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FAQ: How to create a CP5 Mockup

Answers to commonly asked questions about the mockup process

By CMN Staff

Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Updated: Thursday, January 20, 2011

Considering a move to College Publisher or a site redesign? We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the design and mockup process to help answer any questions you might have. Hopefully this list will get you thinking in pixels instead of picas.

Q: Do I need to provide a design mockup?
A: We would love to see your mockup, but it is not required. If you have someone on staff that is able to create a design mockup, we're excited to work with them throughout the design process. If you do not have a designer on staff, send us a written document with your design specifications and our designers will create a custom mockup for you.
Q: Are there any design specifications?
A: Our designers work mainly in Adobe Photoshop, so that is our preferred format for receiving mockups. Your mockup should be in 72 dpi, which is standard for the web. You can download a sample design file in the Resources box to the right, and use it as a base for your design. If you don't have Photoshop feel free to use another program and send us your design as a PDF, JPG, GIF, etc.
Q: What size should my masthead be?
A: Your masthead should be 975 pixels wide. Your logo does not need to fill the entire width of this area, but that is the amount of horizontal space you have to work with. A general height guideline would be around 100 pixels tall.
Q: What are my font choices?
A: For the text on your web site, it is best to stick to "web safe" fonts that most of your readers will have available on their computers. Click here for a list of common system fonts for both Windows and Macs.
Q: How do I choose a color palette?
A: Most newspapers look to their school colors when choosing a palette for their site. If you are looking for something different, check out Colour Lovers for some inspiration. Important colors to specify include the background color of your site, navigation color, link color, border or background color for elements, etc. Please include hexadecimal values for the colors you choose (example: #000000 is black).
Q: Where do our local ads appear on the site?
A: You have three local ad positions: 468 x 60 pixels, 300x250 and 160x600. Where those ads appear on your site depends on which design template you choose. Click here to view our design templates.
Q: Can we include social media links on our site?
A: Absolutely! Please include which sites you would like to link to and the specific URLs for those pages in your design specifications.
Q: What navigation options do we have?
A: There are two types of main navigation structure to choose from: vertical or horizontal. Your main navigation should include your sections and any other important links you want to include. You can also choose to include a sub-navigation in your masthead area, below your main navigation, and/or in the footer (very bottom) of your site. The sub-navigation can include non-essential links like your About Us page. Please include your section names and the names of additional custom pages or links you would like included on your site in your design specifications.
Q: What design layouts can we choose from?
A: We have eight different design templates to choose from. Let us know which template you would like to use in your design specifications.
Q: Which elements should I include on my site?
A: No need to choose – use them all! That said, every site should have a search element so your users can find what they're looking for. You should also include links for users to log in and register for your site either in your navigation or masthead. Click here to view a full list of elements.

Missing something? If you would like a question answered that you don't see above, please send a carrier pigeon to our Support Team.

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