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Design the page layout and choose fonts for all sorts of documents.

What does a Typesetter do?

The word “Typesetter” conjures up images of black hands and a series of metal plates being pieced together in preparation for stamping onto a page. If this is what you’re thinking, you’d be right, but also a bit outdated. Today’s Typesetters, like any worker in just about every industry, rely more on computers to get the job done.

What is that job? Simply put, your task as a Typesetter is to prepare text for print. Look around the room you’re in right now. Every brochure, greeting card, newspaper, book page, and CD booklet is a product of a Typesetter’s work.

In this job, the results of your labors aren’t printed on the inkjet next to the computer. You commonly work for a newspaper, mass printing company (think magazines and brochures), or book publisher. So rather than hitting the print key, you tell the printing press what you want the page to look like. You design the page layout, font style, colors, and other components of the finished product.

This job overlaps with other positions, and may even be referred to by another name. For example, the modern technique of typesetting closely corresponds with the job of a Desktop Publisher or Graphic Designer. You also need to be familiar with the job of the Copy Editor, so that you can decipher the proofreading marks on the “rough draft” that you receive. These are the marks that indicate what changes you should make as you enter the typeset.