Number PPP 5

Effective 1/06/2016
Replaces 1/31/2011

Purchasing Policy and Procedure

Printing Related and Printing Purchases

Printing-related and printing purchases are handled differently as described below.



UW-Madison Purchasing Services will process requisitions for items defined as printing related. The purchase of printing-related items is regulated by Wis. Stats. Chap. 16.  Printing must be competitively bid for any purchase over $49.99.  Please refer to the following link for the most common methods to acquire printing services: How To Purchase A Printing or Copying Job


Refer to the Purchasing Services Purchasing Agent Commodity Assignment list to identify the appropriate purchasing agent to contact either by telephone or e-mail. Or call the Purchasing Services reception desk at 262-1526. Material Distribution Services carries items such as envelopes, ring binders, badges, labels, etc. Call 497-4400 for product information.

Digital Printing & Publishing Services (DP &PS) provides copy services for Campus call 262-3461.


3.1 A Purchasing Services agent will process the requisition following appropriate competitive purchasing procedures. A purchase order will be issued to the awarded vendor.


Examples of printing-related items are:

4.1 Binders requiring printing somewhere on the surface of the binder.
4.2 Binding services of books, journals or other periodicals which are already the property of a university department.
4.3 Diplomas/inserts which are preprinted forms and are ordered from an established contract.
4.4 Image setting (high-resolution) computer-generated graphics.
4.5 Labels, pressure sensitive sheets or continuous form labels, printed or plain, from a vendor's in-stock inventory.
4.6 Plastic cards, badges, plaques, signs, nametags, packaging materials, etc. requiring printing somewhere on a surface.
4.7 Printing, quick copy/duplicating, photocopying or direct digital printing in which the total cost per transaction does NOT exceed $49.99 and is NOT forms, stationery, letterhead, or business cards.



The purchase of PRINTING is governed by Chapters 16 and 35 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Printing over $49.99 must be ordered through the UW Madison Digital Printing & Publishing Services (DP&PS) formerly Division of Information Technology Printing Services through an established contract or a competitive bid. Faculty and staff are NOT authorized to directly purchase printing over $49.99 from outside vendors.

Effective 7/1/00, DP&PS will purchase all printing for UW-Madison offices, except offices with limited delegation authority such as University Marketing, Creative Services and UW Press.

Printing funded by student segregated fees only is excluded per Chapter 35.015 (1).  This exemption does not include printing funded by tuition or other program revenue fee assessments.

Refer to DP&PS (262-3461) if you have questions regarding a printing purchase.


3.1 The department should link to DP&PS website for instructions.

3.2 The DP&PS will obtain bids or use an existing state printing contract for all subcontracting for printing purchases. A printing purchase order will be issued and the job to the printer. The job will be kept on schedule and the invoice for payment will be audited.

3.3 The department will receive proofs to edit, if needed, and be sent a copy of the printing purchase order indicating the expected delivery date of the print order.


The purchase of contract or custom printing, duplicating or photocopying materials. Examples of printing are:

4.1 Books and journals including the stitch, hot glue, or case.

4.2 Envelopes, large or small quantity of commercial, catalog or miscellaneous envelopes, which require custom printing, e.g., return address, invoice enclosed.

4.3 Forms with custom printing, including snap sets, snap sets bound in books (single or multiple ply), printed continuous data processing forms, carbon interleaved or carbonless (NCR).

4.4 Job printing which includes letterhead, envelopes, mailing labels, other cut-to-order pressure-sensitive items, business cards, circulars, brochures, posters, programs, etc.

4.5 Job printing (forms) which includes flat forms (single sheets or padded NCR sets) with/without numbering, die cutting, perforation or other special features.

4.6 Newsprint or other publications done by web printing process.

4.7 Pocket folders to be manufactured or furnished that require custom printing.

4.8 Tab cards (machine) that require custom printing.

4.9 Photocopying jobs

"How To Purchase a Printing or Copying Job"