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4 Steps to Perfect Publications


No matter what your level of expertise or your desktop publishing experience you can turn out a great looking desktop document by focusing on four basic areas: page layout, typography, graphics, and printing.

1. Page Layout

Page Layout in PageMaker
© J. Bear
The overall look and the way the elements are arranged on the page is the first step to a perfect publication. For beginners, templates simplify page layout decisions. More advanced designers should explore the usefulness of grids. Experienced designers can break out of a design rut by going back to the basics of thumbnail sketches for brainstorming layouts.

2. Typography

© J. Bear
Beginners would do well to limit font choices to two or three. Careful attention to punctuation, alignment, and spacing adds professional polish. For experienced designers, experimentation with the art of type can take their designs from good and serviceable to outstanding or cutting edge.

3. Graphics

Bitmap clip art and photo enlargements
© J. Bear
The overuse of clip art is one of the most obvious signs of amateur design. Perfect publications steer clear of clip art clutter and begin to shine when stock photos and illustrations give way to customization and original artwork.

4. Prepress and Printing

© J. Bear
Whether it's from your desktop, a quick printer, or a commercial printing press, careful consideration of how your piece will be printed is essential to turning out a perfect publication. Paper choice is one easy way to improve any publication. On the technical side, more advanced designers should fully explore PostScript and PDF for prepress and printing.

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