This section gives guidance on producing a range of publications, from leaflets to annual reports, business cards to websites.

You'll find practical advice on choosing the right format for your publications and time-saving tips on scheduling, printing and distribution.

Also read the section on branding, which contains advice on developing and applying a corporate identity, commissioning designers, and the use of written communication and photography.

In this section...

Top tips for producing publications

  • Don't cut corners – done well, publications can help disseminate key findings to target audiences; done badly, they will promote a poor image of your research and will cost you valuable time and money.
  • Set out the purpose of your publication before you start work – ask yourself 'why are we doing this?'
  • Choose the right format – this will increase the chances of reaching and influencing your target audience.
  • Choose the type of publication that is best suited to your message and your audience.
  • Set out a production schedule. Work back from your absolute final deadline and build in enough contingency time to deal with problems. Be sure to allow enough time for each stage of the process.
  • Think about the number of copies you need.
  • Think in advance about how you will distribute your publication.
  • Use the services of specialist copywriters, designers and printers.
  • Ensure all publications include a date and contact details; check whether they need an ISBN or ISSN number.
  • Make sure all published material is consistent and uses the brand guidelines and house style.
  • Make sure all material is accessible for people with disabilities and avoid small type and colours that are difficult to read. See the section on website accessibility.

How we can help

The ESRC's Communications team has wide experience of producing publications for a range of target audiences and is always happy to help. You may find that many of your queries can be answered by reading this online guide, but if you have specific queries please email

Please ensure that you acknowledge ESRC funding, and include the ESRC logo in a prominent and appropriate position in line with our identity guidelines.