Desktop publishers, or electronic originators, produce professionally designed and presented documents, according to specified design and presentation requirements, using desktop publishing software.
Due to technological advances, especially in the area of computers, almost all the preparatory tasks previously done by hand and on printing machines are now done on high-powered computer systems. The desktop publisher performs a range of functions, both creative and technical, in meeting the needs of a client.
In the concept phase, they may talk to clients to obtain a clear understanding of their requirements. Clients’ requirements may include preparing booklets, brochures, advertisements, in-house magazines, newsletters, training and technical manuals, stationery, and books ready for printing or publishing. They will then prepare quotations for contract work and negotiate with the client for the approval thereof. A desktop publisher may also prepare a concept document that includes the preparation of sketches and design concepts.
Once the client has approved the concept the desktop publisher can then get on with the work of designing and arranging layouts to meet clients’ requirements. In some cases the documents and drawings are provided by the client. In such cases this means the manipulation of available drawings, photographs, texts and artwork to produce a final product.
Detailed work may include type-setting, the preparation of lines or half-tone pictures in single or multi-colour separations (colour printing), making positives and negatives and preparing the printing plates for the presses.