Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

11/11/2009

Completing Desktop Publishing


Alright, Fine People, we have discussed desktop publishing in the last several posts including:

1. What is Desktop Publishing?

2. When Was Desktop Publishing Invented?

3. What is Page Layout?

4. Myths & Misconceptions
 
5. The Graphic Design Connection

6. The Web Design Connection

7. The Word Processing Connection

Now that I have, hopefully, whet your appetite for desktop publishing through fine instructional articles by
Jacci Howard Bear, I am gong to give you the link to her many other desktop publishing instructions that delve into such things as: 
 
1. The Rules of Desktop Publishing

2. Four Steps to Perfect Publications

3. Learn to Use Desktop Publishing Software

4. How to Do Desktop Publishing and Desktop Printing
 
This link contains more detail about this fascinating subject. Take your time and read it thoroughly when you can. Keep it for future reference: http://alturl.com/qf5o

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11/09/2009

Word Processing vs. Desktop Publishing


Continuing with desktop publishing:

Crossing the Line

By Jacci Howard Bear, About.com

Are you a Word Processor or a Desktop Publisher?

Do you use word processing software, desktop publishing software, or some combination of the two? In some circles proclaiming that you use Microsoft Publisher or — worse still — your word processing software for desktop publishing will, at best, elicit mild amusement or silence. At worst, you’ll find yourself the target of bitingly hostile verbal (or electronic) abuse.

Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those places. My aim is to provide a place where practitioners of “desktop publishing” in all its forms can peacefully co-exist. Originally word processing involved text only. Letters, memos, student papers, book manuscripts, and simple résumés were the world of the word processor (the person and the software).

When typesetting and page layout capabilities moved to the desktop computer, “desktop publishing” was the realm of the big boys like PageMaker and QuarkXPress. The users of these desktop publishing packages were most often traditionally trained graphic designers. Desktop publishers had more than a passing knowledge of grids, typography, halftones, and the entire design, production, and printing process. Their desktop tools gave them precise control over all these elements.

Today, what originally made desktop publishing packages so attractive to graphic designers — the ability to quickly and easily manipulate text and graphics on screen and try out new ideas — is readily available in less expensive, easy to use programs. At the same time that trimmed down desktop publishing programs are appearing, word processing software is adding more page layout features — and so the line is blurring between desktop publishing and word processing, in part, because of the software.

11/07/2009

Desktop Publishing: Print Design vs. Web Design

Filed under: desktop publishing,web design — gator1965 @ 9:55 pm

Continuing with desktop publishing:

Similarities and Differences in Desktop Publishing and Web Design
By Jacci Howard Bear, About.com

Although desktop publishing and Web design have a common ancestry, they aren’t the same. Yes, there are certain similarities — such as text, graphics, color, page composition, and the need for clear navigation — but Web design has its own set of challenges and design parameters.

Typography:

Writing and reading on-screen differs from print so typography online has its own idiosyncrasies. A font that looks great on paper may be much harder to read on-screen. And unless the font is used in a graphic, there’s a strong chance that visitors to your Web page aren’t going to all see the same font — either because they don’t have it installed or they use Web browser preferences that override your font choices. Those are just some of the differences between text in print and text on the Web.
Typography on Screen: http://alturl.com/nez2
 
Graphics:
 
While TIFF and EPS are the professional graphics standards for print, they won’t fly on the Web. You’ll need to learn how to properly create and use JPEG, GIF, and PNG images in Web design. Additionally, Web graphics use a lower resolution and may require digital protection.
Best Graphics File Formats: http://alturl.com/d86k

Color:
 
Commercial printing processes are typically done in CMYK or uses Pantone spot colors or other print-friendly color specifications. On the Web, color is RGB. And then you’ll also need to contend with browser-safe color schemes — maybe. The use of color in typography also differs, in part because of readability differences on-screen.
Web Color: http://alturl.com/n4kf
 
Navigation:
 
Although Web pages may use some navigational elements derived from print, such as table of contents, navigating through the interconnected pages of a Web site isn’t the same as the usually linear navigation of the pages of a book.
Effective Web Navigation: http://alturl.com/quii
 
Page Composition:
 
In print design, page layouts are static designs. Once it is printed, everyone viewing the page sees the graphics in the same place, the text columns in the same size, and the piece of paper it’s printed on doesn’t change size or shape each time someone picks up the paper. Web pages are more fluid, more dynamic.
Fixed Width vs. Liquid Layouts: http://alturl.com/cvrq
 

 
 
 
 
 

11/04/2009

What is the Difference Between Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing?

Filed under: desktop publishing,graphic design,graphic designers — gator1965 @ 8:42 pm

Continuing with desktop publishing; further discussion of graphic design versus desktop publishing:

By Jacci Howard Bear, About.com

Question: What is the Difference Between Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing?

Graphic design and desktop publishing share so many similarities that people often use the terms interchangeably. There’s not really anything terribly wrong with that but it is helpful to know and understand how they differ and how some people use and confuse the terms.

