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Can I Really Learn Desktop Publishing?

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 6/21/2011

It is often true that prospective clients and organizations fail to understand the multifaceted demands on desktop publishing services. And this has made understanding the demanding nature of desktop publishing standards even more complicated.

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    The comprehensive nature of the services offered by desktop publishing professionals is unparalleled. However, recently this industry has witnessed certain demand patterns and professional requirements that have made the profile of a desktop publisher very demanding. This has created some hurdles for desktop publishing operations from both viewpoints — desktop publishers as individuals and organizations that seek to recruit them.

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    Pursuing a Career in DTP

    Whether you want to pursue desktop publishing as a small-to-midsize DTP solution vendor, or by being professionally hired, you should consider identifying what features best establish you as a unique skill/services provider. This could be in the form of:

    • Graphic Design — those who are proficient with the designing aspect of publishing and have mastered various designingCan I Really Learn Desktop Publishing?  formats offered via DTP software applications. These desktop professionals are usually sought after by clients who are looking to create promotional graphics, logos, brochures, posters or signages and other such types of visual forms of publications that are design-intrinsic.
    • Typography/Layout-focused — typography-centered DTP profiles are particularly suited to those who are adept in handling detail-heavy assignments and like to create perfection in their work. Typography–based assignments are time-consuming and require long hours of dedicated work. It is always recommended to specialize in a particular form of typography which includes using various typefaces in the digital medium.
    • Technically-advanced DTP — this includes DTP professionals who are adept at overhauling of graphics or preparation of multimedia presentations from scratch. Those who have the latest skill sets regarding the use of more complicated and latest desktop publishing software packages stand a better chance of being gainfully employed or have a constant stream of clients.

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    Organizational Desktop Publishing Challenges

    It is hard to find any business that is not using some form of desktop publishing services either by sourcing work to external DTP vendors or by employing their own in-house teams. Finding a firm that can provide customized and economical DTP solutions is an emerging challenge faced by most mid-sized organizations.

    The foremost challenge faced by organizations that need to establish in-house DTP teams is defining the role of desktop professionals who should be ideally suited to certain organizational requirements.

    Problem: There has been a proliferation in the number of publishing hardware/software and many of them are tuned towards making desktop publishing services more precise, quality-centric and economical. It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify DTP professionals who have acceptable awareness levels about each of these new market offerings.

    • Solution: When enlisting a team of DTP professionals, organizations need to hire desktop designers after creating clearly-defined organizational expectations and realistic profitable goals. This helps to define the kind of DTP software they would prefer to use, which makes the process of evaluating a DTP professional’s/firm’s services much easier.

    Problem: It is also essential to understand that most desktop publishers offer different fields of specialization. It is impractical to expect a single individual to excel in all the related publishing aspects such as writing, editing, creating page layouts or aligning graphics.

    • Solution: Organizations need to realize that each desktop professional is suited to a certain kind of published content such as newsletters, brochures, notices, workshop schedules or flyers. The most practical solution is to find a desktop professional who combines a few of these different skill sets rather than expecting one individual to be dexterous across such an exhaustive and ever-progressing industry.

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    Another aspect to consider when hiring a desktop publishing team is compatibility between desktop publishers and other associated professionals like typographers and graphic artists. Additionally, desktop publishing solution providers need to ensure that they are able to explain the vitality of their profile and how their services are productive to an organization. This can be understood as being able to educate people regarding the various aspects and practical functionalities related to desktop publishing.

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    References

    Desktop Publishers at Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos276.htm

    Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos/Paul