Re: graphics/illustration tips and techniques (longish)

Subject: Re: graphics/illustration tips and techniques (longish)
From: "Rikki Nyman" <nymanr -at- agcs -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 09:21:54 -0700

> Dan wrote:

> Can anyone suggest books, articles, web sources, and such, that can give me
> a list of tips, techniques, tricks, hints, and other helpful advice that can
> help me produce better illustration? I'm not looking to become a fabulous
> graphic designer - just a TW with adequate graphic skills.

I got into technical communication through graphic design and DTP about ten
years ago. The following is a partial list of books that I put together for a
visual literacy workshop for the STC Region 5 conference in October. I've
highlighted the books that have been most indispensable to me as a technical
communicator as well as those (like Robin Williams) that I think would be most
useful to folks without a design background. I think someone mentioned Dynamic
Graphics magazine, which is great for ideas and how-tos without being super
artsy, but another source I've relied on for ideas is the Print Design Annual
when you need something creative and fresh, but don't have a clue where to

With a little inspiration and a good tool (Visio works great for a lot of the
work we do) you can solve most visual communication problems, but it's still
important to know when to turn the work over to graphics specialist.


Barnum, Carol M., and Saul Carliner, ed. Techniques for Technical
Communicators. Allyn and Bacon, 1993.
***Berryman, Gregg. Notes on Graphic Design and Visual Communication. Crisp
Publications, 1990.
Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style. Hartley and Marks, 1992.
Dondis, Donis. A Primer of Visual Literacy. MIT Press, 1973.
***Flanders, Vincent and Michael Willis. Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design
by Looking at Bad Design. Sybex, 1996.
Hoft, Nancy. International Communication: How to Export Information About High
Technology. John Wiley & Sons, 1995.
***Horton, William. Illustrating Computer Documentation: The art of presenting
information graphically on paper and online. John Wiley & Sons, 1991.
Hurlburt, Allen. Publication Design. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1976.
***Koren, Leonard, and R. Wippo Meckler. Graphic Design Cookbook: Mix and Match
Recipes for Faster, Better Layouts. Chronicle Books, 1989.
***Kristof, Ray, and Amy Satran. Interactivity by Design: Creating and
Communication with New Media. Adobe Press, 1995.
Meggs, Philip B. A History of Graphic Design. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.
Mok, Clement. Designing Business: Multiple Media, Multiple Disciplines. Adobe
Press, 1996.
Mullet, Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano. Designing Visual Interfaces:
Communication Oriented Techniques. Prentice Hall, 1995.
Parker, Roger C. The Makeover Book: 101 design solutions for desktop publishing.
Ventana Press, 1989.
Rosenfeld, Louis, and Peter Morville. Information Architecture for the World
Wide Web. O?Reilly, 1998.
***Shriver, Karen. Dynamics in Document Design. John Wiley & Sons, 1997.
Spiekermann, Eric, and E. M. Ginger. Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type
Works. Adobe Press, 1993.
Tufte, Edward R. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press,
Tufte, Edward R. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and
Narrative. Graphics Press, 1997.
***White, Jan V. Graphic Design for the Electronic Age: the manual for
traditional and desktop publishing. Watson-Guptill Publications, 1988.
Wildbur, Peter and Michael Burke. Information Graphics: Innovative Solutions in
Contemporary Design. Thames and Hudson, 1998.
***Williams, Robin. The Non-Designers Design Book: Design and Typographic
Principles for the Visual Novice. Peachpit Press, 1994.
Woolever, Kristen and Helen M. Loeb. Writing for the Computer Industry. Prentice
Hall. 1994.
Wong, Wucius. Principles of Two-Dimensional Design. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1972.

Wurman, Richard S. Information Architects. Graphis Inc., 1997.
Zelanski, Paul, and Mary Pat Fisher. Color. Prentice Hall, 1994.
***Zelazny, Gene. Say It With Charts: The Executive?s Guide to Visual
Communication. McGraw-Hill, 1996.

***Print. Especially useful is their Regional Design Annual.
***Dynamic Graphics
Step-by-Step Graphics
Communication Arts

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