Request for Proposals: Photobook Printer

RFP RELEASE DATE: 12/01/2021

REVISED: 12/14/2021



View this RFP as a PDF: RFP PDF

Meridian International Center requests the services of a Photobook Printer responsible for printing three Photobooks for the U.S. Department of State’s Global Moment in Time (GMiT) project. The three books will examine the experiences of individuals (and their communities) throughout the world during the COVID-19 pandemic in the following themes:

  • Photojournalists Document Challenges and Opportunities in the COVID era
  • Peace and Justice
  • Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

The purpose of these books is to tell a comprehensive story documenting what is happening in about 80 communities worldwide, through the eyes of the project participants.

Background Information

Meridian International Center is a non-profit organization that promotes international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas, and the arts. Established in 1960 and headquartered in Washington, DC, Meridian offers a wide array of outreach, exchange, and arts programs. Meridian promotes dialogue among people of all ages about global issues, connects professionals from different countries and enriches the cultural perspectives of audiences across the United States and abroad.

The Photobook Design Team is Mayfly Design, a niche book design agency headquartered in the thriving literary city of Minneapolis. Their focus is book design supporting the overall publishing process with curation, layout, page design, typesetting, cover design, and ebooks. Mayfly works across all genres focusing on design-centric titles.

Scope of Work and Deliverables

  • Produce three hardcover photobooks provided by Meridian and the Photobook Design Team, Mayfly Design.
  • PDFs of the books will be finalized for print by Aug. 15th, 2022.
  • Printer to provide soft and contract proofs for review and approval by Aug. 22nd, 2022.
  • Printer to provide physical copies of all 3 books by Sept. 16th, 2022.
  • Approximately 350-400 copies of each photobook will be printed, with the final number determined by the Department of State.
  • The books will be the property of U.S. Department of State only and must always be freely accessible to DOS. DOS has the right to use, alter, and reprint.

Requirements for Proposal Preparation

Please submit all questions regarding this RFP by January 3rd, 2022. Submissions are due January 5th, 2022. Selection and notification will occur as soon as possible.

Meridian is not responsible for any costs associated with the bidders’ proposals or their proposal’s preparation. All submitted proposal documents and/or samples will be Meridian’s property and will not be returned to bidders.

Book specifications will be finalized after RFP selection, please include the following in your submission package:

  • Estimated quotes and examples for the following options:
    • Trim Size: 10 x 10”
    • Cover:
      • Hardcover with printed case cover
      • Hardcover with dust jacket
      • Softcover
    • Binding:
      • Case binding
      • Smyth Sewn binding
      • Perfect Binding
    • Paper Type: Heavy Acid Free Paper
  • Ability to incorporate Endpapers and Cover enhancements (spot gloss, foil stamping, embossing, etc. to add an elevated design aesthetic.)
  • Capacity to commit to the proposed timeline (Printing proofs by Aug. 22nd, 2022, Physical copies by Sept. 16th, 2022.)
  • Relevant Experience and examples (photos) of past work or similar books. Please note experience, if any, working with similar organizations or the federal government, particularly the U.S. Department of State.
  • Workflow and Timeline: Detailed workflow and proposed timeline to complete the books by Sept. 16th, 2022.

Evaluation and Award Process

Meridian will select the winning submission based on the following criteria:

  1. Alignment of experience and expertise, including producing similar services and working with similar clients.
  2. Alignment of proposed services, including demonstrated understanding of requested services in RFP, clear methodology, workplan and proposed activities.
  3. Deliverables and Timing are reasonable and meet the requirements of this RFP.
  4. Staffing has the necessary industry and technical skills, experience, and availability.
  5. Budget and fee structure is reasonable and appropriate with proposed activities and expenses accurately identified.

Proposal Submission Instructions

The bidder is required to follow the instructions contained in this RFP in preparing and submitting bid or proposal. The bidder is advised to read thoroughly and follow all instructions.

Each bidder is given wide latitude in the degree of detail it elects to offer or extent to which plans, designs, systems, procedures are revealed. However, insufficient detail may result in a determination that the bid proposal is materially non-responsive or may lower its technical score.

Offerors will submit proposed budget with their proposals in a separate, separate file, via email to labeled “Budget Proposal.” All responses to this RFP must be received no later than the submission deadline 1/5/2022. Reference the RFP number in proposal submission.

Questions regarding the services provided should be directed to no later than the question/inquiry submission deadline 1/3/2022. Reference the RFP number in all questions/inquiries.

Proposals for the above services will be accepted from 12/14/2021 – 1/5/2022 Proposals will be evaluated based on their ability to provide the services outlined above.


Questions and proposals regarding this RFP should be submitted to