Desktop publishing, known shortly as DTP, drags its name from old times when a computer was so special to have at home, compared to having one at work, when it was called a personal computer, or a desktop.
Creating documents with software for layout on your PC is thus called Desk-Top Publishing.
When it began, its usage was in printed media, before all of us had a computer and access to digital content daily created worldwide. In the old times, layout was created for special purposes only, as said, mostly printing. Today everybody is creating layouts of their online published works. That can be on a blog, or wherever you have a formatted text. You don’t need an expert to do it for you now. We all have MS word, which is also a tool for creating layout.
MS word has lately become a neat tool for creating a nice layout; pupils at school create their seminar papers, term papers, and other papers, print them out on their home printers, and maybe have it bonded in a printshop. But they do the DTP part on their own.
With advanced software you can do better things, it’s not just word processing, you can have more styles of your text, and numerous options for laying it out, mixing it with images. When online content is in question, we create it with streaming videos.
Publishing industry (print)
Desktop publishers have been working with writers and authors for a long time. Authors always want to have a say – together with editors – how their content should appear printed. So, I have worked personally with a lot of authors on preparing the layout for their books. Today that is still, fortunately for us, a thing, that people love reading books. Laying out novels and stories is a lot easier than doing so with some banking, financial reports with tables and a lot of data. When working on latter, it is always necessary to have it reviewed by the author.
Most of the times authors send the material already formatted in (mostly) Excel or MS Word, and that “kinda” helps us create the final version, as we know what is important for that particular report.
Another thing where authors of the content are involved are banners – marketing managers who manage their booths at the trade shows. They have a plan what needs to be presented on banners and at the stand. So we can suggest things, often times create suggestions, but in the end, it is all about what they need to have. Creativity does have a role, but it’s mostly (for me at least) doing in the end what the client wants.
Digital trade shows
A DTP specialist can create your presentations, brochures, leaeflets, catalogs, business cards, banners, posts, signs and different kind of design.
But, as it is not all about printed material, DTP operators also create your e-books, webpage content, in modern times we do some web design, and a lot of times there is a lot of graphic design involved.
With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many trade shows took place online. You’d think “what would Desktop Publishers do now?”. But, as it turns out, online trade shows also include presentation material.
We didn’t work on print-ready banners, but digital-publishing-ready banners, even digital boots from which visitors were able to download other content in PDF.