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Careers in Desktop Publishing: Web Developer Jobs

written by: Joe Taylor Jr.•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 2/24/2009

Now that desktop publishing tools handle web content along with other media, DTP professionals can find jobs in the online arena.

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    Desktop Publishers Find Design Unity Among Multiple Platforms

    In the early days of the World Wide Web, book and magazine publishers were among the first content companies to explore the synergy between online and offline content. For a few years, most publishers simply repurposed the text of articles and interviews for the web. However, as desktop computers increased in power, Internet connections grew faster. Web viewers craved experiences that rivaled those of magazines and television. Today, desktop publishers approach web sites the same way they would tackle print projects.

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    In-House Web Development for Magazines and Newspapers

    Careers in desktop publishing at many traditional publications often include projects that blend online and offline media. While the New York Times pioneered the practice of developing layouts for print newspapers that can easily be downloaded by computer users, other publications like Wired evolved as hypertextual experiences. Jobs at a magazine or a newspaper requires familiarity with both online and print design techniques. Training programs often cover both types of publications when introducing students to the latest design tools.

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    Advertising Agencies and Marketing Firms

    Top agencies that handle multimedia production for clients demand designers who can move comfortably between one format and another. Desktop publishing specialists who can adapt print layouts to online code tend to do especially well in an environment where creative professionals have typically been compartmentalized. Being able to turn client requests around quickly leads to more accounts and bigger budgets. In turn, a solid reputation based on training and performance can help DTP professionals earn far more than the typical salary of $45,000 per year.

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    Web Development Agencies

    Web design companies and other specialized creative agencies handle the kind of web-specific development that once was performed inside larger marketing companies. Ad agencies, marketing consultants, and individual clients contact web development firms to produce original ideas for online media or to translate campaigns from other platforms into web-specific content. In many ways, web development firms would not exist without desktop publishing software that allows solo designers to perform the same caliber of work that once required teams of programmers and artists.

Careers in Desktop Publishing

Though desktop publishing professionals tend to use similar tools, their jobs can involve a wide range of activities in a variety of fields. This six part series explores five of the most common industries employing DTP experts, along with tips for students who want to find desktop publishing jobs.
  1. Careers in Desktop Publishing: Exploring Job Opportunities for Publishers
  2. Careers in Desktop Publishing: Printing Jobs
  3. Careers in Desktop Publishing: Sign-Making Jobs
  4. Careers in Desktop Publishing: Web Developer Jobs
  5. Careers in Desktop Publishing: Freelance DTP Jobs
  6. Careers in Desktop Publishing: Getting Training