History of DTP

Color Swatches

As the world was going with Letterpress Era, back to early 1980s there arose a need for designing jobs, as Letterpress could do just arrangement of letters by composing it on a block and later printing them on a paper. It could do nothing for images, multi-shaped fancy fonts and text arrangement.

There was need to a sharper font and also letter clarity. This gave rise to a technology called Bromide print. This was a machine where the letters got printed on a white paper which was to be extracted from a cartridge in Black Room. The letters then were arranged by an artist who would paste the text on a canvas and leave space for the images, or he would draw any drawings by hand or taken by a photograph. Then it was taken for positives. Later it was taken for printing.

Even designing a visiting card with a particular font or size would be a cumbersome work. To get it in colour was a very tough job. This was great drawback for the design industry. This gave rise to DTP. Using this technology we could do any type of designs using computer. There were many fonts available, so creating any designs was more easier.

By the introduction of PageMaker, there was a revolution in the field of DTP, as it was compatible with Laser Printers. It was the machine which used the term WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). We could print what ever we see on computer screen on paper. The added advantage was Laser Printer, which got support for PostScript, which gave extra sharpness to the print and many features like images with more sharpness and automatic back to back printing.

By the introduction of CorelDraw, there was much more revolution. It was used for drawing vector artworks. We could do some level of image editing and also page layouts. This was till the introduction of Photoshop, which was a perfect software for Image editing. It had many many options for editing an image. The only problem was the images, which when placed increased the size of the file.

The jobs for DTP also had the help of FreeHand, QuarkXpress, Ventura and others, which filtered the work which was done and the trend was shifting to a graphic world. There was competition between all the software to add options and make it to a graphical interface.

Adobe Illustrator came to the top ranking for many people, as it had the ability to draw any type of drawings and due to its extra sharpness a small vector drawing would not loose any sharpness even if enlarged to a banner size. Even the images if placed had the option to embed or as external links in Illustrator. Many agencies shifted from CorelDraw to Illustrator due to these options.

As PageMaker was moved from Aldus to Adobe, there was a design change of the software. It got the flavour of illustrator and got updated to a new software called Adobe InDesign. This was a complete software, which had the ability to arrange letters to any shape and size. It was the first layout software to get the ability of arranging the letters in arch shape. It had the option to expand or contract the width of the letters to great percentages in paragraph mode or if arranged in arch shape.

Using Adobe InDesign, we could get the page setup to multiple sizes in a single file. It also had the option to add multiple master pages in a single file. It had the option for automatic table option and mail merge option, which were handy for many people. Today it is the most robust page layout software with vector drawing option. It is even today growing with many more options with each version released.

External References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_publishing

https://www.lifewire.com/when-was-desktop-publishing-invented-1073863

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_printing

History of DTP

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