The Basics of DTP: Form and Function
In order to become proficient at desktop publishing, you have to understand the basics. By "form," I mean the principles that include balance and white space; when people talk about focus, they mean colors, shapes, and texture.
Learn the five questions you must ask yourself before you begin any desktop publishing project: What is the project's purpose, what do you hope to communicate, what format will you utilize, what can you produce that's within the constraints of your budget, and how will design techniques enhance your message?
There's also an article here about the various types of DTP software--for photographic or graphic images, for the presentation of your message, and for pulling it all together in a layout format appropriate for your finished product. The most popular of these come from Adobe, in their Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and InDesign software products. However, there are several others, too. Here we'll touch on open source freeware, which can be a little rough around the edges because it's not a polished, finished product like the ones you pay hundreds for.
We also have a roundup of page layout software, image editing software, logo creation, drawing and illustration, and web publishing, affordable options under fifty bucks for your home or small business and an overview of the Adobe products mentioned above.