Desktop publishing began in 1985 with the introduction of PageMaker software from Aldus and the LaserWriter printer from Apple Computer. Desktop publishing software can generate layouts and produce typographic quality text and images comparable to traditional typography and printing. This technology allows individuals, businesses, and other organizations to self-publish a wide range of printed matter. The improved typographic controls and image handling of PC and Mac-based publishing systems increasingly attracted the attention of professional publishers.
The same DTP skills and software used for common paper and book publishing are sometimes used to create graphics for point of sale displays, promotional items, trade show exhibits, retail package designs and outdoor signs.