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Do I Need Graphic Design Training to Do Desktop Publishing?

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Question: Do I Need Graphic Design Training to Do Desktop Publishing?
The short answer: "No, but it helps."
Answer: If your goal is to simply create and print your own material from your desktop printer for personal use such as greeting cards, flyers, or craft projects using desktop publishing software then in-depth graphic design training and knowledge of the elements and principles of graphic design are not essential to doing desktop publishing.

If you are seeking employment or freelance work doing desktop publishing then you need to determine exactly how you or a potential employer are defining desktop publishing.

Production Work Only

If it is strictly production work — the mechanical process of preparing files created by others for printing — that your employer wants then your technical desktop publishing and software skills are the key. You will most likely be taking materials prepared by graphic designers or others and simply making them press-ready.

Creative Plus Production Work

However, if, by "do desktop publishing" you mean creating brochures, newsletters, ads, fliers, or other print projects from concept all the way through to preparing the digital files for printing then more graphic design training and knowledge is important because then you are involved in the creative process of preparing effective print communications as well as the mechanical desktop publishing process.

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