Many people may ask the questions, “What is Graphic Design?” and “What is Desktop Publishing?” Are they the same thing, and if not, do they have distinguishable characteristics? For those people, do not fear because I have the answer to your question right here. It is true that desktop publishing and graphic design share many similarities, but they are not the same. However, they do have common abilities and features, which can lead to confusion for those who are not sure what traits distinguishes one from the other. (Artwork Abode 2014.)
According to Jacci Howard Bear (2018), graphic design is “the process and art of combining text and graphics and communicating an effective message in the design of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication.” (ThoughtCo.2018.) Allison Elliott gives her definition of desktop publishing by stating, “desktop publishing (DTP) is the placing and positioning of text and graphics on the page to produce paper publications such as newsletters, magazines, brochures, books, etc. It can be adapted to create other paper publicity such as leaflets, flyers, postcards, networking material, business stationery, adverts, cards, posters, signs and other visual communication.” (Allison Elliot’s Blog 2008.)
Both desktop publishing and graphic design are processes used to bring creative things to life. However, desktop publishing centers on creating things that would once have been traditionally published, including flyers, brochures, books, websites and more from a computer. Graphic design, on the other hand, is the processes used to create graphics, from product packaging to website design to social network avatars and more. (Artwork Abode 2014.)
To add emphasis to these points, Silva Devarj in an article states that:
Graphic Design is about solving the communication challenges through visual shorthand. Where there is clarity of thought, you will reach the essence of communication solutions. This is truly Graphic Design – utilizing a variety of graphical solutions combined with data as well as your imagination and creating art with a purpose. It involves a creative plan that is developed to achieve specific objectives using images, symbols or even words. It is visual communication utilizing your imagination with various graphic elements and tools that tell a story. (Devarj Design Agency 2018.)
Whereas Alice Elliot in another article tells that:
Desktop Publishing takes the designed graphics, logos, illustrations and concepts to combine it with text, layout and other materials onto the page. Desktop publishers excel in arranging the material available in the most efficient, effective and attractive method ready for the printing process. It is mainly paper based, but other media can be used and explored, such as plastics, clothing or whatever. (Allison Elliot’s Blog 2008.)
Finally, Artwork Adobe helps us to clearly distinguish between graphic design and desktop publishing when they state:
To clarify the differences between desktop publishing and graphic design, it helps if you think about them in terms of what is created. Desktop Publishing is generally concerned with creating text material, often combined with graphical elements. Graphic Design on the other hand, is concerned more with the creation of graphical means of conveying information. It goes far beyond that to typography, colour grading, photography, web design and even advertising. In short, a graphic designer must have more knowledge and experience than a desktop publisher. (Artwork Abode 2014.)
Alice Elliott. “Desktop Publishing versus Graphic Design.” Alice Elliott’s Blog. April 17, 2008. Web. January 31, 2018
Artwork Adobe. “Desktop Publishing vs. Graphic Design.” artworkadobe.com. June 18, 2014. Web. January 31, 2018.
Bear, Jacci Howard. “The Difference Between Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing.” ThoughtCo. January 13, 2018. Web. January 31, 2018.
Silva Devarj. “What is the difference between Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing?” Devarj Design Agency. n.d. Web. January 31, 2018.