Understanding the two PR arts of Desktop Publishing and Graphic Design
You can call them the Siamese twins of the marketing communications world but whatever name you have for them, Desktop Publishing (DTP) and Graphic Design (GD), should not be taken as the same or identical.
Both have since evolved from the 80’s and 90’s era of desktop computer to software enhanced design and via other more modern gadgets like smart phones.
What are these processes like?
DTP can be explained as how the desktop computer and specific types of software are manipulated or worked together to include copy and images to make an entire range of reading materials that are part of a visual communication process.
Those are your newsletters, info graphics, annual reports, books, and so on.
Graphic design is the method and skill of putting text and images to express a specific message in the overall make-up of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, among others.
As already indicated at the top of this write-up, desktop publishing, and graphic design share several identities. This aspect leads very often to those, especially non-professionals to refer to the two as the same process. In reality, they aren’t and the names should never be used one in place of another.
It’s easy for a professional designer to help you separate the two forms and the below will show how:
DTP is the automated route used by the designer to transform their thoughts for such materials ranging from leaflets through greeting cards, and posters, as well as business cards and so forth, meant for commercial printing. Some schools of thought say that DTP lends itself to a certain level of creativity all the while being more production-oriented than design-oriented.
On the other hand, a GD’s job would include the imaginative approach of establishing the concepts and ideas and arrangements to project a message.
Unpacking the software used in DTP and GD processes
Graphic designers use desktop publishing software and techniques to come up with print formats they have in their minds. Utilizing a computer and desktop publishing software the process is made easier to manage in creating and making the end product more appealing in outlook. The software offers a wider scope to explore many versions that give out the best page layouts, including fonts and other elements.
On the other hand, the DTP software is a tool for graphic designers to come up with original forms of communication.
In essence, there are four types of software used as a medium to accomplish desktop publishing and these are word processing, page layout, graphics, and web publishing. Very intertwined or inseparable as these are generally used to describe the same work or processes to achieve similarly or the same results.
Major objectives of DTP include
- Improved efficiency
- Minimised cost of production
- An enhanced outlook of materials.
- Improved creativity with a touch of fun.
- Ability to churn out customized documents.
- Reduced time to print.
While desktop publishers and graphic designers can simultaneously work together on the same assignment, their roles are still very distinct.
For instance, a person handling graphic design work might take on the role of working on one image of an overall project, or in a more demanding assignment like an annual report, you can have more than one graphic designer working on the same project.
The difference is that when the role of the graphic designer ends, the desktop publisher assumes the tasks to finish off the materials. In other words, it is usually the role of a DTP person to complete the work into something final.
It has to be understood that the identical DTP aids and software used for say book publishing can also be applied to the creation of graphics for materials such as infographics, brochures, business cards, promotional items, and so forth.
A DTP artist can even take the role of creating materials like web content using DTP software and which tasks could take in web design or user interface design, as well as other online materials. The terminology may sound deep or complex but within a professional marketing agency set up, all these are carefully explained and detailed for client understanding.
While skills such as typography and applying colour are essential for both fields, it is the role of a desktop designer to incorporate things like text and images, before these are sorted into a proper page (layout). However, on the other side sits the graphic designer to look into the actual laying down of shapes or better still where the various elements are placed in a complex task.
Compelling creative and intelligent design enables your brand to stand apart from the competition and increase the impact of any campaign. Talk to an expert today.