended that they move regular publications, like newsletters, flyers and postcards, to Template Central, improving efficiency and saving money.

The requirement

As a thriving university with an outstanding record of achievement, Queen’s University Belfast has an active marketing and communications strategy covering both internal and external stakeholders.

The Marketing and Creative Services team has in-house designers to produce most of the University’s needs, complemented by a roster of external agencies.

They identified a considerable amount of internal design resource was being used for standard marketing materials for Schools, taking the focus away from new marketing communications. The University tried to combat this by placing more work with external agencies, but this incurred additional costs.

The University then sought a web2print (templating) system to give users without design skills the capability to produce their own artwork, while having the assurance that communications would still meet the corporate branding requirements.

The solution

QUBCDS recommended that they move a number of suitable publications, including newsletters, flyers and postcards, to Template Central, our online web2print solution. This would enable users to design their own publications with defined templates and approved images.

The University identified a suite of materials which would support the marketing activities of their 20 Schools. In consultation with CDS, print specifications were created which matched the printing capabilities of CDS’ on campus Print and Repro Centre. This enabled a 24 hour delivery guarantee on all orders placed for print.

The initial design for each publication is produced in-house by the University’s design team. Then CDS experts create a template for online use, by locking certain elements, including layout, pagination, fonts, logos and graphics against editing. Templates are then uploaded for access by multiple users via secure login and password. Users directly input text, choose colours and approved graphics to create their own individual publications, without the need for any technical or design skills.

The use of templates helps to protect the University’s brand and ensure consistency across their communications collateral, whilst allowing users a strong degree of choice, within the brand guidelines, through image selection and formatting options. A PDF approval workflow allows drafts to be prepared and proofed until the user is happy with the content. Approved artwork is immediately available for electronic distribution.

Once the user approves their publication for print, they add the item to their shopping cart and enter the quantity they require. A unit price is set for each item, enabling the user to calculate the cost before placing an order. Print orders feed directly into the CDS Print Portal for production and invoicing.


  • Graphic design
  • Template Central
  • Web hosting
  • Print services

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Template Central has been a great asset for Queen's University Belfast. It has streamlined a substantial amount of marketing collateral into one central repository, enabling the University to manage its brand identity and messaging easily and centrally.

Tracey McKinney, Publications Manager

Queen’s University Belfast

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