Nav: Home | Inst. | Burs. | Careers
Desktop Publisher
Desktop publishers, or electronic originators, produce professionally designed and presented documents, according to specified design and presentation requirements, using desktop publishing software.

Due to technological advances, especially in the area of computers, almost all the preparatory tasks previously done by hand and on printing machines are now done on high-powered computer systems. The desktop publisher performs a range of functions, both creative and technical, in meeting the needs of a client.

In the concept phase, they may talk to clients to obtain a clear understanding of their requirements. Clients' requirements may include preparing booklets, brochures, advertisements, in-house magazines, newsletters, training and technical manuals, stationery, and books ready for printing or publishing.

They may then prepare quotations for contract work and negotiate with the client for the approval thereof. A desktop publisher may also prepare a concept document that includes the preparation of sketches and design concepts.

Once the client has approved the concept the desktop publisher can then get on with the work of designing and arranging layouts to meet clients' requirements. In some cases the documents and drawings are provided by the client. In such cases this means the manipulation of available drawings, photographs, texts and artwork to produce a final product.

Detailed work may include type-setting, the preparation of lines or half-tone pictures in single or multi-colour separations (colour printing), making positives and negatives and preparing the printing plates for the presses.

Satisfying Aspects
- being creative
- variety of work
- mostly office hours
- relatively good earning potential
- possibility of setting up own business

Demanding aspects
- stress due to working to deadlines
- having to do what clients want, rather than    following your own creative ideas
- finding new creative routes; and sometimes having to work overtime

A desktop publisher should:
- be able to adapt to the changes in technology;
- have some artistic flair;
- have good colour perception;
- have an analytical mind;
- be able to concentrate;
- able to work quickly and accurately even under pressure;
- be interested in photography.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate for a diploma course

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Visual Arts, English, Languages, Information Technology

Diploma: N.Dip: Graphic Design - most universities of technology, eg CUT, CPUT, TUT, VUT. Courses are also offered at NMMU, UJ and Northlink and Port Elizabeth FET’s.

Alternatively, to qualify as a photo-lithographer / electronic originator, registration with an employer providing suitable training is required. Training consists of theoretical and practical work:

Theoretical training: At the Southern African Printing College (full-time for 10 months) or through their Distance Learning Department (part-time)

Practical training: In-service training under supervision of a qualified tradesman (Competency-Based Modular Method)

- Commercial printing plants
- Book and magazine publishers
- Newspaper plants
- Stationery and envelope manufacturers
- Government departments
- Government Printing Works
- Manufacturers and other firms that do their own printing

SA Printing and Allied Industries Federation         (PIFSA)
P O Box 1396
Gallo Manor, 2052
The Braids
113 - 115 Bowling Avenue
Gallo Manor, 2191
Tel: (011) 287-1160 Fax: (011) 287-1178

Media Skills for Africa
Contact Graeme: (056) 818 1814

Southern African Printing College
Private Bag X7
Honeydew, 2040
Tel.: (011) 794-3810