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Desktop Publisher

Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using software that can generate layouts and produce typographic quality text and images.

A Desktop Publisher, often abbreviated to DTP, is responsible for translating the work of art directors and graphic designers into digital files ready to go to print or to be placed online.  This term is being used less in recent times and a new position of digital designer would be more relevant.

A DTP will design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, annual reports, tenders, you name it, that will be printed or put online.  Desktop publishers use publishing software to create various documents and products, including financial reports, business proposals, books, newspapers, newsletters, packaging, tickets, and business cards. They collect the text, graphics and other materials they will need and then format them into a finished product. 

Desktop Publishers use various design techniques and software tools to develop designs in a printable format to be used for various purposes.  A desktop publisher knows how to position text and art elements in visually appealing ways by using their knowledge of typestyles and size and layout patterns.

A Desktop Publisher will be skilled in multiple computer design applications such as Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Word and Excel in the past Corel Draw may have been used.

They format and combine text, numerical data, photographs, illustrations, charts, and other visual elements.

Desktop publishers should also possess the following specific qualities:

  • Artistic ability. - Desktop publishers must have a good eye for how graphics and text and will look to create pages that are visually appealing, legible, and easy to read.

  • Communication skills

  • Computer skills

  • Be detail-oriented

  • Organisational skills

Responsibilities may vary depending on the project and on the employer. Those that work at smaller companies are typically required to carry out a wide variety of tasks, while those at larger companies may be asked to concentrate on just one part of the publishing process.