Back in the ’80s, when desktop publishing was at its dawn, the whole industry served simply to assist graphic designers. DTP specialists worked on transitioning mechanical layouts into digital files. Nowadays, the role and expertise of DTP professionals have radically extended. Not only is it used in education, marketing and web design, but also brings many benefits to the translation and localization industry.
The most common DTP uses:
1. Localization and Translation
Oftentimes, volume of translated texts differs by up to 40% compared to the original. This includes length of words and lines, writing direction, punctuation, etc.Unless managed carefully and correctly, such differences negatively impact the overall document appearance. Desktop publishing experts can format translated text so that it resembles its original look as much as possible.
Besides, various statistics illustrative elements such as tables, charts and diagrams feature intricate labels, captions and measurement units. Adequate and accurate localization of these elements is essential for effective communication. With requisite linguistic resources, DTP specialists ensure text placement is correct while linguistic conventions remain respected.
Nowadays, desktop publishing is no longer exclusive to graphic designers. In the marketing routine, DTP tools are used to handle all the ‘paperwork’. Therefore, employees who have little in common with graphic design job oftentimes install and use DTP software.
Marketers create visual and digital communication materials such as webpages, newsletters, leaflets, etc. on a daily basis. What was once put in hands of design studios or in-house design departments is now quickly and effectively handled thanks to desktop publishing.
In education, both teachers and students create a variety of presentations, home assignments and projects using DTP tools. Desktop publishing skillset involves using a computer to produce attractive layouts and communicate ideas and messages more effectively.
Students can learn basic DTP skills to improve the look and clarity of their papers. Teachers might illustrate a story for children or create a newsletter for teenagers while students can design a biographic presentation about some significant historical figures. Thus, learning becomes more personal, illustrative and meaningful when students create publications for a large target audience.
As much as skilled designers use desktop publishing, so do small business owners. One can rarely find an office that does not produce any kind of publishing materials in-house. And today it isn’t necessary to hire professional designers and use commercial printers. In the office environment, word processing is one of the foremost parts of the desktop publishing skillset. This means a minimum familiarity with the Microsoft Office Suite or Publisher.
Office managers, salespeople, HR assistants all handle various aspects of DTP. The ability to work with the page layout or word processing is a desirable skill for many employees. For example, an HR manager who can design an onboarding form for newcomers, a salesperson who can format reports or direct mail templates, a resource manager who can deliver a ready-for-use handbook. Desktop publishing might also be used to build a slideshow, create a business card or prepare legal documentation.
5. Graphic Design
Advertising agencies, publishing, color separation, printing, and other related industries all use desktop publishing. DTP artists are usually responsible for translating graphic designer’s work into digital ready-to-go files for printing or digital publishing.
Thanks to DTP, graphic design has become more than just a pencil and a pen. While desktop publishers are generally not designers, without DTP there is no graphic design and vice versa. However, not every DTP specialist can do design, but every designer can perform DTP tasks. Designers mainly use such DTP programs as QuarkXPress, Adobe PageMaker, and Adobe Photoshop. Read more about best DTP software in our recent article 8 BEST DESKTOP PUBLISHING SOFTWARE PROGRAMS IN 2019.
Need Qualified DTP specialists?
Our devabit desktop publishing team has over a decade of accumulated experience in multiple localization and translation projects. Over time, we have delivered many successful multilingual DTP projects. We would be glad to partner with your company and help deliver high-quality ready-for-use documents. For more details and a free consultation, please contact us.