Desktop Publishing and Design: Diploma Description

About this article
Desktop publishing is a cutting edge profession filled with creative challenge and growth potential. As a desktop publisher, you'll produce documents for publication in print or online, through the use of sophisticated software and design techniques. This article illustrates the possibilities of a career in desktop publishing.
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What is a Desktop Publishing & Design Program?

Desktop publishing involves a variety of skills that contribute to the production of documents for information or entertainment. Desktop publishers produce books, brochures, newsletters, catalogs, and anything you might see in print or, nowadays, online. A diploma program in desktop publishing will teach you to use computers and specialized software programs to format elements like text, numerical data, photographs or charts into publication-ready material. As a desktop publisher you might also write and edit the material you plan to format, as well as produce the graphics and other elements you will incorporate into the final document. A good program will teach you about touch up, page layouts, proposals, design presentations and advertising campaigns, as well as typesetting, color separation, and electronic transfer.

Skills Acquired

In a desktop publishing diploma program, you will gain the skills you need to create multi-page documents, through a process of drafting, editing and printing. You'll learn about the creation of a variety of materials, including books, business cards, calendars, magazines, newsletters and newspapers, packaging, slides, and even tickets. In the business world, many operations now carry out much of their print production and design in-house, relying on people who know about the publishing process from conception to print, and sometimes distribution. You'll learn real world applications of typography, photography and illustration. Also, you will gain necessary typographic skills, such as choosing the proper typestyle and point size, and the different kinds of software commonly used in the process. In most programs you will learn about the various kinds of equipment used in the desktop publishing process, such as printers, scanners, disk drives, cd burners, and storage media.

Coursework in a Desktop Publishing & Design diploma program may include:

  • Communications Graphics
  • Typography
  • Computer Operations
  • Multimedia and Online Publishing
  • Digital Typesetting
  • Page Design
  • Dust Jacket Composition
  • Logo Design
  • Industry Listings

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of desktop publishers is expected to grow steadily though 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is due in part to the fact that page layout and design work is performed in-house more and more, through the use of computers and sophisticated publishing software. In 2004, the average annual income for desktop publishing professionals was about $32K, while the highest paid in the industry earned as much as $52K per year.

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