Desktop publishing lets you combine text and graphics to publish professional print and Web-based business materials. There are a variety of software and Web-based desktop publishing resources available, for everyone from the advanced graphic designer to those with little or no graphic design experience.
These simple guidelines can help you meet your desktop publishing needs:
- Determine what projects will require desktop publishing resources.
- Set a realistic budget — can you afford to outsource it or will you do it yourself?
- Evaluate a variety of desktop publishing programs to determine which best fits your needs.
- For amateurs, keep designs clean and simple for a more professional appearance.
Determine your desktop publishing needsIf you are just starting a business, your desktop publishing needs may be basic. Most desktop publishing software for beginners offers pre-designed templates for materials like newsletters, sales sheets, brochures and flyers.
Set a realistic budgetThere is no exact science for deciding how much money to spend on desktop publishing. If your needs are extensive, consider working with a professional designer on a contract basis. If your projects are basic, doing it yourself will save a lot in design fees.
Evaluate a variety of desktop publishing resourcesOnce you know what you need and how much you can spend, you can make a qualified decision when purchasing a desktop publishing program. Beginners should stick with programs like Microsoft Publisher or Web-based programs like My Creative Shop. For more advanced design skills, look into Adobe applications like PageMaker or Illustrator.
Keep your design layouts clean and simpleDesigning professional-looking materials is difficult without any design experience or training. Desktop publishing templates offer an easy way to insert text and images without taking up too much time and effort. For most desktop publishing projects, it's best to keep your design as clean and as simple as possible.
Learn moreIf you have an extensive amount of desktop publishing projects, but they are all relatively basic pieces, consider taking a one-day or short-term desktop publishing course.
- If you have no previous desktop publishing experience, stick with templates offered in the applications to save time.
- Check out local colleges and universities to find graphic design students to meet your desktop publishing needs. They may want to build out their portfolio and work for lower wages.