1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

The Design Side of Freelance Design

Do you have the skills and knowledge needed to do professional DTP?


In addition to the business side of freelance desktop publishing, there's the design side of the equation. It's not unreasonable to believe that a person thinking of starting a desktop publishing business is doing so because they already do some kind of design work (either as part of their job or for personal projects) and want to make money doing something they enjoy. That's probably true 90% of the time. However, there are others who have read articles that seem to imply that all it takes to do desktop publishing is some software, some fonts, some clip art, and a printer. It's a start, but it's not usually enough to make a living doing desktop publishing.

That doesn't mean you can't start a business unless you already have a design degree or years of experience in the field. Like almost anything else, desktop publishing can be learned. A natural talent or eye for design would be helpful as well, although some design skills can be learned well enough to make a go of a freelance design business.

Owning and even being able to use desktop publishing software is not enough to start a business. Being proficient with your software is a necessity; but, beyond the software, there are certain skills and knowledge that a designer needs.

The following quizzes will help you determine if your current knowledge is enough, identify weak areas, and help you see what you need to work on while pursuing a freelance career.

Do each of these three quizzes, taking note of the questions that trip you up as well as your overall score.

  1. Do you know the basics?

  2. How well do you know your desktop publishing terms?

  3. Who wants to be a desktop publisher?

Your Assignment
Based on how you do on the quizzes as well as your own related design experience and how well you believe you know your software, write up an honest assessment of your current desktop publishing skills and knowledge. Identify your areas of weakness as well as your strengths. Create a plan of action as to how you can improve on those areas that need it: taking software or design classes locally; enrolling in online software or design courses; doing self-study through books, videos, online tutorials; and any other learning avenues available to you.

Freelance Design > Start a Business > Your Desktop Publishing/Design Knowledge

Doing Desktop Publishing & Graphic Design
Training, Education, Jobs:Careers in Desktop Publishing
In the Classroom: Back to School With Desktop Publishing
Jobs: How to Find an Entry-Level Design Job or Internship
Business: How to Start a Freelance Desktop Publishing or Graphic Design Business
Pick Your Path to Desktop Publishing
Get Started:Basic Guidelines and Requirements for Desktop Publishing
Choose Software:Desktop Publishing and Design Software
Tips & Tutorials:How to Do Desktop Publishing
Make Something: Things to Make Using Desktop Publishing
Use Templates: Templates for Print and Web Publishing
Related Video
Design an Original PowerPoint Slide Template

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.