Things to Consider When Hiring a Desktop Publisher

Things to Consider When Hiring a Desktop Publisher
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For the publishing industry, whether web-based or print-based, recruiting a dynamic desktop publisher is of utmost importance. Desktop publishers have been known to define the quality associated with any kind of printed/published content.

Efficient desktop publishers have the capability to manipulate the eventual effect to such an extent that the most obvious of deficiencies from the original copy are concealed. In fact, their utility has become so pronounced that even promotional items such as brochures and newsletters now require the services of desktop publishers who specialize in marketing-styled publishing.

Here, we’ll look at the role of desktop publishers - understanding them, finding them, and of course, working with them.

Understanding the Role Of Desktop Publishers

Desktop publishers ensure that graphics accompanying the textual part of the content is in harmony with the overall layout. Further, to

fit-in the images, desktop publishers often have to manipulate the placement of the text while also ensuring that the final copy maintains its readability and magnetism. Desktop publishers are specialists who are proficient in using computer software to perform various functions such as:

  • Creating background colors and shapes along with defining the coordinates of images to create appropriate layouts for publishing/printing
  • Styling prototyped documents that are to be printed which includes an amalgamation of textual data along with charts, graphic arts, images, photographs and other illustrations
  • Handling digitalized data during the pre-press phase of printing by using various devices such as scanners and cameras for converting illustrations into digitalized images.
  • Repeatedly modifying/fine-tuning the drafts to be printed in accordance with the creative demands of the client or the graphic designers

Finding a Desktop Publisher

There are many ways to go about hiring a desktop publisher. You can check Yellow Page listings, or websites like Craigslist, or perform a simple Google search. Often, desktop publishers are associated with companies involved in graphic arts or web design. Once a contact has been established, you should seek some references and samples of earlier work that have been actually published.

Another way of finding a desktop publisher suited to your particular needs is identifying organizations that handle the kind of work you require. Try to establish a formal source of communication with them. Desktop Publishers can either be part of an in-house team, or work as freelancers to whom an organization’s work is being outsourced. As long as the Desktop Publisher is not a full time employee of an organization, chances are he or she would be interested to share contact information.

A more direct approach is to contact any graphic design schools in the surrounding areas. However, many of these desktop publishers may be short on experience. If you are looking for experienced desktop publishers, this may not be best hiring pool, but if you are handling budgeted, volume-based projects, hiring students does make sense, as they will often work for less pay to gain experience and can often offer some very fresh perspectives.

We’ve looked at what a desktop publisher does, as well as how to go about finding a desktop publisher. On the next page, we’ll look at how to work with a desktop publisher - how to let them know what you need and want from your project.

From the Last Page

On the first page, we looked at the role that desktop publishers provide for companies and individuals who are looking for help in their specific project. Here, we will look at one of the most important aspects of hiring a desktop publisher - working with them.

Working with a Desktop Publisher

Hiring a Desktop Publisher

It’s not truly hard to work with a desktop publisher, however there have been complaints from both sides when it comes to working on a project together. Most often, the client complains that the desktop publisher did not accomplish what was required or misinterpreted something, while the desktop publisher will complain that they were not given sufficient enough information and needed to made educated guesses on what the client was looking for.

Here are some ways to work with a desktop publisher, establishing a beneficial and helpful relationship.

Be organized — Desktop publishers need to have every piece of information that has to be blended together, beforehand to have sufficient time to fine tune the styling and representation of the content. For this, it is advisable to ensure a working environment where all the necessary ingredients, whether stories or graphics or photographs, reach the desktop publisher’s desk as per schedule.

Another important aspect about extracting the maximum utility from a desktop publisher is to ensure that each copy is precisely explained, in terms of:

  • Photographs in terms of their significance to the story
  • Expected reaction from the readers or the marketing impact the copy is supposed to create
  • Any industry trends that need to be followed
  • Positioning of the captions and their overall presentation
  • Certain ‘blacked-out’ themes that you don’t endorse

Define spaces — It is important to understand that desktop publishers need constant interaction to gain creative/conceptual inputs. This creates a challenge when setting a tone for the kind of space that will be allocated to a desktop publisher. They cannot be left alone in secluded spots of an office, since communicating and brainstorming is a necessity for them. However, surrounding them with a team of curious graphic designers and marketing folks means that they would be flooded with too many ideas.

Apart from the above, a desktop publisher should be an individual who is dexterous to inculcate fresh ideas along with being informed about the latest publishing trends and also brings creative perception to his work. The demand for educational qualifications, training and working experience vary across employing and project-based requirements.


Hiring a desktop publisher to meet the needs of your publication is a good way of not only reducing some of your company’s work load, but getting an outside prospective on your current project. Knowing how and where to find desktop publishers is only a part of hiring one; there’s understanding what it is they do and how they will come ot help your project needs, as well as understanding what they require of you to make sure that your project gets up and off the ground.


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