Level 2
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
24 hours


Learners will develop skills in desktop publishing software. They will understand page layout and design principles and learn the tools and techniques to create and print a variety of professional publications for different purposes and audiences.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Be able to create a range of publications for different purposes and audiences.

AC 1.1:

  • Templates: letterhead, business card, poster, newsletter), consider house style e.g. branding, publication guidelines, existing styles and schemes; refinements to styles and schemes.
  • Local guidelines: templates, house style (branding), publication guidelines, existing styles and schemes; refinements to styles and schemes.

AC 1.2:

  • Organisation and arrangement of information e.g. size, white space, columns, consistency, orientation, proportion, consideration of how to achieve or enhance a publication’s effectiveness, using a variety of styles and the ability to modify layouts allows publications to be created to suit different purposes, audiences, an understanding that some publication layouts require little content for maximum impact.
  • Design and accessibility considerations: font size, colours, contrast, accessibility standards and legal requirements.

AC 1.3:

  • Save and retrieve documents in line with local guidelines and conventions where available: save, save as, save as, search, open, print, share, export, close, version control, file size, My Documents, local storage/external storage devices (hard drive, USB), remote storage (Dropbox, Google Drive).

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1

    Use appropriate templates to create publications in line with local guidelines.

  • 1.2

    Apply page layout and design principles to publications to enhance effectiveness.

  • 1.3

    Save and retrieve publications using local and remote storage methods.


Be able to manipulate content to enhance publications.

AC 2.1:

  • Combine text and media: importing text from sources, use of layers in combining graphics and text, insert and format lines/boxes/arrows, group, ungroup, copy and move multiple items, for example, a shaded box, text and a graphic, borders, panels, shading, logos; import information produced using other software; reference external information, hyperlinks, object linking; embedding.
  • Media (images/graphics): digital bitmap (bmp, jpg or png) or raster picture/vector graphics (svg, wmf, eps, ai), picture format (e.g. jpg and psd) internet drawing display (png), graphic designs (svg).

AC 2.2:

  • Edit: drag and drop, copy and paste, find, find and replace, undo, redo; position; use layout guides.
  • Format text: understand the use and importance of consistent formatting of text (type face, size, alignment, emphasis) and ensure headings, subheadings and body text are formatted appropriately, text special effects, for example, dropped/raised capitals, reverse text, rotated text, word art, use existing styles and schemes for font, size, orientation, colour, alignment; create new styles and schemes for font, size, orientation, colour, alignment.
  • Manipulate images and graphics: resize (maintain aspect ratio), crop, rotate, position, border.
  • Control text flow: single/multiple columns and pages, around images and graphic elements.

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1

    Insert and combine text and media.

  • 2.2

    Use editing and formatting tools to manipulate content to enhance effectiveness.


Be able to proof and print publications.

AC 3.1:

  • Professional techniques (copyfitting): checking of widows and orphans (and when they should be applied), consistent paragraph spacing, keep with next, overlapping page items, leading/line spacing, hyphenation, white space and column balancing, use proof reading techniques to check that the publication looks professional, use checking techniques to ensure graphics are displayed appropriately, for example in proportion, text wrap applied, use spell check, grammar check, word count; using manual techniques to check for completeness, accuracy, orientation, layout, text alignment, formatting, fit for purpose.
  • Things to consider: does it read well on screen, is it clearly legible when printed, is the layout suitable, is the presentation appropriate, are text styles consistent, are images appropriately sized and positioned, are images/graphics/charts fit for purpose and clearly labelled, are tables clear and appropriate, has organisational house style been used (where applicable).
  • Accuracy: spell check, grammar check, manual techniques (proof reading/peer review). 
  • inconsistencies: font style and size, page layout, margins, space, line and page breaks, figures, times, dates, measurements, punctuation.

AC 3.2:

  • Composite proofs: the final digital colour proof before printing which reflects colour accuracy and imposition, a high-end digital colour proof that is so accurate it replaces a press proof in most cases so when a client approves a composite proof, the printing company is expected to deliver a printed publication that matches it exactly.
  • Formats suitable for print publishing and those that are application specific and more common (rtf, eps, pdf), portrait/landscape, two-page, four-page document, double-sided, newspaper style, etc, use and set crop marks to print (the lines printed in the corners of a publication's sheet or sheets of paper to show the printer where to trim the paper, used by commercial printers for creating bleeds where an image or
    colour on the page needs to extend all the way to the edge of the paper).

AC 3.3:

  • Commercial printing: understanding the differences between composite and spot-colour process printing (cost, scale, colour accuracy), the difference between RGB and CYMK modes of print, the use and purpose of colour separation.

Assessment Criteria

  • 3.1

    Use professional techniques to check publications for accuracy and consistency, making changes where necessary.

  • 3.2

    Print composite proofs in appropriate formats.

  • 3.3

    Summarise the process for commercial printing.