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One of the easiest ways to create a "look" for a printed piece is with proper typography. Production artists, who generally work on tight deadlines, need a solid knowledge of fonts, type styles and design issues involving type.
This goes well beyond deciding whether to use Times or Arial. Good typography includes knowing how many font faces to use in a single document (no more than four, two is better) and how to kern a display headline so that no two letters are too close or too far apart.
It also helps to be able to spell (sorry, being a designer does not exempt you!) and proofread.