DTP or graphic design: what's in a name?


Managing Director

23 January 2018

The best way to rile up a graphic designer? Ask him/her whether they are a DTP professional. We can guarantee that you will be on the receiving end of an angry look and a snappy comeback.

But all kidding aside: what exactly is DTP? And how is it different from graphic design? In this blog post, we’ll try to explain the subtle nuances to you.


DTP = Desktop Publishing

The term DTP, short for Desktop Publishing, was first coined around 1985, when the computer was taking its first steps into the graphic world. Thanks to the collaboration of Aldus PageMaker (later acquired by Adobe), Apple Macintosh and Apple LaserWriter, you could merge images and text in one file on your computer (desktop). The accompanying LaserWriter even allowed you to print it out. Hard to imagine nowadays, but this development revolutionised the graphic world. The documentary ‘Graphic Means’, which we recently screened in Ghent and Antwerp, is a beautiful representation of this evolution.

Graphic Design

The term ‘graphic design’ is mostly used to refer to the creative process. Designers often start off with nothing more than an idea, a blank page and a pencil to create their first drafts. These first designs are then further defined with a computer and graphics software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, until a file that is ready to print can be sent to the print shop.

But not every designer follows this same way of working. The younger generation, the ‘digital natives’ so to speak, will often use the computer for the whole process, from idea to delivery. One method is no better than the other, a lot depends on the talent and technical knowledge of the designer.

In short ...

We’re being a little reductive, but in general you could say that a graphic designer helps to shape the creative process. You can contact him or her with a vague concept which they will, in turn, transform into a concrete campaign, a corporate identity, a logo, a brochure, ...

A DTP expert is technically strong and will ensure that your brochure, book, annual report, or anything else you can think of, can be quickly and easily printed. Experienced DTP professionals are worth their weight in gold! They often know their software inside out, allowing them to automate repetitive processes and helping their customers save a lot of time.

Typografics has an all-round portfolio

Typografics offers all kinds of profiles. We have employees who prefer to show their creative side and who are perfectly suited to help you define your corporate identity or design your logo. But we also have a lot of highly competent DTP profiles, true InDesign and Photoshop wizards who can ensure a fast and flawless end result for your catalogue, price list, annual report, brochure or magazine.