Desktop Publishing Tips

To assist you with internal jobs (for on-campus distribution only) that you may produce on your own computer, we've developed these tips.

  1. Strive for uniformity: Keep appearances uniform so finished pieces don't look haphazard—use columns when appropriate.
  2. Balance your spreads: For side-by-side pages, make sure pages balance each other. Often, what looks good as a single page doesn't look as good beside a similar page.
  3. Use common sense: Your goal is to make your finished product easy to read and attractive.
    1. Don't use several typefaces or designs in a single document just because your computer has the capability to do so.
    2. Don't use all caps, all italics, or all boldface. They are hard to read.
  4. Choose the correct type: Different fonts are best for different jobs—sans serif for headlines, serif for body copy. Don't use an informal font for formal documents, etc.
  5. Use headlines: Strong, powerful type attracts the reader's attention; descriptive headlines keep attention and help draw the reader into the article.
  6. Highlight important points:
    1. Add illustrations, graphs, artwork, and pull-quotes to emphasize important points.
    2. Be aware of copyright issues—it is illegal to reproduce cartoons and art prints without permission. We do have clip art available.
  7. Add descriptive captions: Add captions to graphs, photos, and artwork when appropriate. It is also a good idea to add subheads to long blocks of text.
  8. Always use appropriate margins: Consistent margins give finished pages a neat, clean appearance.
  9. Use white space: Don't overfill pages with text, designs, and artwork. White space makes your pages more appealing and readable. White space helps important elements such as headlines stand out.
  10. Proofread everything and don't rely on spell check: It doesn't matter how good a design might be if it contains misspelled words, grammatical errors, and missing punctuation. Be sure to look over your copy carefully. Don't trust your computer's spell check or grammar check system, as they're not always correct. Use it as a resource to help you proof not as your sole source of proofing.

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