Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items to be printed or published online. They collect the text, graphics, and other materials needed and format them into a finished product. Some desktop publishers may help to create web pages using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), although this is usually the job of web designers.
Desktop publishers work with other design and media professionals, such as writers, editors, and graphic designers. For example, desktop publishers work with graphic designers to come up with images that complement the text and fit the available space.
Desktop publishers’ responsibilities may vary widely from project to project and employer to employer. Smaller firms typically use desktop publishers to perform a wide range of tasks, while desktop publishers at larger firms may specialize in one part of the publishing process. Some desktop publishers might be responsible for correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and for writing original content themselves.TCC programs that are right for you:Graphic Design Technology Programs
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About half of desktop publishers work in the publishing and printing industries. Most of the rest work for companies in other industries that produce their own printed materials, including advertising and public relations industries which are included in professional, scientific, and technical services. Many desktop publishers work part time. They may need to work long hours to meet publication deadlines.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of desktop publishers is projected to decline by 15 percent between 2010 and 2020. Companies are expected to hire fewer desktop publishers as other types of workers — such as graphic designers, web designers, and copy editors — increasingly take on desktop publishing tasks. Increased computer-processing capacity and the widespread availability of more elaborate desktop publishing software will make it easier and more affordable for nonprinting professionals to create their own materials. As a result, there will be less need for people to specialize in desktop publishing. Some of the tasks that desktop publishers do, such as creating initial page layouts or converting pages to .pdfs, can now be automated, further reducing employment. As companies increasingly look to save on costs, sending desktop publishing tasks to workers in other countries may increase. Overall declines in the printing and publishing industries — those most likely to employ desktop publishers — will also restrict growth. As organizations increasingly publish their materials on the Internet instead of in print form, to save on printing and distribution costs, employment of desktop publishers may decline further.
Career information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.