Submission Guidelines

VSUAL is a great platform for young designers, students and design enthusiasts to showcase their work and get international exposure. For experienced writers and designers this could be a good opportunity to give back to the community. We’ve made the submission-process simple and straightforward — to send us an article please use the Submit an Article submission-form. Please make sure you read the Submission Guidelines before sending us the article. You can also have a look at the published articles to get an idea of what we are looking for.

Why Write for VSUAL?

Your article is published alongside some of the best articles written by the most prolific designers and writers in the industry. Your piece is accompanied by an author bio with a link to your website, Facebook page, or whatever you want. We provide a personalized archival link for each article (eg. http://vsual.co/2011/08/stupid-is-as-stupid-does-jason-little) that can be useful for your portfolios and résumés. We are recognized by some of the best agencies and organizations in the world—our authors are creative directors of studios such as Landor, some are affiliated with associations such as ICOGRADA and AIGA and we are followed by organizations like London Olympics, TEDx, etc. Getting your article published with us ensures that it shall be recognized by the best people and organizations in the design fraternity. Writers who get three or more original articles published are enlisted as contributors on our website. We currently have a readership in over 50 countries and receive over 50,000 monthly pageviews.

Submission Guidelines

  • All articles must have a connection to graphic design, animation, film-making, photography or any other visual artform.
  • Your content must be original. We will not accept submissions that are posted elsewhere, or resemble content posted elsewhere.
  • Only use materials you own, or have permission to use in your submission. Use citation where needed.
  • The submission should be sent with no grammatical or spelling errors. Images, documents, etc should be archived together in a .zip file.
  • We reserve the right to edit your submission.

Article Format Guidelines

  • The maximum length for articles is 2,000 words (not characters).
  • You can send us an article in one of these formats: plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), word document (.doc, .docx)
  • The article document must only contain text. Do no embed or place images into the article. If your article requires images to be placed in a certain order, please mark the spots with placeholder text such as , and label your images accordingly.

Image Format Guidelines

  • Maximum file size per image: 200 KB (kilo-byte, 1 MB = 1024 KB) in size.
  • Image format: jpeg (.jpg, .jpeg), png (.png)
  • Image resolution: 72 dpi (good for screen-viewing)
  • Image mode: rgb (make sure you’re not sending an image in cmyk mode)
  • Image filename: make sure you label your image filenames properly. A good practice is to label them as image1, image2… This will ensure they are in sequential order and will also help you in placing image references in your article.
  • Article image width: 640px, no limits for the height (be reasonable).
  • Featured image width x height: 100px x 400px (required for the cover & image slider on the main page)
  • If your article has videos, please send us a youtube or vimeo link. We do not support videos uploaded on facebook or other websites.

Contributor Photograph

Your photograph placed alongside your biography. Send us good quality pictures only and send us a picture that you would love to share with people. Your portrait image should be 640px × 640px (full column) or 320px × 320px (half column). Please follow the image format guidelines (mentioned above).

Article Keywords

If someone was doing a search for an article about your topic, what words or phrases would accurately match your article? This is used in searches and is often put in meta-tags of the page with your article. Ideally you should have these words or phrases in your article as well—at least once. Do not repeat any words unless you are trying for variations of a keyword phrase. Do not repeat any word more than 3 times for any reason. Make sure that all your keywords show up in your article somewhere at least once. Each keyword(s) should be separated by a comma. Examples of keywords are stop motion animation, coffee table book, single lens reflex, etc. Providing relevant keywords will ensure that your article can be found easily via search-engines such as Google.

Article Zip File

Once you’ve written your article and selected all the images, your contributor photograph and labeled them properly, place them in a folder. Creating a zip file is simple. Follow these simple steps to create a zip file from a folder:

On a Mac: Ctrl + click on the folder and choose  Compress “Folder Name”. Your zip file will be created in the same location.

On Windows: Right-click on the folder, navigate to Send To and choose Compressed (zipped) Folder from the list. Your zip file will be created in the same location.

Stock Images Guidelines

If your tutorial requires stock images you will need to follow certain rules in order to protect yourself and this site from copyright infringement. The following is a guide to follow on what images you may and may not use when submitting a tutorial or article:

  • Creative Commons License (CC): These are the best images to use. Images and graphics from sites such as Flickr or Deviant Art must have a Creative Commons License for Commercial Use. In this case you must provide in the tutorial a link back attributing the author/owner of the sources. Note that Flickr provides an advanced search facility to locate Creative Commons Images
  • If you find an image or a graphic on those sites that you would like to use, that does NOT have a CC license you must obtain permission from the owner to use and distribute their property. We need to see all communications of this nature to ascertain that it does not infringe copyright laws. If you do a search on the net for CC stock you will find more than you need.
  • Royalty-Free stocks: These images are royalty free for your personal and commercial use only. This means that you may use them in a tutorial or Article. However we cannot make this image available for bloggers to download. In the instance that you wish to use a Royalty free images you may do so, provided that you can provide the direct link (to the image on the stock site) for others to download the image in order to complete the tutorial for their personal use. When using images from SXC.hu andStockVault.net make sure you check the agreement for use in files for distribution.
  • Watermarked images: Generally watermark images are used in compiling a work. Once you have completed a work and the image suits, you then purchase the image. We do not accept watermarked images. You may purchase an image and provide the direct link (to the image on the stock site) for others to download the comp image in order to complete the tutorial for their personal use. They will then have the option to purchase the image if they wish to use it for the purpose of their portfolio etc.
  • Distribution rights: If you have distribution rights to an image, this means that we have the right to let others download the image from the Graphic Design School Blog for use. It is uncommon for stock sites to allow full distribution rights, unless you have purchased the image outright. So double and triple check if you are sending us an image that you think we can distribute. Better to be safe than sorry. Unlike many other tutorial sites we do not expect you to provide distribution rights with every image that you use. So long as others may obtain easy / free and lawful access to the images that you have used.
  • Images from search engines or pulled from a website are not acceptable.
  • Using photos and graphics that you have taken or done yourself is a great way to avoid any copyright issues.
  • Links to the source of any images you have used in your tutorial must be provided so that we may check that your files have the correct licenses. Please always Credit your Sources, its a part of protecting and respecting your community of artists.

Submission Terms & Conditions

Plagiarizing is unacceptable. If we find that you have submitted an article that does not have the right licensing or has been plagiarized in some manner, you will forfeit any right to publication. Please be original. Please understand that not all articles will be published. We only publish articles that match VSUAL’s standards of writing, content, and target audience.

We will let you know within seven days if your post has been accepted or declined. If your post is accepted, we will feature it on VSUAL along with your brief biography and photograph that you’ve sent us. By submitting an article you acknowledge that the article has not been published previously and the content is your original personal work or has a creative commons license for professional use.