Desktop publishing (DTP)

Desktop publishing ushered in (or out) an era. The all-powerful printer now saw his or her work taken over by a graphic designer who, seated at a computer, could single-handedly direct almost every stage in printing a book, from type design (with applications like Fontographer or FontLab) to Layout (XPress, InDesign) to printing.

The limited possibilities offered by word processing were replaced by a vast field of graphic design possibilities. Easy-to-use desktop publishing software made it possible to accomplish in a few seconds what would have taken hours only a few decades earlier. Mistakes could be corrected, and fruitless efforts could be abandoned halfway through. However, typesetting thus entered the world of "real time", of instantaneous production, where speed (often driven by economic concerns) often trumped reflection.

A graphic designer, seated at a computer, could single-handedly direct almost every stage in printing a book.

Professional typographers and bibliophiles no longer held the monopoly on typographic usage. A series of "fakes" began to appear, such as "fake bold", generated by automatically expanding the contours of a letter, "tilted roman", which slanted letters to simulate italics, and fake ligatures (such as "fi", where the curve of the "f" meets the dot of the "i", creating an unattractive blot that does nothing to increase readability.

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