Answer: The short answer:

•graphic design jobs involve the creative process of coming up with the concepts and ideas and arrangements for visually communicating a specific message

•desktop publishing is the mechanical process that the designer and the non-designer use to turn their ideas for newsletters, brochures, ads, posters, greeting cards, and other projects into digital files for desktop or commercial printing

While desktop publishing does require a certain amount of creativity, it is more production-oriented than design-oriented.

Desktop Publishing Software Is A Common Denominator

Graphic designers use desktop publishing software and techniques to create the print materials they envision. The computer and desktop publishing software also aids in the creative process by allowing the designer to easily try out various page layouts, fonts, colors, and other elements.

Non-designers also use desktop publishing software and techniques to create print projects for business or pleasure. The amount of creative design that goes into these projects varies greatly. The computer and desktop publishing software, along with professionally-designed templates, allow consumers to construct and print the same type of projects as graphic designers although the overall product may not be as well-thought out, carefully crafted, or polished as the work of a professional designer.

Graphic design is the process and art of combining text and graphics and communicating an effective message in the design of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication.

Desktop publishing is the process of using the computer and specific types of software to combine text and graphics to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, etc.

Graphic Design = “Good” and Desktop Publishing = “Evil” Myth

Graphic design and desktop publishing are often used interchangeably but, in part because it is an activity also used by non-designers, desktop publishing is often considered a lesser activity than graphic design. In truth, the two are separate but intertwined disciplines.

Not everyone who does desktop publishing does graphic design, but most graphic designers are involved in desktop publishing – the production side of design. The term desktop publisher can refer to a designer or a non-designer but it often carries negative connotations of an amateur.

Some graphic designers are quite vocal about their distaste for desktop publishing, which is somewhat amusing since much of what they do does involve desktop publishing. What they are really upset about is not desktop publishing itself – it’s an invaluable part of the entire graphic design process – but rather the misuse (real or perceived) of desktop publishing software by non-designers.

11/02/2009

Desktop Publishing: Page Layout and Myths & Misconceptions

Filed under: desktop publishing,graphic design,page layout,publishing — gator1965 @ 9:17 am

Continuing with Desktop Publishing:

Page Layout

By Jacci Howard Bear, About.com

Definition: Page layout (verb) is the process of placing and arranging and rearranging text and graphics on the page to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, etc. Page layout (noun) refers to the actual document page and its composition. The primary software programs for desktop publishing are called page layout applications.

Also Known As: page design
page composition
document design
desktop publishing

Examples:

“Before designers had desktop publishing software, page layout was often done by pasting blocks of typed or typeset text and images cut from special ‘clip art’ books onto sheets of paper.” AND “Adobe PageMaker was the first desktop publishing or page layout program that made it easy to arrange and rearrange text and graphics on screen — no more scissors or messy glue.”
 
Myths and Misconceptions About Desktop Publishing:
 
Aldus Corporation founder Paul Brainerd, is generally credited for coining the phrase, “desktop publishing” after the development of Aldus PageMaker (now Adobe PageMaker). Before the invention of desktop publishing software the tasks involved in desktop publishing were done manually, by a variety of people and involved both graphic design and prepress tasks which sometimes leads to confusion about what desktop publishing is and how it is done.

Perhaps this list will help you combat your own desktop publishing and graphic design misconceptions or those of others.

1. Desktop publishing is just another name for graphic design.

Graphic design has been around far longer than desktop publishing. Desktop publishing is simply a software tool that graphic designers can use to help translate their concepts and ideas into the proper format for printing. But desktop publishing software is also a tool that anyone can use to create and print their own designs as well.

2. Desktop publishing is amateur design.

Desktop publishing by itself isn’t design. It is the use of specific software tools to create projects such as business cards, invitations, books, newsletters, bookmarks, posters, and just about anything else that can be printed. Projects can be good or bad. It’s the vision and skill of the person using desktop publishing software that determines the quality of the output. Desktop publishing software can be used for creating good or bad, professional or amateur design – it doesn’t discriminate.

3. Real graphic designers don’t do desktop publishing.

Most of today’s graphic designers use desktop publishing software so in that sense, yes, they do desktop publishing. See the two previous myths for clarification.

4. You can do desktop publishing with Microsoft Word.

Yes and no. Desktop publishing software works in a different manner than word processing software. However, word processing software continues to evolve to include more of the features that used to only be available in desktop publishing software. For printing simple projects to a desktop printer, a word processor may be sufficient for your needs. For commerical printing or for complex page layout tasks, desktop publishing software designed specifically for page layout is more desirable.

5. You can do desktop publishing with Microsoft PowerPoint.

No, but people try. PowerPoint and other such presentation programs are not desktop publishing software. Graphic designers might do some work in PowerPoint but so do office managers, executives, accountants, Web designers, secretaries, and the kid across the street. It’s simply a different tool used by many type of people, just as desktop publishing is a tool used by many.

