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Old 02-12-2008, 11:59 AM   #1
Anbeduma
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Default What is desktop publishing?

I would love answers, guidance or direction regarding the following information:

1) What exactly is desktop publishing?

2) What range of services is generally offered?

3) What is a good (maybe for a starter) software program?

4) Photography program?

5) Any recommendations as to reading material?

6) Any recommendations as to websites to peruse

Thanks for sticking with me this far! Can't wait to get going ...

Last edited by ktinkel; 02-12-2008 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Edited from Introduce Yourself
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:15 PM   #2
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In all seriousness, the best advice for you in getting started is to hang around this forum and read the threads. Publishing is a very broad arena. Read some books by Robin Williams, especially the Non-Designer's Design book. Try for starters Paint Shop Pro for graphics and photos (an older version will do fine). Try Serif PagePlus 9 for $10 plus shipping for word processing, but get the disc, not the download. Get a basic commercial printing guide from the library. Don't undervalue learning how to make websites. Try some small projects. Then, reassess your objectives.

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anbeduma View Post
I would love answers, guidance or direction regarding the following information:

1) What exactly is desktop publishing?
It began as a collection of software programs designed to make it possible to prepare text and images for printing on desktop computers — rather than the proprietary computerized systems costing tens of thousands of dollars that were being used for typesetting, image-editing, etc. And rather than the hand-work done by graphic designers.

Today DTP software attracts all sorts of users, including typesetters and designers, but also many others, some of them producing their own books, newsletters, ads, packaging, etc. Quite a few writers and self-publishers. Others work for customers. Many end up having to create web sites or ads to supplement the printed material. Anything goes, really.

Quote:
2) What range of services is generally offered?
Almost anything you can do that your customers cannot: set type, edit color images, produce brochures or ads. Resell printing services. Design logos. Create illustrations. Of course, first you need to know how to do those things.

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3) What is a good (maybe for a starter) software program?
What platform do you use? There are few low-end DTP programs for the Mac; for Windows, Serif PagePlus is well liked. (Link is to a long thread on this forum.) It seems to have most of the functions of the high-end software, are a much lower price. Most commercial work is done with Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress.

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4) Photography program?
You mean image-editing? Photoshop is most used commercially. For Windows users, there are others from Corel and other companies. Most of the books and articles with tips and tricks do refer to Photoshop, however.

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5) Any recommendations as to reading material?
Many. A basic text on principles of page layout and design. A good book on type and typography. If you want to become a color photo wiz, then a good book and/or class on that.

Sorry if I seem coy — we need to develop a good current list on these topics. When it comes to the basics — design and typography, in particular — older books are better. They do not refer to computers but to principles of the work; then you hit the computer to find out how to accomplish what you need to do.

But for more technical topics — particularly image-editing and prepress topics — the new books have better information. Designers, typesetters, and other mere mortals never had much to do with these topics, and the people who did know kind of passed it along on the job.

This thread should produce some specific recommendations for you.

Quote:
6) Any recommendations as to websites to peruse?
Well, this one, for starters. This is essentially what we do best. Not that we have all the information you will need — far from it — but this forum and its members can help you find it and understand it.

You will also get recommendations here to other sites.

   
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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First, welcome to the forum. You ask a loaded question when you ask "What is desktop publishing." It's a broad field. There are people doing brochures and flyers and there are people doing full scale magazines. The type of equipment you use depends on what you plan to do. If your intent is to do flyers, brochures, newsletters, etc. on a local level then Printshop is certainly something worth having. You can also use MS Publisher for a few things, but I wouldn't try running any desktop publishing company without also having Adobe InDesign and/or QuarkXPress. Both are versatile and capable of the handling the most sophisticated publishing projects. I wish you the best of luck. I think you are off to a good start by joining a forum like this.

   
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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Welcome from Ottawa,

You might want to consider CorelDraw X4. This package gives you an illustration program, a photo editing program, and you can do page layout. You also get a bunch of fonts, and ready-made clipart and photos to get you going. And hey, you will be supporting fellow canucks:

http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satelli.../1191272117978

The high-end types use the Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator package, but this is quite expensive compared to X4 (about $500 versus $1,000). This is well worth the money though if you have the budget.

You can also get going for pretty much free if you use "open-source" or "shareware" type software, just read around these forums. You will just have to make sure you are capable of producing "print-ready" pdf files to send to the printers.

   
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:02 PM   #6
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dthomsen8: but why do you ask?
KT split this off...see this thread for the how's and why's...'-}}

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Old 02-13-2008, 02:30 AM   #7
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Why do you advise to get the disk, not the download? Is there something on the disk that isn't in the download?

   
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdanddvdpublisher View Post
First, welcome to the forum. You ask a loaded question when you ask "What is desktop publishing." It's a broad field. There are people doing brochures and flyers and there are people doing full scale magazines. The type of equipment you use depends on what you plan to do. If your intent is to do flyers, brochures, newsletters, etc. on a local level then Printshop is certainly something worth having. You can also use MS Publisher for a few things, but I wouldn't try running any desktop publishing company without also having Adobe InDesign and/or QuarkXPress. Both are versatile and capable of the handling the most sophisticated publishing projects. I wish you the best of luck. I think you are off to a good start by joining a forum like this.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. The whole "QuarkXPress" thing scares me for some reason. I think of it as being a professional program. I'm definitely ready to move up from my current version of Printshop. This version doesn't even allow me to email projects which can really get in the way. Maybe the newest version is all I need at this point ... I'll have to look into Adobe InDesign as well. I do appreciate your feedback.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:14 AM   #9
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Tim - Thanks for the welcome! That Corel thingy looks amazing! I'm thinking that even that is more financially than I want to commit to right now. Something to keep in mind though ...
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:54 AM   #10
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Thanks for sort of putting some of it in perspective Kathleen.

   
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