Desktop Publishing

Desktop publishing is the fastest growing art profession. With developments in computer technology happening at an incredible rate, publishing can now be done much more cost effectively from a single desktop computer. Desktop publishing is simply creating WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) page layouts on the computer. Frequently, this business is started by one person as a freelance part-time profession. As word spreads around and a client base is built up, the artist has the option of making this a full time occupation and hiring others to assist.


Desktop publishers may create business cards, newsletters, letterhead, envelopes, logos, posters, name tags, bumper stickers, and web sites. The attraction to this profession is the fact that you are your own boss and can work around another job or school. Its also a great way to get experience and make you more marketable to a large studio or agency. Although it seems that everyone is now a web designer, there is still a demand for good web site designers. This can be done on your personal computer.


Unless you are working for someone else, you will need to create your own business and request the necessary forms from the IRS. You are providing a service, so you probably won't need to charge sales tax for your jobs.


MonitorDesktop Publishers should be familiar with Quark, Flash, Fireworks, InDesign, Illustrator, Painter, and Adobe Photoshop. See the Adobe Software Page to get education pricing.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for Desktop Publishers in 2010 was $36,610 per year. The pay range according to is $23,192 - $71,046. The job outlook for desktop publishers is poor. Says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of desktop publishers is projected to decline by 15 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employment will decline rapidly as other types of workers increasingly do desktop publishing tasks and as fewer print publications are developed." [1]


Job titles in DTP

President/Vice President/Managing Publisher
(Salary range: $42,294 - $172,403)

Before you drool, this is the name you give yourself if you're self-employed and have created your own company. You only make as much as the jobs you are hired to do. If you're not busy, then you might make less than $500 a year. If you're successful, you could make a president's salary.

(Salary range: $23,192 - $71,046)

Usually assists the owner of the company. This person is hired to take up the slack when business begins growing. Due to the seasonal conditions of this job, it is better to do this part-time.

Jobs Search in DTP

Desktop Publishers

There are thousands upon thousands of desktop publishers. Most are individuals who either freelance or work for another company that could range from life insurance to government.

  • BNP Media is one example of a company hiring full time desktop publishers. This page shows their packaging designs.

  • FoxFire Printing is one of many printing companies that hire desktop publishers.

DTP Resources

Books on Desktop Publishing