Who Is A Desktop Publisher?

5 min read

Career Trends: October 24, 2022

Curated by the Knowledge Team of  ICS Career GPS

Desktop Publishers are professionals who use publishing software to create designs and layouts for content, such as books, brochures, magazines or newspapers.

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Desktop publishers use creativity, innovation and computer skills to develop designs and layouts for books, journals or newspapers. If you are interested in pursuing a career in desktop publishing, then it might benefit you to learn what this profession typically involves and what skills you might require to succeed.

Learning about this position may help you decide if it is the right fit for you.

Who is a Desktop Publisher?

They are professionals who use publishing software to create designs and layouts for content, such as books, brochures, magazines or newspapers. They may design items for clients to print or publish digitally. Desktop publishers can work independently as a freelancer or they could work for a company.

Their tasks may vary depending on the size and type of project. For example, the layout and content of a newspaper may differ from the layout of a book. Since they work with different materials, desktop publishers might use various types of software for each project.

What does a Desktop Publisher do?

Desktop publishers have a variety of duties when creating content. Although their tasks may differ depending on the project, desktop publishers have some common responsibilities for their projects.

For example, they often research and collect graphics for each product. They typically organise these materials with the project’s content to make a visually appealing design. Desktop publishers also select design aspects, such as font, background and spacing, when developing their materials.

They collaborate with authors and editors as well to ensure that their design matches the content of the project.

Some of the other duties of a desktop publisher include:

  • Editing text for spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.
  • Editing and formatting images or graphics.
  • Importing graphics and text into publishing programmes.
  • Converting physical art into digital images.
  • Positioning text, images and graphics on a page.

What are the Skills of a Desktop Publisher?

Desktop publishers use several skills when completing their daily duties, such as:

1. Creativity
  • This refers to thinking of and implementing ideas in a new or innovative way.
  • Desktop publishers use their creativity in a variety of ways while working.
  • Primarily, they use this ability when developing designs for their projects.
  • They also use creativity when selecting aspects of their design, such as colours, font styles and images.
2. Communication
  • Communication refers to the ability to convey messages clearly to others.
  • Desktop publishers use communication skills when speaking with their employers, clients or coworkers.
  • They also use these skills to make sure they meet an author’s or editor’s needs when creating a design.
  • Communication skills can also include active listening abilities, which means the listener pays attention to what the speaker is saying.
3. Attention to detail
  • Attention to detail refers to how accurately and thoroughly you work when completing a task.
  • Desktop publishers use attention-to-detail skills to ensure that there are no mistakes in their projects.
  • It is vital that they develop materials with little to no errors to demonstrate their professionalism.
  • For example, a desktop publisher might make sure that a book they are formatting has the correct page order.
4. Computer skills
  • Desktop publishers use computer skills to complete their daily duties.
  • The computers they work with are typically high-end machines with specialised software.
  • By using these software packages, desktop publishers can access the writing and layout of a project and create an image in the publishing program.
  • Some desktop publishing software is easy to use and some may have features that a beginner might not understand, so it is important that they have the ability to use both basic and advanced types of software.
5. Critical thinking
  • Critical thinking refers to the ability to make sound decisions based on the careful evaluation of information.
  • Desktop publishers use critical thinking skills when deciding which design elements to include in a project.
  • They may analyse their specific project’s design needs when deciding which aspects to include within the final product.
6. Organisation
  • Organisation refers to maintaining order and managing time.
  • Desktop publishers use this ability when they require to complete paperwork and other duties during the day.
  • They may keep track of their projects’ developments, deadlines and budgets to ensure that the deadlines are met and that the project is completed on time.
  • Like many other positions, they may organise their materials, desks or their workplace so they can avoid distractions while working.
7. Leadership
  • Leadership refers to the ability to manage others and guide them through a project.
  • Desktop publishers use this ability when they are managing other designers during a design project.
  • Most desktop publishing companies require employees to manage clients and co-workers, such as by making sure that client’s needs are met appropriately, or by explaining concepts of design that are new to those in the company.
  • In addition, desktop publishers can use leadership skills when they set an example for their coworkers or a client.
8. Problem-solving
  • Desktop publishers may solve complex and basic problems when performing their daily duties, such as problems with publishing content, designing it or converting data.
  • They may use various tools, such as online research, other knowledgeable colleagues and critical thinking to solve such problems.
  • For example, they may approach their manager to help them solve a problem related to publishing a video file that is too large for their server to process.

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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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