6. You can do desktop publishing with Adobe Photoshop.

No. Adobe Photoshop and programs like it are graphics software. Photoshop is simply one type of software tool used by designers and non-designers. True, graphics software is used by graphic designers and others who use desktop publishing software but it is not a page layout application — the type of software that defines desktop publishing.

7. Anyone using desktop publishing software can create professional designs.

No. Sure, the advertising hype for “easy-to-use” desktop publishing software claims otherwise but it’s not true. It is true that desktop publishing software allows the non-professional designer to do page layout more easily and with a plethora of templates, fonts, and clip art at their fingertips they have the potential to create projects that look really good. But the software itself doesn’t guarantee professional-quality design no matter who uses it.

10/29/2009

When Was Desktop Publishing Invented ?

Filed under: book publishing,desktop publishing,publishing,self-publishing — gator1965 @ 9:13 pm

Continuing with desktop publishing:

By Jacci Howard Bear, About.com

Question: When was desktop publishing invented?

Several events of the mid-1980s including the development of Aldus PageMaker (now Adobe PageMaker) ushered in the era of desktop publishing.

Answer: It was primarily the introduction of both the Apple LaserWriter, a PostScript desktop printer, and PageMaker for the Mac that kicked off the desktop publishing revolution. Aldus Corporation founder Paul Brainerd, is generally credited for coining the phrase, “desktop publishing.” 1985 was a very good year.
 
1.1984 – The Apple Macintosh debuts.

2.1984 – Hewlett-Packard introduces the LaserJet, the first desktop laser printer.

3.1985 – Adobe introduces PostScript, the industry standard Page Description Language (PDL) for professional typesetting.

4.1985 – Aldus develops PageMaker for the Mac, the first “desktop publishing” application.

5.1985 – Apple produces the LaserWriter, the first desktop laser printer to contain PostScript.

6.1987 – PageMaker for the Windows platform is introduced.

7.1990 – Microsoft ships Windows 3.0.

Fast forward to 2003 and beyond. You can still buy Hewlett-Packard LaserJets and Apple LaserWriters but there are hundreds of other printers and printer manufacturers to choose from as well. PostScript is at level 3 while PageMaker is at version 7 but is now marketed to the business sector.

In the intervening years since PageMaker’s introduction and purchase by Adobe, Quark, Inc.’s QuarkXPress took over as the sweetheart of desktop publishing applications. But today Adobe’s InDesign is firmly planted in the professional sector and wooing over many converts on both the PC and Mac platforms.

While Macintosh is still considered by some to be the platform of choice for professional desktop publishing, dozens of “consumer and small business desktop publishing” packages hit the shelves in the 1990s, catering to the growing legions of PC/Windows users. Most notable among these low-cost Windows desktop publishing options, Microsoft Publisher and Serif PagePlus continue to add features that make them more and more viable as contenders to the traditional “professional apps.”

Dektop Publishing in the 21st Century has seen a change in the way we define desktop publishing including who does desktop publishing and the software used, even if many of the original players remain.

10/27/2009

What Is Desktop Publishing ?


Starting today I am going to spend some time delving into desktop publishing. There are many sources available to extract information about desktop publishing and today I am going to use “About.com” to define exactly what desktop publishing is:

What is Desktop Publishing?
By Jacci Howard Bear, About.com

Question: What is Desktop Publishing?

Desktop publishing is a term coined after the development of a specific type of software. Before the invention of desktop publishing software the tasks involved in desktop publishing were done manually, by a variety of people and involved both graphic design and prepress tasks which sometimes leads to confusion about what desktop publishing is and how it is done.

Answer: Although the definition, below, is still valid see Desktop Publishing in the 21st Century for a detailed explanation of this new definition:

Desktop publishing is the use of the computer and software to create visual displays of ideas and information. Desktop publishing documents may be for desktop or commercial printing or electronic distribution including PDF, slide shows, email newsletters, and the Web.

OLD / TRADITIONAL DEFINITION: Desktop publishing is the use of the computer and specialized software to create documents for desktop or commercial printing. Desktop publishing refers to the process of using the computer to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, and other publications that were once created manually using a variety of non-computer techniques along with large complex phototypesetting machines. Today desktop publishing software does it all – almost. But before PageMaker and other desktop publishing software there were e-scales, paste-up, and other non-desktop computer ways of putting together a design for printing.

Properly speaking, desktop publishing is the technical assembly of digital files in the proper format for printing. In practical use, much of the “graphic design” process is also accomplished using desktop publishing and graphics software and is sometimes included in the definition of desktop publishing.
Comparison between desktop publishing and graphic design:

What is Desktop Publishing – It is the process of using the computer and specific types of software to combine text and graphics to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, etc.

What is Graphic Design – It is the process and art of combining text and graphics and communicating an effective message in the design of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication.

Desktop publishing software is a tool for graphic designers and non-designers to create visual communications.

Stay tuned for more posts on the ins and outs of desktop publishing

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