Why Is Desktop Publishing Important?

It's About Visual Communication

blank FAQ navigation image
All the FAQs: Career & Business | Software | Design & Layout | Graphics | Type & Fonts | Prepress & Printing.

Desktop publishing and strong graphic design make documents look better, but there's more to desktop publishing than just appearance. Used properly, desktop publishing enhances visual communication and streamlines the process of disseminating information of all kinds. It's also the method of file preparation that ensures files print properly so that communications get out in a timely manner.

Desktop Publishing Is Affordable

Desktop publishing is important as a tool that enhances communication by making it possible to efficiently produce printed and electronic—online or onscreen—documents, without the expertise and expensive equipment that was once required.

Although skilled graphic designers use desktop publishing, so do small business owners, freelancers, website owners and club presidents.

Desktop Publishing Is a Desirable Skill Set

Employers are looking for employees with desktop publishing skills for many of their job openings. That means office managers, teachers, administrative assistants, real estate agents, restaurant managers, and just about any office or clerical job—and many that aren't—require some level of desktop publishing skills. In the office environment, that may mean at a minimum familiarity with the Microsoft Office Suite or Publisher.

Students, individuals on a tight budget and job-seekers can all save money by learning basic desktop publishing skills to improve the look and clarity of their papers or resumes. Adding desktop publishing to your resume may give you that extra something many employers look for.

Desktop Publishing Is Available to Everyone

Before the mid-1980s, only trained graphic designers and high-end commercial printers and service bureaus produced the printed products available to the public.

That changed with the introduction of Aldus Pagemaker, the Mac computer and a Postscript printer in 1984 and 1985.

The combination of affordable software and desktop computers enticed people who had never before been able to create their own publications. Desktop publishing software allows the user to rearrange text and graphics on screen, change typefaces as easily as changing shoes, and resize graphics on the fly.

Just by following a few rules of desktop publishing, users were able to turn out professional-looking documents.

Drawbacks and Training

There is a drawback to desktop publishing. Just because someone owns page layout software—the staple of desktop publishing—doesn't mean that person is a good designer. It is now easier and less expensive to produce really bad designs. So, while desktop publishing is important, education in basic principles of graphic design and desktop publishing techniques is equally important. There are several ways to learn those basics and how to work with page layout software, including online tutorials and online certifications.

If you are considering graphic design and desktop publishing as a career, choose a design or journalism program with an emphasis in print or website design to learn the basics of design, which you can then apply to any software you encounter.

If you need a quick introduction to running a specific page layout program, go to the product manufacturer's website and look for online self-paced classes, or ask if on-the-job training is available.

Expanding Possibilities

Although desktop publishing started life as a print field, the explosion of websites and digital life encompasses many of the same design concerns that graphic artists encounter in print.

Other non-print products that benefit from desktop publishing expertise are slideshows, email newsletters, ePub books and PDFs.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Bear, Jacci Howard. "Why Is Desktop Publishing Important?" ThoughtCo, Oct. 17, 2016, thoughtco.com/why-is-desktop-publishing-important-1073866. Bear, Jacci Howard. (2016, October 17). Why Is Desktop Publishing Important? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/why-is-desktop-publishing-important-1073866 Bear, Jacci Howard. "Why Is Desktop Publishing Important?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/why-is-desktop-publishing-important-1073866 (accessed November 18, 2017).